Saturday, September 14, 2013

This week I have hosted award winning author Stacey Rourke. She has written a few different types of books from romance to self help.  Her 2nd book Embrace won a RONE award for best YA Paranormal Works.

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Laugh-out Loud Series of 2012 & Author of the Year 2012 to Stacey Rourke! Whether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms with being the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky, between intense training sessions and epic demonic battles, but she didn’t know at what cost it would come. That is, until a dear friend is harmed by the malicious forces hunting her. Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.

I was fortunate enough to get to know Stacey some and even ask her a few questions.  

1.) About the Author-
Stacey Rourke is the author of the YA Fantasy Gryphon Series and the nonfiction autobiographical I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron; a Journey Through Infertility. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of the Gryphon Series as well as other literary projects. She holds a Bachelors degree in marketing but decided to forego corporate America to follow her passion to write.
Visit her at Facebook at or on Twitter @Rourkewrites
2.) How long have you been writing? Since I could put a crayon to paper. Seriously I remember writing stories in elementary school that would star all my friends. However it wasn't until about four years ago that I finally figured out this was my calling.
3.) What was your life life before you became an author? I tried on a lot of different "hats" trying to figure out who I was and what I was supposed to do. Most of them felt like me banging my head against a wall because I just couldn't seem to get it right. Thankfully that feeling went away once I finally outed myself as an author.
4.) Who or what inspired you to write? Life inspires me to write. A bedazzled grandma in thigh-high boots at the grocery store. The sun setting over the water. Song lyrics that bring a rush of tears to my eyes, or make me want to be front line of an epic battle. Inspiration is everywhere if you put yourself in the right frame of mind.
5.) Do you have a specific writing style or genre? I enjoy fantasy because rules to life can be bent and manipulated there. As for my style? Lots of action and snarky humor. That's "my thing."
6.) Tell me about your latest book? My latest book that will be out this fall is Ascension. It's the fourth full length novel in my Gryphon Series. It was actually meant to be the last book but as the story unfolded I found a few little twists that worked their way in. Now? I'm not so sure we've seen the last of the Garrett kids.
7.) What is your favorite parts of your books to write? Dialog. I love it. I have so much fun working and reworking those witty one-liners! I just wish I was that clever when I actually talk to people!
8.) What is the hardest part to write? The first draft! To me it's the bones of the story. The "meaty goodness" comes with the second draft. But putting those bones together just the way they need to be to form the correct structure for the arc of the story is tough. But the effort is totally worthwhile in the end!
9.)What do you find most rewarding in writing? When parents or grandparents come up to me and say that their pre-teen or teenagers aren't "readers" but couldn't put my books down. That is why I do this. To spark imaginations in a world that normally hinders them.
10.) Do you have any other books in progress? I do and I am SO excited about it! I am working on The Legends Series that will debut next year. I can't go into too much detail just yet, but it is something fresh, new, and EPIC!!!!
11.) What are your future plans in regards to writing? To keep at it! To change and evolve with each new book and take readers on adventures they've never experienced before.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

This week, from Sept.1- Sept. 8, I am showcasing author Margot Finke as a part of my new venture of hosting authors.  This was something I decided to do, because as an author we tend to talk a lot about ourselves, which is something I really don't like to do.  This is a way to bring some light to other authors and I am so excited about it.  Margot has 13 books published as of right now, yes 13.  She mostly writes children's books and preteen books.  I had the pleasure of reading through a couple and I have to say, they are beautifully done.
I asked her which of her books she would highlight and even though she has so many(I would have a hard time choosing) she said: My ghost mystery I think, "The Revenge of Thelma Hill." While writing it I found the ghost becoming increasingly familiar. Turns out I was channeling my dear mum. So I thought, what the hec! Mum would be tickled pink to feature in a book of mine. I went whole hog. Even used her name in the title -

When Frannie’s dad transfers to Oregon, she worried about going to a new school, and why she and her twin, Jeff, weren’t really close. Frannie also dreams about her missing Mom, and wonders why she never returned to them. Ghosts, a long ago murder, and helping to trap a killer was never on her private “worry” list. Yet a late night visit from a scary apparition, trailing long gray veils, and begging for Frannie’s help, changes everything. Twin Jeff was not a believer, and her dad thought ghosts were rubbish. So Frannie and the ghost, who was amazingly kind and friendly, put their heads together and planned revenge. 

