Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Contest or Not to Contest

Have you ever done something you weren't sure you should? Okay, hit the pause button. That's a bit of a dumb question, because...well, I imagine everyone has leapt into a situation then said, "Oh, crap. What did I just do?" But whatever. Let's just go with it for a minute and ignore the blantant duh factor. Why? I did something a while back that I wasn't convinced I should do.

"Go on," my friend said.

"Oh, I dunno," I replied, uncertain, a little queasy at the thought.

She huffed. "Stop being such a pansy, for heaven's sake, and take a chance!"

All right, friend doesn't mince words. Or have any patience for vacilators. Normally, I'm the same, but when it came to entering Fury of Fire (my debut novel) in a published authors contest, I have to say, my courage departed for places unknown.

Why? It's hard to say. Perhaps because there are so many talented authors out there writing fabulous stories. Maybe I contracted the bock-bock gene somewhere along the way. All I know is she suggested. I cringed. She shoved, and I folded like a dirty shirt, threw my hands in the air and said "All right!" just to shut her up.

Well as it turns out, she was right. I was...ahem...wrong. And boy, am I ever glad that I was, and that my friend bullied me into taking the leap of faith. She is clearly a much wiser person than I, because...

Fury of Fire (A Dragonfury Novel, book 1) is a double nominee in the NJRW 2012 Golden Leaf contest in the Best Paranormal and Best First Book categories. So completely fabulous! The winners will be announced at the Put Your Heart in a Book Conference on October 12th, and I couldn't be more excited to be counted among such wonderful finalists.

I guess that just goes to show when you take a chance and put yourself out there, good things happen. Clearly, I owe my friend a nice bottle of wine. Oh, and maybe a box of fancy truffles too (which, of course, I will help her eat. Fair's fair, after all).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Video Interview

At the BEA in June, I had the privilege of sitting down with Morgan Doremus with RT Book Reviews to talk about my Dragonfury Novels. I also got to dish about FURY OF SEDUCTION, the third installemnt in the series due out on November 13th, 2012.

 Here's a sneak peek about what's coming next:


I had such a great time chatting with Morgan! And can't wait to share more Dragonfury Novels with you! FURY OF DESIRE (Dragonfury Novel #4) will be out sometime next spring (2013). When I have a cover and a solid release date, I will let you know!

 Thanks for stopping by to check out the interview!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Interview with a Dragon-Shifter

It’s nearly midnight when I reach the antique bookshop where I’m meeting Bastian, commander of the Nightfury dragons. There aren’t any lights on inside, and as I cup my hands to peer through the window an October breeze teases the underbelly of the tattered awning above my head. I glance up. Yup, I’m at the right place. The signage above the wide blue door reads, Periwinkles: a Treasure Trove for the Distinguished Mind. Which is funny because Bastian doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who hangs out at bookstores, never mind one called “Periwinkles”.

But a deal’s a deal, and I’m holding up my end by showing up tonight. On a dead-end street. In the middle of the night. Without back-up.

I know what you’re thinking, but I haven’t lost my mind. Far from it. I’ve been waiting for this meet and greet—been pestering Bastian about it—for a while. But as I knock on the door, I’m having second thoughts. Maybe agreeing to meet him in a less than public place isn’t the smartest move.

I raise my hand and knock anyway.

The door swings inward. Eerie, especially considering there is an empty spot on the other side where a person should be standing. As the old fashioned doorbell tinkles, I get a case of the chills, but cross the threshold. I’m a writer on the trail of a story. No way I’m backing down now.

The door clicks closed behind me, cutting off the soft glow of streetlights. I strain to see in the gloom, searching for the subject of my interview.  A second or two passes before I give up and call out, “Hello?”

“Back here.” The voice is low and deep, rumbling on the scent of musty paper as it drifts between tall bookcases packed to the gills with leather bound books.

Putting my feet in gear, I move past the checkout counter toward the back of the store. As I round the last shelf an overhead light flares, and I get a snapshot of an open area with leather club chairs. A second later, I see Bastian. The instant I do, I’m back to wondering what possessed me to come alone. Cuz, man, he’s enormous, and so flipping hot he oozes sex appeal. . .six and a half-feet of streamlined aggression and hardcore muscle. Dark hair cut military short, he’s handsome without being pretty. Lethal appeal tempered by grace, and 100 percent deadly when he chooses.

Decked out in leather, he’s slouched in one of the chairs, head resting comfortably on the backrest, army boots planted on the coffee table. His shimmering green eyes narrow on me. I get tonguetied. He raises a dark brow.

Bastian:         You wanted the meet and greet, kazmea. You gonna 
                         waste my time, or are you gonna talk?

C.C.:              Sure. (clearing my throat). Right. First things first, then. 
                        Thanks for meeting me.

Bastian:         (he shrugs) You’re a pain in the ass, female. Figured the
                         best way to get you off my case was to agree to meet you.

