Monday, October 28, 2013

Now or Never by Jamie Canosa

To move on, leave the past behind, and build a new life with Jay.

That’s all Em wanted. After everything they’d been through together, they were both overdue their ‘happily ever after’. Too bad the world doesn’t work that way. Memories last longer than dreams and Em’s fears continue to plague her both day and night, interfering with that new life she so desperately craves.

To start over, secure a future, and give Em the life she deserves.

That was Jay’s plan, but the past isn’t done with them, yet. While Em still struggles to overcome the ghosts of her past, Jay is forced to come face to face with his. When the skeletons in his closet step back into the light, Jay must decide what he will do—and what he will sacrifice—to protect Em from them. 

Against all odds, Em and Jay are on the verge of having everything they’ve ever wanted. They’ve fought for it before, but is their love strong enough to endure any more heartache? The time has come for each of them to choose for themselves whether or not they will allow the past to continue to corrupt their future. And, together, they must decide, will it be . . . NOW OR NEVER?

My thoughts: As most people know by now, I'm a fan of Jamie Canosa. Two of my all-time favorite books are Dissidence and Our Own Worst Enemies, both by Jamie. She has a real knack for writing characters that stay with you, and Em and Jay are no exceptions. It isn't often that I like a sequel better than the original (though it does happen, and seems to happen a lot with Jamie's books) and in the case of Now or Never Jamie has taken the story she began with Fight or Flight and made it that much more intriguing. They might be off the streets but that doesn't mean life has gotten easy for these two. Jay and Em are sympathetic and admirable, and their love story can make even the Grinch's heart beat faster. I absolutely recommend this or any other book by Jamie Canosa.

Find it on: 

Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Ravena, NY with her wonderful husband and three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird and the rabbit.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Slayers by CJ Hill

Hosted by Fire and Ice 

Thanks to C.J. Hill, AKA Janette Rallison, for stopping by today on her blog tour celebrating the release of her newest novel, Slayers. She was nice enough to write a guest post chronicling her particular mode of research, which I have to say goes above and beyond! Make sure to check out the blurb and excerpt below that.

Researching the action novel—and you thought writers just sat at their desks.

I do a ton of research for every book I write. Seriously, I’ve had to research how many times a fly throws up per second when it lands on something. (I bet you didn’t know that’s what flies were doing while they walked around your kitchen counter.) I’ve also researched obscure details in ancient Egypt (Did you know that Ramses the Great was a redhead?) The Middle Ages—I’ve read 20 books on the subject and I’m still trying to find out what exactly what a priest said when he married a couple. Each book teaches me something new and sends me researching in a new direction.

Slayers: Friends and Traitors had its own set of researching challenges. In one scene the Slayers have a showdown with the dragon lord’s men, so I researched night vision goggles, flashbangs, different types of guns, ammo, and body armor. Tori is in the White House at a presidential party when she finds out the dragon eggs have hatched, so I also had to research the White House blueprints. Yeah, I’m probably on the FBI’s watch list now.

Probably the most memorable thing I researched for Slayers: Friends and Traitors was skydiving. In one scene, the Slayers jump out of plane. The best way to do research is to actually do the activity you’re writing about, so I scheduled a skydiving trip.

I didn’t think it would be too frightening since large numbers of people skydive every year. I figured, hey, people pay a lot of money to skydive so it’s probably even fun.

That was my first stupid assumption. People are idiots and you should never do something just because a lot of people pay large amounts of money to do it. Case in point: golf. (Just kidding, golf fans.)

I booked an appointment, went to the airport, and signed the twelve page waiver that detailed all the hideous ways I might die.

Basically it said I might be struck by passing aircraft, hit by vehicles on the ground, or may run into trees, buildings, or poisonous snakes. I still wasn’t all that nervous because I knew I was going to be strapped to an experienced instructor. He was not likely to skimp on parachute inspection or whatever, because he didn’t want to die any more than I did.

Then I met my instructor. He was a twenty-three year old guy who I suspect had no sense of
his own mortality. I became a little nervous.

He took me to a small plane that sounded like a lawn mower and seemed to be held together with duct tape, super glue, and erector set pieces. I was a little more nervous, but I was still okay because I figured the pilot had been flying the plane for quite some time so he had a lot of experience doing important things, like not dying.