A chilling encounter in the basement, and the appearance of the ghost’s familiar, an arachnid of gargantuan size, persuades Jeff to help them trap Thelma Hill’s killer. Keeping Dad out of the ghostly loop is tricky, and using the internet to trap the killer is dangerous. When the panicked and treacherous killer pays a midnight visit to their basement, the trap is sprung. Later, Thelma Hill gets her wish to be buried in a consecrated church cemetery. And when the hoo-hah of the capture dies down, Dad meets a reporter he can’t say no too, and Thelma Hill finally brings news about Frannie’s mom.

(I will be purchasing this story for my daughter.)  I thought that was amazing.  Being a writer myself I know how life and personal experience tend to influence stories so I’m always curious as to what an author’s story is.

While talking to Margot I got up close and personal and asked her a few questions.
The big question everyone asks, how did you get into writing?

I was top of my class in writing, and I always wrote “stuff.”  But what really gave me a big nudge were the kids in the Oregon school where I was a Teacher’s Aide. They asked why I spoke funny. I told them I was an Aussie from Down Under, and that we had a language all our own. I brought in a National Geographic map that showed the Aussie animals, and I began telling the classes about the wonderfully unique critters in Australia. I even made up stories about them off the top of my head. I did the same thing at bedtime for my three kids, because I didn’t want them to forget where they came from. My teacher friend said, “You have to write those stories down before you forget them.” I did, and the rest is history!

What genre do you write?
I began with “Wild and Wonderful,” a series of 7 rhyming picture books about animals from the US and Australia.  Unfortunately they were eBooks, long before anyone was buying them. But now they are with a different publisher, and will soon be available in soft cover as well as eBook. 

Of course I didn’t stay with picture books.  I have 2 young teen adventures published, and another two will soon hit the shelves, plus the third picture book from my original series. 
That makes 10 picture books in all + 4 young teen adventures – and more to come.

What genre do you like to read?
My favorite author, for both lyrical language, and the ability to paint marvelous word pictures, while delivering a fascinating plot and characters, is Khaled Hosseini. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are awesome reads – the best I have read in years. I am eager to read his latest, And the Mountains Echoed.  I also enjoy a really good mystery – ones that are well crafted and capture my interest.

Tell me about your book/s
These 5 are the original “Wild and Wonderful” series of ebooks –
(soon available in soft cover)

*Don’t Eat Platypus Stew – 3 separate stories : Platypus, Kookaburra and Koala.
*Never Say BOO to a Frilly – 3 stories: Frill-neck Lizard, Rainbow Birds, Tasmanian Devil
*Prairie Dog’s Play Day –  3 stories: Prairie Dogs, Bald Eagle and The Stinker (skunk)
*Humdinger Hummers – one story about hummingbirds in our gardens.
*Squirrels Can’t Help Being Nuts – 3 stories: Squirrels, Kitty Kats, Bumblebees.

Hold onto your boomerang mates, there’s MORE!
The following are PBs already published as soft cover books.

*Rattlesnake Jam: pure boy fun.  No one has a Gran and Pa like these!
*Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind:  how sudden changes can turn your kid into a brat.
*Horatio Humble Beats the Big D: help and encouragement for kids with dyslexia - and their parents.  

