Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday with the Writers: Classic Inspiration for Scenes by Jennifer Rae Gravely

Hi guys!

It is Wednesday, so that means it's time with some of our writers. Jennifer Rae Gravely is here to talk about getting inspiration for your scenes from the classics. Not plaugerize of course... but get inspiration. We get inspiration from everything... why not the classics?

What is your favorite ways to get inspiration for your stories?



Here's Jennifer...

I love the classic poets and find that I use their works as inspiration for scenes in my stories. In Knight of the Dead I favored the romantic poet William Wordsworth and in Set to Love used his friend and fellow author of the Lyrical Ballads Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Since this is National Poetry Month, I thought I’d share with everyone. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite poet or poem.

From Knight of the Dead


After putting Rose to bed, Mark led Persephone to the porch swing on the back deck. Poetry raced through his mind at the perfection of the moment. They sat close, staring at the diamonds in the cloudless night sky with silence a friend. The voice of the English poet William Wordsworth as he gazed at nature’s beauty mimicked the peace in Mark’s soul with Persephone beside him. The Japanese red maple tree stretched dark shadows across the corner near the stairs, to “connect the landscape with the quiet of the sky.” Every night like this made sense, but the words to make it so still stuck in his throat.


When she touched his knee, a bolt of energy jolted him into action. He leaned in and kissed her. Electricity sizzled in the air.


“Say something sweet to me,” she whispered, pulling back slightly. She wore a thin, cream-colored sweater and black corduroys. The moonlight made her creamy complexion glow and her hair flame.


“Ice cream, cake, chocolate, cookies, gummy bears...” He grinned in anticipation of her smile at his clever word play.


She giggled, her voice like a song. “Not what I had in mind.”


“I’ll try again.” Mark inhaled her beauty. “Was your daddy a thief?” She shrugged, leaning away from him. “Because he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes.”


Persephone didn’t laugh, and her body tensed. Mark ran his hand through his hair. “Most girls fall for that one.” He searched her eyes for the answer to her sudden coldness. “But you’re not like most girls, are you?”


As she slowly shook her head, her hair brushed her shoulders. “I changed my mind.” She put her finger over her lips. “No more talking.”


Pulling her hand away, he brought it to his mouth. She shivered as his lips traced her arm, her shoulder, her neck.


He murmured, “’A sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean, and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man.’” His lips brushed hers.


“Oh, my!” She sighed. “That’s what I wanted.”


He slid his arms around the small of her back, pressing her shaking body against his. “Anything, and it’s yours.”


“More of these, please.” She pressed her lips against his. Her kisses haunted him like a passion.


The night was perfect.


From Set to Love

Guests lingered along the lantern lit pathways that stretched toward the orchards on the left and the forest of hardwood trees on the right. His heart swelled with poetry, reminding him of the words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his poem “The Eolian Harp,” ‘O! the one Life within us and abroad, Which meets all motion and becomes its soul…’ The path opened before them, displaying a world of Elfin delight beyond the twilight of the late summer’s eve. A formally attired band played, bookended by marble statues of the Greek twins Apollo and Artemis. Rosebushes dotted the perimeter of the pebbled paths, filling the air with the sweet scent of the season. The wooden platform ahead was empty, although couples sat at the small tables surrounding the sixteen by twenty-four foot dance floor.


“I’m not shy.” Grabbing his hand, she practically sprinted to the stage.


Blake followed her lead. She moved as gracefully as a nymph, and he marveled at his good fortune. The moon smiled down on them, and the stars winked, creating, ‘A light in sound, a sound-like power in light, Rhythm in all thought, and joyance everywhere—’

Knight of the Dead by Jennifer Gravely
You can get your copy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press or wherever ebooks are sold.

Set To Love by Jennifer Rae Gravely

Pick up your copy today from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press or wherever ebooks are sold.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

New Releases: "Pearl" and "Quilt"

Hi guys! We have two new releases for you guys this week! They are both fabulous and I hope you pick them up especially if you love sweet romances. (I'm sort of fangirling over Trevor from Pearl Valley! Read it and you'll understand... SWOON!)

Anyway, have a great weekend and check out the new books!