We took off, gained altitude, and putted around in the sky for several minutes. I was now more nervous and cursing myself for ever switching from writing romantic comedies to action novels. Really, when you come right down to it, it would be fine to write a book about boring people who never do anything dangerous.

And then the plane door opened. At that point a spike of terror hit me. I realized that people are born with several strong survival instincts and one of them screams: DO NOT JUMP OUT OF A PLANE! IT WILL KILL YOU!

I said many things at that point, all of which my twenty-three year old instructor ignored as he dragged me out of the plane.

And then we were falling through the sky. After the terror wore off, it was fun.

When you all read the skydiving scene in Slayers: Friends and Traitors, I hope you appreciate my diligent research.

The Slayers – teens who have powers to fight dragons—are back by popular demand in this high-octane sequel, now with a new cover package!

Tori is at a White House dinner party when she hears a horrifying sound: dragon eggs hatching. It means in less than a year, the dragons will be mature and dangerous. The Slayers are well-trained, but their group is not yet complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker Davis, the mysterious Slayer who has yet to surface.

What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers: she isn’t a Slayer after all, but a Dragon Lord, with a built-in predisposition to protect dragons, not kill them.

How will she overcome this to save the lives of her friends?


Author Bio: CJ Hill is a pen name for a YA author who is best known for writing romantic comedies. (Slayers will be her 18th published book.) Her writing has shifted away from the romantic comedy genre, so her editor thought a pen name would be a good idea. (New books will include: dangerous dragons, time travel to dystopian worlds, and flesh-eating beetles.) Since the publisher refused to let her have the pseudonym : The Artist Formerly Referred to as Princess, she chose a name to honor her mother. CJ Hill was her mother's pen name, or at least it would have been if her mother had published. Her mother wrote a few children's books and a middle grade novel but was taken by cancer before she had fully learned the craft.
(Most writers' first novels aren't publishable. CJ Junior's first novel wasn't, but somehow was published anyway. Now, even though it is out of print, it remains forever available on Amazon, where it taunts her with its badness. This was another good reason to use a pen name.)
CJ Hill has five children, three of whom like her on any given day depending on who is in trouble. She has lived in Arizona for the last half of her life, but is still in desert denial and hopes that one day her garden will grow silver bells and cockle shells or maybe just tomatoes

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya


Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn't appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

"Join our circle, Dindi!" the fae voices gurgled under the water. "Dance with us forever!"

"No!" She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, "Dispel!" but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn't be coming up again.

"Dispel!" It was a man's voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

"Better?" he asked.

She nodded. He was young--only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

"Good." He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi's hand touched skin--he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

"It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that," he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. "What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?"

Tara’s blog
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The Unfinished Song on Facebook
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Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cover Reveal: Now or Never by Jamie Canosa

For those of you who are fans of Jamie Canosa, here's the cover reveal for her upcoming novel (and sequel to Fight or Flight) titled Now or Never. By the way, if you're not a fan of hers, you should be! Get busy reading any of her books. Find them here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

From Gods

from godsFrom Gods by Mary Ting Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? It’s not from Mother Nature. It is most likely from Mason Grand, swoon-worthy demigod, one of Zeus’s descendants. Skylar Rome is supposed to be having the best summer ever before she heads off to college. Little did she know, her whole life was about to change while visiting her cousin. Nearly drowning at the beach due to unknown forces, one of the Grand brothers she’d just met, Mason, saves her life. Cool, collected, mysterious, and dangerously good-looking, Skylar is drawn to him from the start. Though she knows he is the type of guy good girls stayed away from, it seems he is always saving her life, and the attraction was inevitable. Upon meeting the brothers, strange things begin to happen. When she accidentally kills one of the brothers, it throws her life into turmoil, as they search to find the answers. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world of the decedents of ancient gods, all who have super powers. Not only is her discovery difficult to accept, evil beings are after her. Running out of time and running for her life, she must unravel a mystery. What do they want from her? Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will she find the answers, or will she die trying?  