PLUS: these two from the original e-series:
*Mama Grizzly Bear:  a year in the life of Mama and her cubs.
*Kangaroo Clues: how Old Man Roo tricked the wild dingoes that were chasing him.
Young Teen Adventures:  (Amazon:
*Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble:  This coming of age adventure is set on a cattle station in the Australian outback, circa 1950. Taconi, a young aboriginal boy, is fearful of his upcoming man ceremony, worried about his dad’s crazy plans, and torn between two worlds.
And the Dreamtime spirits have plans of their own for him. His only mate is a fast talking, Sulfur Crested cockatoo named Claude – always happy to toss out a helpful one liner.
NOTE:  ***Survival by Walkabout is the follow up book - coming soon.
*The Revenge of Thelma Hill – Ghost mystery set in Oregon.  Frannie and her twin brother move to Oregon. At first her thoughts are of old friends, making new friends, and the sibling rivalry between her and her twin.  There’s also the nagging worry about her mom. Where is she?  Everything changes when the ghost comes to her and begs for help. Frannie and her reluctant twin join forces to help the ghost trap her killer. Yet will they ever discover what happened to their mother? Their dad certainly isn’t talking.

As I wrote this, the ghost began to feel very familiar to me. Then it hit me – I was channeling my dear mother!  But what the heck. . . Mom fitted the bones of my ghost to perfection.  And I knew she would be SO tickled to be a main character in a book of mine.  I even used her real name for the title - love you Mom!
*COMING SOON:  Down Under CallingWhen a reluctant grandson in Oregon is pressured to write to his grandma in Australia, wonderful things happen. Both have a need for love and reassurance. Back and forth the letters go. The reader gets to share Andy’s and Grandma Rose’s daily problems, and his grandma also writes about her childhood memories. They astonish Andy and his friend Kelly. Together they shrink the Pacific Ocean into a puddle they can easily ford.
Who or what is your biggest influence?
My mom. She always encouraged me to read. Mom read to me, and made up stories of her own to tell me at bedtime. Later, when I was a teen, she read books at night to both Dad and myself. Funny ones mostly, like “The Egg and I.” She had a way of reading stories, or telling them, that could make you laugh or cry. I loved to hear her tell stories of when she was young, or how Dad and her met. I have included some of her true stories in my upcoming book, Down-Under Calling. A lot of what Grandma Rose tells her grandson, Andy, comes from what my mom told me. It is a tribute to her and a kind of virtual hug.

What is something an average person doesn’t know about you?

That I am not the “oh so confident” person I appear on the outside. I hide my fears and uncertainty.  Maybe I should have been an actress instead of a writer?

What is your guilty pleasure?
 I have decided to give guilt the boot. At my age I need to give myself permission to “tell it like it is, mate!”  My pleasure (minus the guilt) is to relax and let the dust bunnies roam.  In the past I felt compelled to do it all perfectly. Now, “perfect” be damned!

 I love to sit and watch the birds in our garden feed on the seeds and nectar we lay out for them. They come, flocks of them, and I am guessing Finke’s Avian Outdoor Restaurant has a 5 star rating. A great book to read completes my pleasure. My husband tends our ¾ acre of trees and gardens these days, and he does a marvelous job.

Who is your book boyfriend/girlfriend?
No one in particular. I have been around a long time, and my website and Manuscript Critique Service offer lots of help for writers. Writers tend to come to me.

Who would your dream cast be?
Hmmm. . . glad you asked.  My dad knew a Frillneck Lizard very well.  It holed up in the brick wall of the home Dad was building for us in his spare time. He could star in the movie of my PB, “Never Say BOO to a Frilly,” quite well.  And there are several kangaroos at the Queensland Lone Pine Sanctuary that would be perfect leads for Kangaroo Clues. There’s also a squirrel and a skunk that frequent our yard.  They could easily become headline film stars if asked nicely.

An average day of writing, what is your ritual?  Set the scene
You know, when you have 14 books published, finding time to write is like looking for gold – scarce!  Promotion looms large. I do try to sneak in an hour or two each day for my own projects, but sometimes my client’s demand for critique services nibble away at the edges of my writing time. Then there’s all the social networking sites to infiltrate, clients to deal with, interviews to fill out, my illustrators to deal with, and two new books to final edit for my publisher.  What mostly throws a spanner in my work-wheel is that unplanned email. Someone, or something, that has to be dealt with immediately - ASAP.