Anne Brown loves her job at The Stitching Post Quilt Shop in Grandville, Michigan, but she keeps a suitcase packed so she can leave at a moment's notice. Living under the radar, she longs for a normal life, but settles for listening to family stories told by the friendly ladies of the quilting club who meet at the shop on Tuesday evenings. When she meets Brad, the handsome band director of an area high school and his adorable daughter, Anne begins to hope for a happily ever after of her own. But someone has far different plans.

Brad Carmichael is juggling the demands of his job as band director at Rivertown High School with trying to be a better father to his daughter. When Brad is late picking Jennie up from a birthday party, the pretty young clerk from the local quilt shop comes to his rescue. Kind-hearted and talented, Anne becomes a vital part of his and Jennie’s lives. Until her past threatens to destroy their relationship.
A town plagued by mysterious fires, and two people struggling to find peace.

Trevor Jacobs, ex-navy seal, lost his leg during a military excursion. Not only is he hampered by physical limitations, but he has to suffer the pitying stares of strangers whenever he ventures into the public eye.

Janie Dossett lost her mother to a fire ten years ago, and her life changed forever. Now she shies away from the public, secluding herself in the only place she feels comfortable, her hometown.

When Trevor Jacobs shows up searching for Jane Dossett, Janie doesn’t readily reveal herself. Trevor is seeking something from her, something she doesn’t think she can give.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Release: 6:59

Hi guys! We have one book for you today, and it is a great one! What would happen if at 6:59 every day, the world went dark, and when you woke up the next morning, things were different-- and you had no idea what you did?

6:59 By Nonye and Kelechi Acholonu

6:51 p.m.
I close my AP Calculus book and place it into my black, Jansport book bag. I close my calculator and place that, too, carefully into the calculator slot. Inserting my pens and my pencils, I slide the silver zipper around my bag to close it.
6:54 p.m.
I’m in my bathroom. I stare at my face. My ocean blue eyes. My dirty blonde hair. My tan skin (acquired from this summer in Cabo, Mexico). I splash water on my face.
6:56 p.m.
My heart’s starting to beat faster. It always does at this time. I try to control my breathing as I continue to organize the already organized room. I feel my eyelids beginning to droop.
6:58 p.m.
My heart beat slows. I crawl into my bed and pull the covers tightly around me, caging my body so it couldn’t flee. I breathe out of my mouth as my lids droop down, down, down.
6:59 p.m.
Everything goes black.
Cameron is suffering from "schizophrenia"—or so they thought. By day he's a regular boy with good grades and many friends, but come 6:59 p.m., he becomes a whole different person: Cam. He's now a part of a group of powerful, supernatural human beings called the Gray Eyes, forced to do dangerous missions and answer to the king of all Gray Eyes. Fortunately, Cam can only make his appearance after 7:00 p.m. But, unfortunately, both sides of this one body have their friends, families and their love, Olive Ramos, completely confused. A confusion that could not only damage relationships, ruin lives, and drive others mad, but could also get them killed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday with the Writers: Meet Princess Morgane (by Elaine Cantrell)

I LOVE Character interviews. I've done a few myself. We ask actors about the characters they portray... why not authors? Here is Princess Morgane from Elaine Cantrell's THE ENCHANTED. ~Kelly

Character Name: Princess Morgane

Hero/Heroine/villain/secondary: Prince Alan (hero)


1.  Tell us a little about yourself. How did you come to your author’s attention? Occupation?

“I am the Princess Morgane, daughter of King Maccus, wife of Prince Alan who is heir to his father King Bowdyn. The entire kingdom celebrated my marriage to Prince Alan, so I suppose that is how she heard of me. My occupation? I am a princess.”

A tall, blonde warrior enters the chamber where the interview is taking place. He hears the last thing Princess Morgane says. “Do not forget, my princess, that I have seen you washing dishes. Mayhap you would enjoy that occupation.”

The princess laughs, her eyes gleam. “My husband jests, though I did indeed wash the dishes when we fought the terrible evil in King Osric’s realm.”

“Fought and prevailed in large part to you, my dear.”

The princess nods to the interviewer. “As you can see, Madame, my husband is a practiced flirt!”