Smashwords amazon blog Barnes and Noble

  Teaser 1: “You’re wet. You should take off your clothes.” What a way to avoid a question! Skylar blinked her eyes in disbelief. Did she hear him correctly? “Excuse me?” Not wanting to assume he was really asking her to strip off her clothes, she didn’t move a muscle, but the way his piercing eyes laid on her, she might as well have already been naked. Then she inwardly gasped when he started to unbutton his shirt. Her eyes shot to the floor, then back to him, and then to the floor, wondering what she was supposed to do in this awkward moment. “Here. Go change in the restroom. You don’t want to catch a cold.” He placed his shirt in front of her. She looked up to see him shirtless for the very first time. With all the right curves and tightness, he looked like a statue of a god. He was beautiful and perfectly toned, with satin-like skin, which looked like it would be smooth to the touch. And there was a small tattoo shaped like a lightning bolt on his upper right arm, toward his shoulder. Way too sexy! As warmth flushed her face, she tried not to stare, but there was no way around it. “Umm…you won’t have a shirt,” Skylar said, thinking that was the most idiotic thing she had said so far, but she couldn’t think when he was half-naked in front of her. “I’m not cold, but you will be.” Mason was right. Skylar didn’t realize she was shivering until she placed her hand out to take his shirt. The adrenaline from the initial shock had kept her warm, and now it was wearing away. The blasting air conditioner didn’t help either. “Thanks.” Just as she pivoted right toward the restroom, even though she was deathly scared to go back, Mason gripped her arm. “Wait. Don’t go in there without me.” His sudden protectiveness surprised Skylar, but then again, he had saved her.   Teaser 2: “Mason, Mason, Mason,” Skylar panicked. “I know. Skylar, hold on tight. I’m going to brake.” “But…but there are cars behind us.” “We have no choice. Don’t worry. I got this.” Pushing down on the brake pedal forcefully, the car hydroplaned to the right. “Hold on,” Mason yelled. Skylar gripped the first thing she could place her hand on tightly. The water from the road jetted up into the air like a water show, but the car kept gliding sideways, until finally it spun a full circle and stopped. With no time to waste, Mason turned the car toward the right and accelerated, hoping to dodge what was coming toward them. Out of nowhere, a long piece of ice, taking the form of a spear-like shape, darted through the trucks’ tires and punctured some of them. More ice spears came soaring out of the rain, but this time, ten or more sphere like ice balls followed, denting the sides of the trucks, and one went through a windshield. With flat tires, the trucks now glided as if on ice, maneuvering from side to side. “Did you do that?” Skylar asked excitedly. “No…must be Poseidon’s kids. Where the hell are they?” Mason spread his right arm in front of Skylar, as if to protect her. “Bend down, Sky.” One of the trucks hit another and swirled, hitting the other adjacent to it. The crash caused the trucks to flip and tumble, heading straight for Mason’s car. With a look of shock, Skylar held her breath. With no time to move, think, or get out of the car, she closed her eyes and prepared for the crash. Just seconds before the impact, Mason’s car flew up into the air, over the trucks. Somehow, magically, the water created a liquid bridge, guiding the car safely over, and then it thumped hard on the ground on the other side. Without looking back, Mason sped away as the sound of screeching brakes and metal impacting on metal blasted behind them.


  Praise for From Gods “A fast paced adventure full of mystery, action, magic and romance! Readers won’t be able to put this book down!” ~InD’tale Magazine   “From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It’s full of hotness that you never want to end!” ~Michele, Insane About Books   “From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!” ~Mindy, Books Complete Me   “This book is “electric” as it blends paranormal romance, mythology (which I love), action and suspense together for an amazing read. Mary Ting, you’ve done it again! This book exceeded my expectations and I was literally blown away as if I were struck by lightning!” ~Vanessa, Fairiechick’s Fantasy Book Reader
  from gods  
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mary tingAuthor Mary Ting Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.  