I have set up my writing shop in what was once our family room.  Fireplace, comfy sofa, book shelves, and a large L shaped desk with cupboards and shelves.  PLUS wall shelves with gro-luxe lighting, where we put tender plants to winter-over. Lovely when it is cold, rainy (this is Oregon), and miserable outside. Like working in plant heaven! I can even view a bird feeder from one of my windows.

What was your best and worst review?
Now I feel terrible.  Dare I confess. . .?  Lean closer and I’ll whisper:  All my book reviews are 4 and 5 stars. My husband says, “Don’t tell me about another great review. I only want to know when one of your books is panned!”

My best review began, “Australian author Margot Finke’s new book, Kangaroo Clues, is a masterpiece” -  Nicole Weaver for Blog Critics. It doesn’t get better than that.

How do you shake off those dreadfully painful reviews?
I still get nervous when someone sends me their review link. The knot in my stomach twists and grows. I guess no matter how many terrific reviews I receive, I am always waiting for the inevitable.  It has to come; that one devastating review that will make all the others seem as if they never happened..

Thank you for taking the time to get to know this amazing author a little better.  If you would like to know anything else about her, her links are below.  Don't forget to go on my Author Hosting page and like her introduction that I will be posting today, Sunday Sept. 1, to enter to win one of her books.

My Books – Manuscript Critique Service – Writing Help – FREE Skype Author Visits
Hook Kids on Reading
Books on Amazon:
FREE Book Catalog:
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Links to Video Readings from my Books:

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Release

  ***Adult content***

Marissa left town as soon as high school ended, carrying with her deep dark secrets that she never intended to divulge, but once she went back home after twenty years for her high school reunion she knew that was exactly where she wanted to be.  Once back in her home town in North Carolina it all comes rushing back to her, both good and bad, even the uncontrollable desire for her first love, who happened to be her best friend’s husband.
Marissa and her three best friends could never have imagined the events that would take place once these once inseparable County girls are back together again or the hot nights that are sure to come.

I released my newest book, County Girls,on August 23 and it already has a few amazing reviews.  I was really nervous about writing this story because it is an adult contemporary romance.  I intended for it to be more on the side of erotic but I wanted more of a richer story so I tamed down some scenes.  Still I was nervous because I didn't know if I was going to offend people with the graphic sex.  I even published it under an alias for a short time, but I never had time to promote that alias, plus I wanted credit for it.  Like I said, it has been taken very well from people so far and I am super excited about it.

There is a blog hop happening at the moment, ending Sept 30.  Follow the link and enter to win a few cool prizes, including signed books and a VISA gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Revenge in Rio
By: Samantha Darling
Beachwalk Press
Releasing October 21st, 2013

Calculated revenge, unexpected passion…
Business magnate Luca Venancio is returning to Rio to pay his respects to his late brother, and to seduce his once fiancĂ©e, Daniella, back into his bed. Five years ago she left him without so much as a word, shunning him and the rich life he could offer in exchange for his younger, reckless brother. Now Luca wants revenge—seduce her and dump her, that's all he intends to do.
Blackmailed into a violent farce of a marriage, Daniella had no choice but to comply to protect Luca's life, even though it meant never being able to see him again. Years later, a twist of fate reunites them, throwing her plans of fleeing Rio out of the window and the love of her life straight back in.
Luca's flawless plan soon becomes complicated when he discovers Daniella is expecting his brother's child. It becomes even more complicated when old passions return. Can he actually go through with seducing her, bedding her, and then discarding her?