2.  What or who is the greatest love of your life? Why? What drew you to them?

Princess Morgane reaches for Prince Alan’s hand. “Our love story did not begin the way most do. Our fathers arranged a marriage for the two of us even though we had never met. I did not expect to even like him, but I grew to love him almost immediately. How could I not? He is everything a man should be. He is kind, generous, clever, protective, …”

“Nay, my love. These are qualities that should apply to you. If I possess any virtue at all, it comes out of my love for you.”

The princess blushes and turns back to the interviewer.


3.  What’s your greatest fear?

Princess Morgane bites her lip. “I fear that one day I might lose the prince. We live in a dangerous world.”

Prince Alan scowls at the interviewer. “Think no more upon it, my princess. I will take very good care of myself.”


4.  What’s your motto in life?

“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam - I will either find a way or make one.”

The prince beams at her. “Well said, my princess. After our experiences I do not believe in the word impossible.”


5.  How do the other characters in your book view you?

Princess Morgane considers the question. “With no false modesty, I can say that I have found favor with my husband and his family. To this day I possess the red banner given to me by King Bowdyn in appreciation of my service to the kingdom.” Her eyes twinkle. “Perhaps I do not look like a warrior, but I am held in high regard by the army.”

Prince Alan laughs. “Indeed. Madame Interviewer, you should hear the warrior Renweard speak of her bravery when she confronted the false princess. Even now he brags of how she killed an enemy to save me. In truth she saved me twice, once in Pygeria, and once when the false princess held sway over the castle.”


6. What do you prefer? To spread & hear gossip, or be the creator of gossip fodder?

“Well, if one must choose, I suppose I would rather be the creator of gossip fodder. It is much more entertaining that way.”


7.  What is it about you that is going to draw us readers in?

Prince Alan clears his throat. “I will answer that one for you. She has the heart of a dragon and beauty beyond compare, but she is warm, nurturing, and loving toward all whom she meets.”

“Thank you, my prince.”


8.  What was your happiest moment?

She laughs. “Oh, that is easy. My happiest moment was when Prince Alan broke the evil spell upon Pygeria, thereby giving us the chance for a future together.”


9.  What trait in others do you find most deplorable?

“I abhor greediness which leads to all manner of deceit and unkindness.”


10. The random question: If you were a color, what color would you be and why?

“Yellow. To me, yellow is a joyous, happy color full of hope and sunshine. I have suffered much in my life, but thanks to my adventures with the prince my days are now filled with sunshine.” She stands. “Come. Let me show you the lovely painting the prince did for me. It too is filled with the sunshine.”

You can read all about Princeses Morgane in
The Enchanted by Elaine Cantrell
Available at AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, ASTRAEA PRESS or wherever ebooks are sold.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Release: "Overnight Invitation"

Hi Guys!

So we one release this week, Overnight Invitation by Jane Henry. I think you'll love it. Leave a comment below if you get it :) (Actually, leave a comment anyway. I love comments.)

Also, if you didn't see it, we started Wednesdays with the Writers on the blog. J. F. Jenkins shared a deleted scene from Vala. I love deleted scenes. I feel so... important. Like it is a secret society or something *shhhhhhhhhhhh* CLICK HERE to be in the know...

Anyway, I hope you have a GREAT weekend. Check out Overnight Invitation. And stay tuned for all the exciting things we have for you next week. See ya then!


Overnight Invitation By Jane Henry
Kate is finally realizing her dream of opening a Bed & Breakfast in the country. Just before opening weekend, while catering for a prestigious party in New York City, she makes a complete fool of herself in front of her best friend's brother, longtime crush, and Hollywood bigwig, Rick Salinger.