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  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/8/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Consider the Blessings


Blurb: If you ask people what they love most about President Thomas S. Monson’s teaching style, chances are they’ll say something about the personal experiences he relates. The accounts President Monson shares are always true, taken from his own life or the real lives of other people. Those warm, memorable accounts have truly become a hallmark of his messages.
Who can forget the woman who saved one of the two sticks of gum Elder Monson passed out to youth in postwar Germany? Or the neighbor who returned a box of baseballs to young Tommy as a thank-you for his kindness to her? Or the father who declined to attend a “Mormon” meeting with his family but had his heart softened by a message he heard on a radio that was actually broken?
In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of his call as an Apostle, Consider the Blessings presents fifty of the true accounts President Thomas S. Monson has shared over the years. With beautiful photographs and heart-touching content, this is a book to treasure with the whole family.
My thoughts: This book is stunning. The photos are just gorgeous. The stories are sometimes familiar, sometimes not, as stories told through the past 50 years by Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They're stories of service, kindness, being in the right place at the right time, AKA miracles, listening to your personal promptings and revelation, and most of all highlighting the love this man has for all people everywhere.
President Thomas S. Monson was set apart as the sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008. He had previously served for twenty-two years in the First Presidency of the Church, after having been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October 1963. Five years after his call to the Twelve, he was given a special assignment for the work of the Church in Europe, requiring many visits with members behind the Iron Curtain. He was instrumental in the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple and in advancing the Lord’s work in other eastern European countries that were part of the communist bloc. He also served as chairman of the Scriptures Publication Committee and supervised the process that resulted in the new editions of the scriptures. His ministry has been characterized by his compassion for the needs of individuals and his gift for one-on-one service. President Monson and his wife, Frances, are the parents of three children, grandparents of eight, and great-grandparents of eight.
Pick up your copy today at Deseret Book or at Amazon

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom by June McCrary Jacobs

A classic holiday story filled with faith,
service, and a dash of romance.

When her student, six-year-old Mary Noel, survives a car accident over Thanksgiving break, Amber and her new friend, Paul, are determined to cheer her up during the holidays. But Mary Noel’s most painful injury is the loss of her dog. The more withdrawn Mary Noel becomes, the more Amber and Paul need a miracle—a miracle that requires the entire community’s help. 

My ThoughtsThe debut novella from author June McCrary Jacobs will break your heart for little Mary Noel and the tragedy she has to deal with. Then your heart will rejoice as the town comes together to help her and her family in their time of need. A sweet story for your Christmas story collection.

June McCrary Jacobs spent twenty years as a primary grade educator after graduating from California State University, Hayward, with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a multiple-subject teaching credential. Along with writing fiction, June is a freelance designer of sewing, quilting and crafting projects. “A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom” is June's debut novel, though not her first published work. Since 2007 June's original sewing, quilting and stitchery projects and articles have been published in national and international magazines including Stitch, Sew News, Sewing World, Simply Handmade, Sew Hip, Sewing Savvy, Crafts 'n Things and Create & Decorate. Two of her sewing designs for children will appear in the upcoming “101 One-Yard Little Wonders” book published by Storey Publishing. A Californian since age six, June currently resides in the San Joaquin Valley. Learn more about June's writing endeavors and view some of her original sewing projects by visiting her website at

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Toni's Journey #3

 “Got something to live for, I know I won’t surrender.” –Bulletproof, Black Veil Brides

I know I usually end with a quote—and I still will—this just felt right. 

This blog post will be about the importance of music while writing and for writing. 

I never really just listen to music.  I learn from it, in a way.  I hear a song and either love it for what it is or love it because my characters do, or love it because I know it will help me during a scene.

“All the greats are the ones remembered.” New Year's Day, Black Veil Brides.  I know I am taking that line out of context from the song, because BVB was not talking about writers.  But how true is that line? The greats are remembered and their works with stand time.  In this song they also say “Legends never die.”  Which is true.  Stoker, Frank, Shelley, etc., and some modern day writers are going to be the greats, and even when their physical bodies pass their works will remain.  But what makes them great, I mean besides withstanding time and having great stories?  I can’t say for everyone, but some writers listen to music while writing and some even say which songs they listened to while writing, and what songs helped inspire them. 

I do.  I am in no way calling myself a great, but I can tell you this music has shaped my writing:

(I wrote this in 2009 about writing and posted it as a note on FB, I will expand on it after)

Music plays such an important role in everyone's everyday life. Without music in life, in each day, life would be boring. Seriously, think about it. In a grocery store, or in any other store for that matter, without music, it would be an eerie quiet. More than just in places of shopping think about movies.