Author Info
I live in Essex, not too far from London, with my very understanding husband, our identical twin boys, and two Bedlington Terriers. We're crammed into our rather cozy two-up two-down terrace and we can barely swing a cat, but hey, we love it. I work part-time as a nurse, but when I'm off duty, you will find me either chasing the toddlers around like a headless chicken, head buried in a book, or tapping away at my stories.
I have always loved to read and romance is by far my favourite genre! You can easily escape into such promising worlds, where sexy Alpha males lead the way and strong heroine's often can't help but fall head over heels in love. I adore a Happy Ever After - as I'm sure we all do if we're honest, right?!

Reading and writing go hand in hand and from the day I could read, I enjoyed writing. To put pen to paper and conjure up weird and wonderful little stories was what I thrived on! English was my favourite class at school right throughout to secondary - and I will always be thankful for the teachers who gave me the opportunities to develop and be creative! If I remember rightly, one of my first stories was called 'The Turkey Who Could Talk'...but I'll tell you more about that some other day :-) 
Author Links

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cover Reveal
Cry Me A River
by Devyn Dawson

Caide Palmer, Emerald Isle's resident chef and grieving father.  Everything in his life is turned upside down when his ex-girlfriend Heather dies from an accidental overdose.  She left behind their eighteen month old daughter.  Heather's parents filed for emergency custody of baby Lucy.  Now Caide is in the fight of his life to raise his daughter to the best of his ability.  The courts order Caide to attend parenting classes and Al Anon meetings.  It is there that he meets twenty-two year old River.  She is drawn in by his story, and she wants to mend his grieving heart.  Will Caide allow River in to his world, or will he find his role as single father is to be faced alone?  There's something about her that he wants to save.  Can they really save each other?  

Cry Me A River is a New Adult book with sexual situations and explicit language.  If you've ever mourned the loss of someone you loved, Cry Me A River will show you that love can conquer when you meet the right person.  Available July 2, 2013.

Add to your TBR list Cry Me a River

The author Devyn Dawson is from Oklahoma, but she kicks up her boots in New Bern, NC.  She spends her days writing about the characters who live in her head.  Devyn has been intrigued by the young adult world and is now branching out to new adult.  This is her first non-paranormal book.  Although the characters are fictional, grief of losing someone you love is drawn from her own experiences of death and loss.

Stalk Devyn's website

Devyn's Blog - tons of giveaways!


Young Adult Books by Devyn

The Legacy of Kilkenny - book one
The Seduction - book 1.5
Malevolence - book two

The Light Tamer
Light Bound - Summer 2013

The Wisdom Series
Trust - book one  Winter 2013

New Adult Books

Sapphire, A Werewolf Love Story

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

As a way to celebrate my newest novel, This I Promise You, I have put together a blog tour where other bloggers host me.  Some do interviews and some post information about me or my book.  There is also a raffle going on with some awesome prizes.  Follow the link to enter.  It's simple and quick.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 18, 2013

by Tressa Messenger

This modern day tragedy is a love story in the truest sense.

You only get one first of anything, and no matter the time, or space, or age, you never forget your first love.

When thirteen year old Nicky Moore’s parents decide to buy a small summer beach cottage at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, she thought her life would end. It didn't matter the beauty of the area - land and water as far as the eye could see - she was bound and determined to make her family’s summer vacation as dismal as she felt. That was until she met a boy from down the beach; a beautiful boy, with the most intense brown eyes she had ever seen and a smile that could light the ocean on fire. A summer that Nicky thought was doomed from the start, turned into a summer that she would never forget; one full of firsts. It was impossible for her to know years later how one seemingly little decision could change everything forever, but soon, as an adult, Nicky will find out that everything she once thought were real and the promises once made, were lost in a sea of inner turmoil.


Tressa Messenger

Tressa is a North Carolina native, with a passion to share her imagination with the world.  She currently resides in New Bern, North Carolina with her family.  This I Promise You, is a labor of love.  Although the story is fictional, it is loosely based on a relationship she shared with her first love.  It promises to stir emotions from first love, to life lost.  Be sure to add This I Promise You to your TBR list.