Her best friend has arranged for Rick to stay at Kate's during filming of his next movie to help publicize the new B&B. Sparks fly and passions ignite as Kate and Rick are forced to share a roof with one another – and his ex-girlfriend. The only thing that stands in the way of true love is a series of misunderstanding, lies, and meddling friends. What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday with the Writers: Deleted Wedding Scene from Vala: Agendas by J.F. Jenkins

Hi :) We are going to start something new on the blog. Every Wednesday, we are going to have something special from an AP writer! Today's post is from J.F. Jenkins. It is the wedding scene from way back...
Vala: Agendas by J.F. Jenkins


Nine hours later and it was finally time for them to rest.  Neither Anj nor Jewl would have ever guessed that a wedding would require so much time, work, and energy.  After all, the mechanics of it were all very simple: look nice, show up, say your vows, and then party.  That is what had happened, but of course there was always the Murphy’s Law factor to bring in as well.  There were issues with the clothes, and members of the wedding party had woken up on the wrong side of the bed that morning and decided to be particularly difficult, there were guests that caused emotions to run high, and there was the ever possibility that someone would show up that wasn’t supposed to be there.  Neither Anj, nor Jewl had invited their legal guardians.  Anj had decided to disown his mother.  Jewl was finally sticking it to her evil Aunt.  When it came time for the ceremony itself, the only snarl in the event was an unexpected stair that had caught Anj off guard.  He was saving his magic for the reception, as much as he wanted to use it to just stare at her all night, he knew he would need it more for then.  And of course, he spent more time dancing and visiting than eating, so he was incredibly hungry.  Not that he would have been able to eat if he had wanted to.  He was far too nervous for that.  Tonight was the night after all.  His night to finally be one with the woman that he loved more than anything.  His night to finally end three years of waiting, or even more accurately, a whole life time of waiting. 


The two had since changed out of their ceremony clothes.  Which was a shame in a way, because she looked absolutely gorgeous in her large and elaborate white dress.  She looked like a princess in so many ways, but much like he was uncomfortable in his tuxedo, he couldn’t imagine how she was feeling in her dress.  The only signs of her previous elegance that remained was that her hair was still done up in the same perfect pile of curls on top of her head with a few small jewels placed decoratively.  Otherwise, the two looked very plain in their jeans and t-shirt.


He grabbed the key to their hotel room for the night, a simple suite for them to rest in before they caught their flight the next day for their honeymoon, and unlocked the door before carefully maneuvering all of their luggage for the trip into the room.  He refused to let her do any work or lift a finger.


“I’m not helpless, I can-.”


“I obviously do not care,” he said quickly.  “Honestly, this is the kind of treatment I get for trying to be a gentleman?  I’ll remember in the future to not do anything nice or out of character that might make your life easier.”  He had to watch his mouth.  The last thing they needed was a fight.  They were both so drained that if that happened, there’d be a lot of unnecessary words thrown around and they’d end the night in the exact opposite kind of heat than he wanted it to end.  “Stay there.  I’m going to do this proper.”


“Proper?”  She asked confused, “What do you mean prop-.” But she never finished her thought as he whisked her up into his arms and carried her into the bedroom. 


“Aren’t I supposed to carry my bride over the threshold?”  He inquired before placing her onto the bed.  He leaned in and gave her a gentle kiss, “Now, I believe it’s time for what we’ve been waiting for all night.”


“I think so too,” she said in agreement.


He smirked down at her, “Lay back, relax, and tell me what kind of toppings you’d like on your pizza.”  He watched as she settled onto the bed and nodded at him.  He was far too hungry to even think of anything else.  He was still nervous, but his need for food was starting to impair his ability to function properly.  They had all night right?  “I personally am feeling in the mood for some pepperoni, but I’m very adaptable as well.”


“Hmm,” she thought for a moment before laughing, “I’m fine with that.” She yawned, he could hear it, and it was deep which meant she was very fatigued.  “I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t order anything too fancy since neither of us got to enjoy it really.”


“I guess so!”  The room was difficult for him to move through.  He didn’t have much magic left.  What little he had was giving him massive headaches to use.  He would need a good solid night’s rest in order to regenerate enough to use it even more minutely than he was already.  He didn’t want to disturb or rely on her however.  He wanted her to rest more.  He took a quick flash in of the room and found the telephone, quickly memorized the number for room service and placed their order.  Some how he had managed to make it back to the bed without any help or problems.  He was greatly impressed with himself.  Nervously, he reached his hand out to her and placed it on her arm, running his fingers up and down her skin ever so gently.  The thought of food being on the way was enough to keep his stomach at bay.  It was promised sustenance and was now willing to behave.