In any movie especially thrillers music plays a larger and bigger role than even the most famous actor.  For example, look at the movie Disturbia. Even if someone has watched this movie four or more times the thriller, the intense scenes still will get to that person. The music begins with a steady drum like a heartbeat, that soon signals the bass to come in and play a few cords, which then signals the guitar to come in and screech out some high suspenseful notes, and so on. Try to watch a thriller movie muted, or any movie for that matter, it will not be as intense. The reason it will not be as intense, is the music is key to get the heart beating faster.

I am writing books and once I got my iTunes account up and running and got my songs (many thanks to my cousin for helping me with my account) I made playlists for all of my books. Each song has a key element in the books becoming movies.   Listening to Version 1 playlist while typing Version 3 helps, because I know what should not go into the book, as well as listening to Version 3 playlist while typing Version 3, because it helps me to know what needs to be in the book.

It is truly amazing how one song, or one word, or one line, or one sentence, or one verse in any song can say all that is need to be said. It is amazing that either a whole song or a little piece of a song can sum up all of anyone's emotions, and it is amazing how music can help someone heal (emotionally, mentally, physically).

I did edit the above a little just now, but it still applies today.

My taste in music has changed a lot from 2008-2009 era until now.  Back then I would only listen to Lifehouse, Switchfoot, Natasha Bedingfield (still love them, still listen).  Now I still listen to them but I also added, Evanescence, Black Veil Brides, Automatic Loveletter, Juliet Simms, Imagine Dragons, We are the Fallen, Ben Moody, David Hodges, and of course others but those most often.  Now, yes some of these bands weren’t around back then, but if they were I don’t think I would have listened to them, because I didn’t understand the full importance of music while writing, until BVB and Evanescence. 

Here is a funny story, I cannot tell you for which book but one day I was on the treadmill at the gym and listening to music and I remembered that I bought BVB’s “In the End” so I put that on and fell off the treadmill.  From the first notes this beautiful scene played in front of me for the end of one of my series.  I literally forgot how to walk, I just froze in awe, and got thrown from the machine.  I had listened to other songs before and had experiences where I saw scenes I already thought about, but this time it gave me a scene.  Black Veil Brides was already a character favorite in the book and from that their music has helped shape that book.  I have to thank them for that.

Juliet Simms music from Automatic Loveletter inspired the epigraph for one of my books (if we are FB friends there are a few chapters of It Started on a Thursday up if you are interested in reading some works of mine).  And from that I actually want characters to meet through her in that book, I just have to go about it legally, like get permission.  I feel like I am rambling and not getting my point across, but music is so important in writing, for writing. 

I am not the typical bands fan.  And with saying what I am about to say please don’t get offended.  A lot of bands have fans that call them “heroes” because the band saved them.  I get it, I do, but I am not that fan.  I personally don’t think it is not fair to put that label on a band, because yes they helped the kid, but it is a big burden for the band to carry.  For me, I like bands because my characters.  There are very few bands that I just like because I discovered them.  For example BVB I love you and am not labeling you, this was Google.  I have this one fantastically gorgeous boy named Jake in Life’s not a Fantasy.  He originally was going to be this emo character, like full on emo.  So I Googled “emo” and Alex Evans came up as the first result, then I was looking through pictures, (I already had a face for Jake, just wanted to fine tune character traits,) then this beautiful face was on the screen so I clicked on it and it said “Andy Sixx” so I was curious and looked up him and found out that he was a lead singer in a band called Black Veil Brides.  I listened and fell in love.  Since then Andy and the band have gone through image and sound changes and Andy no longer goes by “Andy Sixx” but rather “Andy Biersack”. Actually no band I like was my choice it always has something to do with my books.  Yeah, so I am not the typical fan.  Huh, that’s weird…well this just loops back to my post about writer/character relationships.  I wouldn’t like any bands probably if it wasn’t for my book.

Music helps keep me focused in writing.   I sometimes listen to other books playlists while writing so I remember what goes where and don’t repeat scenes from book to book.  I already have a repeated name in two different books, but the gender and spelling changes so I think I can get away with that. Ugh, I feel like this isn’t coming out right and for some reason I am having a hard time writing this.  I’m listening to music right now, writing this and it is wonderful, I am having flashes of scenes coming to me, so maybe I should just give you an excerpt, yeah, that sounds good.  Oh! Oh! and I will associate a song with it.  Yes!

* * *

Here is a scene from a WIP (to be completed December 2013):

Que the music: Just drums, rolling a beat of various rhythms, but all letting you know something is about to go wrong.

Screaming.  A girl screaming.  A girl screaming and clenching her hair in her fists.  A girl screaming and clenching her hair in her fists while falling to her knees on the ground.

This wasn’t any ordinary scream.  No.  This wasn’t just fear.  This was anger.  This was sadness.  Harper was your ordinary school girl.  She was at the time fifteen years old.

Here is where we begin.

Que the music: quiet and slow the drums some, add violins and flutes playing just a few ominous repeating notes/chords.

I felt like I was stuck in a hall of mirrors.  I could see myself and other people’s reflections, but I was frozen in my terror.  I could not find my way out.  Every turn I made took me further into the maze.  I felt like I was staring at myself from two mirrors that were directly across from each other.  Every motion echoed infinitesimally, but I could see how fake it was. It was me, but it was my reflection.  I started the motion and my accursed doppelgängers mimicked my every motion.  I couldn’t break free.  I wanted to crash through the mirrors.  I wanted to watch them tumble to the ground in a chain reaction like large silver reflective and distorted dominoes.

It wasn’t my fault, but it kind of is.  It is all of our faults.  Possibly mostly mine.  I didn’t see it.  I should have.  I remember Jessica aimlessly pulling me to my feet.  I remember grabbing onto her shoulders just in time for the both of us to fall to the ground.  I was a mess.  I never cried so hard in my life.  April 11 a Thursday.  I will never forget.  This was the day I walked into the school gymnasium for a shortcut because I was running late to school.  I kept my head below the windows and walked in the shadows that when I heard it.  It sounded like a belt being slapped on itself but duller, then came the awful gurgling. (Que the music change again: take away the flutes and a bass playing a low and repeating note, just one, sometimes it is held out, other times it is short) I looked towards the sound and saw his body swinging from the rafters.  I started screaming/I started to scream. 

Que music again: add in a symphony.

Parker was struggling.  He was stuck between life and death.  He was slowly dying in front of me and fighting with every ounce of strength he had left in him to reverse his previous action.  He now wanted to live.  I started screaming and his eyes flashed to mine.  He reached his left hand out to me.  I touched his hand and his finger nails scratched my skin, leaving small red marks.  I pulled my phone out and dialed 911.  I said nothing to the operator I just screamed. 

* * *

So I don’t officially have a song for this scene, for other scenes, yes, but that is further in the book, and they are not written yet and would give away too much. 

30 Seconds to Mars is another favorite of mine, and thank god I wasn’t driving, I had the BVB experience with them. A song of their newest album, Love Lust Faith + Dreams, made me freeze.  I saw a character rising from something, while another fell to their knees screaming.  Can’t tell you the song specifically, the scene, or the book, mostly because it will not be in the book.  This will be something that is a movie exclusive only once I’m published and have movie rights, so fingers crossed!

Peace, Love, and Inspiration

Keep writing and remember


Toni-Anne Lombardo

Listening to: “In the End”, Black Veil Brides, Wretched and Divine

Quotes: “Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't.” –Johnny Depp

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Where words fail, music speaks.” –Hans Christian Andersen

Friday, October 11, 2013

Forever Fredless by Suzy Turner

Forever Fredless by Suzy Turner

Kate Robinson has spent the past two decades yearning to find her soul mate, the boy she found and then lost during a family holiday.
Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?