“Well,” he said quietly.  “The chef said it would take forty-five minutes to an hour to make.”


Jewl didn’t respond outside of a quiet mumbled as she leaned in towards him.  She mumbled something else, and it took him a moment to realize that she was talking in her sleep.  This meant that she was barely conscious and had some how managed to slip into a lightly slumber in the ten minutes that it took for him to make a phone call.  Very disappointing.


He let out a deep sigh and reached over for the television remote.  The last thing he wanted to do was wake her up.  She was obviously very tired if she was falling asleep quickly.  Jewl was never a light or fast sleeper.  Making sure to keep the volume low, he yawned and waited for their late dinner.  Maybe after that, after both of their more urgent needs were met…maybe they’d both feel ready….
Vala:Agendas is available at all ebook retailers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Astraea Press

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Releases: "Spark", "Starving" and "Safe"

Welcome Spring!! Here's to a much nicer spring that winter (unless you like snow ;) )

We have 3 new releases this week...

The Spark Of A Fuedling(Fate On Fire Prequel) By Wendy Knight
Hate can start a war, but a shattered heart can fuel it for centuries.

Everything Ada does is wrong. She’s the daughter of a Duke but she isn’t proper or formal. She prefers the company of her servants—particularly Christian, the boy she’s loved since she was six years old, and his sister, Charity, Ada’s very best friend in the entire world.

Ada isn’t just the daughter of a Duke. No, she’s the daughter of one of the most powerful Edren sorcerers alive, and no matter how strong she is, it isn’t strong enough. Ada will give up almost everything to earn her father’s pride.
Christian has loved Ada since the day his mother became her governess. But two societies are determined to keep them apart—the aristocracy who say a groom will never be good enough for a Duke’s beautiful daughter, and the sorcerers who say a Carules and an Edren can never be together. Christian will do anything to make Ada his—even drive himself to madness.

When Ada suspects her father of hurting Charity and Christian in his quest for knowledge, she is torn between loyalty to him, and a fierce determination to protect them. The division tears her soul and breaks her heart.
The pieces of her broken heart will start a war that can only be stopped by the death of the most powerful warrior alive by the hand of the boy who loves her.


**Bonus Story –Feudlings in Peace**Join Ari, Shane, Ada, Christian and everyone they love as they chase their happily ever after.
Starving For Love By Nicole Zoltack

Sirena never thought a trip to the surface would change her life forever until she meets Kristian. The sea might hold her body, but Kristian now holds her heart. Their love can never be, however, for she is a mermaid and he a human.

Rushing to steal some time with him, Sirena swims as if sharks are after her only to find Kristian's lifeless body in the sea. Heartbroken, she turns to a sea dragon witch. With the promise to bring Kristian back to life at the mere cost of Sirena's memories of him, the sea witch works her magic. Only, Sirena isn't specific enough with her request, and her love returns as a zombie who threatens the mortal world.

Longing to fill the emptiness inside, Sirena swims to the surface and discovers a distraught child crying about a monster eating his family. Appalled at the notion, she promises to slay the monster, not knowing she is seeking to destroy the man she loves.

Barnes and Noble
Astraea Press


Anything But Safe By Moira Keith


Wallace “Ace” McGregor ran off to chase the rodeo, but not before playing the knight in shining armor to his best friend Cheyenne Murphy after a tragic assault left her pregnant. With his latest injury leaving his chase for rodeo gold in the dust, he finds himself back home. Haunted by the past and trying to do what he thinks is right, he will have to mend his relationship with the best friend he all but abandoned in her time of need and the older brother he left holding the bag.

Cheyenne Murphy’s life hasn’t been easy. And with Wallace back on the ranch, keeping her feelings at bay is a challenge like no other. When Garth Sawyers, the man who left her broken and pregnant, re-surfaces and threatens to destroy the safety and family she’s found with the McGregor's by taking her son, she will do whatever necessary to ensure they are all safe, even if it means relying on the parents that disowned her.

When everything is on the line, will Wallace and Cheyenne come to realize that in life and love, they are anything but safe?

Barnes and Noble
Astraea Press