Thank God for anti-perspirant, I thought as I sat on the couch and waited for the countdown to begin. I clutched at my hands until they were white and looked across at the two people sitting opposite, both completely at ease in front of the cameras.
Five, four, three, two, one...
'Welcome back to this morning's edition of Good Morning GB,' announced Ireland Rothschild, the blonde-haired, blue eyed darling of morning TV.
'I'm here with Fergus O'Reilly and we've a special guest with us this morning. None other than Britain's love-struck multi-millionaire, Kate Robinson.
Welcome, Kate,' she said with a dazzling smile aimed more towards the camera than at me.
As my cheeks began to heat up, I was so grateful to the make-up artist, who had insisted on caking on the foundation before the show had started. In fact, I had so much make-up on that I was hoping once I'd removed it, nobody would recognise me when I headed to the airport in my now rather stupidly chosen car. I couldn't exactly blend in driving a pink Mini could I?
'Good morning,' I whispered shyly.
Fergus grinned back at me, tilting his head as if he was about to speak to a child. 'Now, tell us, Kate dear, how does it feel to never have to worry about money ever again?' he asked, his toothpaste advert  teeth twinkling beneath the heat of the studio lights.
'Erm, well, I guess it's... erm, kind of... erm,' I felt so bloody stupid. Great time for my brain to stop working. 'I - erm. Great,' I nodded. 'Great, really great.' Idiot.
Ireland glanced across at her grey-haired colleague and pouted before nodding. 'Tell us how you knew this man. This,' she glanced down at the iPad on her lap and continued, 'Samuel?'
I cleared my throat and lifted my head, feeling like my brain was back in action. 'He was a very good friend of the family, some years ago,' I answered.
'Just a friend? Why did he leave you all his money and his property?' asked Fergus.
'He didn't have any family and I guess you could say that my mother and I were the closest he ever had to a family.'
'Isn't that lovely?' pouted Ireland. 'You certainly are a lucky woman. But what about your mother? Didn't she receive any of his inheritance?'
'No,' I said before swallowing hard. 'My mother lives a rather... nomadic lifestyle, in Africa. She doesn't want any of it. All she asked of me was to donate a sum to charity which, of course, I have done.'
'She lives in Africa? A nomadic lifestyle? That sounds intriguing. Perhaps we should interview her one of these days,' laughed Ireland and Fergus together.
'Have you splashed out on anything since receiving your inheritance back in June?' they asked, leaning forward eagerly awaiting my answer.
'Yes I have actually. I bought a car and a new house.'
'Well good for you, Kate. But now, most of us are curious about this boy you lost. Tell us about him?'
Oh no. Why did I agree to this?
Taking a deep breath, I knew I had no choice. Several articles had been printed since the one in Liberty; everyone wanted to know more and nobody was going to leave me alone until I told them everything.
'He was just a boy who I had a connection with when I was much, much younger. It was at Skegness. At an afternoon disco for kids. I was dancing and I felt someone touch my back and when I turned around there he was.  The most beautiful boy I'd ever seen,' I said, stopping and smiling as I reminisced. ‘It was one of the happiest memories of my life.'
Sighing, I continued, 'We just looked at each other and it was like everything else just disappeared into the background. We stood staring, for what seemed like ages. I could barely move. And then, almost as soon as it had begun, my dad appeared and took me away. I couldn't do anything as we walked to the car. I looked around for the boy but he was gone. And then, just as we were driving away, I turned around in my seat and there he was. He had a daffodil in his hand. I always assumed he'd gone to pick it for me, but that's just a childish fantasy, I guess. The whole thing is probably nothing but a childish fantasy, really.'
Ireland was very carefully dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, pretending to be moved, while Fergus smiled sadly.
'What a beautiful story, Kate. I don't believe for one second that this is a childish fantasy. It's romantic and beautiful,' Ireland said.
'Now, tell us, Kate. Why did you call him Fred?' asked Fergus.
Smiling, I explained about the Right Said Fred song, just as the music began in the background.
'What a wonderful tale. Thank you, Kate, for joining us today. It's been a pleasure having you with us to share your story,' said Fergus.
'Thank you,' I whispered before the camera moved back to Ireland as she straightened her skirt and looked alluring. 'Do you remember this moment in time?'
she asked. 'Are you the elusive Fred? We'd love to hear from you. You can contact us at...'
Before I could hear anything else, I was ushered off the couch and back behind the scenes where Jo stood, waiting patiently for me, with open arms.

(more coming soon)

Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor, features editor and magazine editor. Early in 2010 however, she began writing full time and has
since completed six books for young adults (the Raven Saga and The Morgan Sisters series) and one chick lit novel, Forever Fredless.
Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. The Algarve
continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 15 years, Michael, and their two neurotic dogs and a cat who thinks
she's a princess.

For more details about Suzy and her books, visit:
Chick Lit Blog:
YA Blog:
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