C.C.:              (Some of my tension eases. He’s just paid me a huge 
                        compliment. Tenaciousness, after all, is a valued trait 
                        among Dragonkind warriors. His eyes spark with 
                        amusement. A good sign, an amused dragon-shifter
                        is better than a pissed off one. I take a seat opposite
                        him in a matching chair.) So, how’s it going?
                        Everything all right?

Bastian:         I’m up to my eyeballs in crap. . .like always. Every night 
                         has FUBARed written all over it.

C.C.:                I heard about the trouble. How’s Myst doing?

Bastian:        Good. Adjusting. My mate is resilient. . .thank God.
                         (silence descends as we both think about how badly Myst 
                         could’ve been hurt if Bastian hadn’t pulled her away
                         from enemy claws in time.) The Razorbacks didn’t do
                         any lasting harm. But another female’s missing. Not
                         good news. Rikar’s on search and rescue, but so 
                         far. . .nada. Which means, I gotta go.

C.C.:              So soon? (I try not to sound disappointed, but fail
                        miserably.) Just a few more questions?

Bastian:         A word to the wise, kazmea. We do this when and
                         where I say. My way, not yours.

C.C.:                Another time, then?

Bastian:         (his lips twitch) Yeah. I’ll even give you the green light
                         with the others.

C.C.:              Really? (I try to be cool about the offer, but honestly?
                        I’m dying to meet the other Nightfury warriors too).

Bastian:        (laughs and gets to his feet) Up to them, and only if 
                        they want to.

C.C.:                Kill joy.

Bastian:          Pest.

It’s my turn to laugh. He grins and heads for the back of the store, toward the red glow of the exit sign. As he reaches the reinforced steel door, Bastian glances over his shoulder and tips his chin in my direction.

Bastian:          You’re all right, you know that?

C.C.:                 I try.

Bastian:         (shakes his head) Don’t worry about locking 
                         up, kazmea. Be safe getting home.

I nod, and then he’s gone, leaving me to wonder when I’ll see him next. Soon, I hope. I have so many questions. Chief among them? What the heck does kazmea mean?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Top 5 Attributes Every Sexy Dragon-Shifter Should Have

This post first appeared on the Omnivoracious Book Blog a month ago. But I thought it was so much fun, I decided to share it here on my own blog.

The topic is near and dear to my heart. It's all about the Nightfurys, a sexy group of kick-ass dragon warriors who never say quit. So without further ado, here it is:

Fury of Fire is the debut novel in my Dragonfury series. Think urban fantasy romance with a kick. Start with a pack of dragon shape-shifters, toss in a whole lot of action and fantasy, then cap it off with a steamy romance. Shake. Stir. Find a fancy glass and sit down to enjoy, because the Nightfury warriors will take you for a ride.

Half human, half dragon, and able to change form at will, these guys are a hard-core military unit. At war with a rogue faction of Dragonkind, the Nightfurys are incredibly secretive about their species. They need to be, to remain hidden from humans. Honestly, it was like pulling teeth to get an interview with one of them. But after some serious cajoling, Bastian, commander of the Nightfurys, agreed to give me his take on the five key qualities dragon shape-shifters need to survive. Thank goodness. There’s only so much begging a girl can do!

Top 5 Attributes Every Dragon Shape-Shifter Should Have

1. A wicked amount of lethal. ('Cause you never know when you might need to pull some kick-ass out of your bag of tricks.)

2. Razor-sharp intelligence. (Not only to make quick decisions on the fly, but to catch your brothers in arms cheating at the weekly poker game.)

3. A well-developed sense of humor. (If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you can’t laugh at your fellow warriors. And what fun is that?)

4. Charm. (Why? To score with the females, of course.)

5. Loyalty and honor. (All right, so I’m cheating here. But these two things are considered one and the same in Dragonkind circles, because no warrior ever gets left behind.)

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the top 5 as much as I did coming up with them!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dragon Sighting in Seattle

Extra, extra! Read all about it! Late breaking news. . .

Dragon sighting in Seattle.

Click on the link to read the article written by a dedicated reporter for the Seattle Firebrand who took her life in her hands to break the story.

I hope you get as much out of the exposé as I did.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy St-Valentine's Day!

Surprises are one of my favorite things. And this morning, I got a doozie. My husband--thoughtful man that he is!--decorated the kitchen in St-Valentine's Day splendor before he took off for work.

Banners and ribbons and cards now decorate one corner of my little world.

Funny thing, though. It's doesn't seem quite so small this morning. In fact, it felt pretty darned huge as I stumbled into my kitchen looking for my coffee pot and walked into a celebration instead. It made me smile. It lightened my heart. It made me stop in my tracks and appreciate the little things that my husband does for me every day. Because let's face it, having a day to celebrate your love for another is great, but it's more important to love and appreciate them on a regular basis. Not just one day a year.

Sometimes that's hard. Escpecially when your significant other does something that makes you want to pull your hair out. Or kick something. But at those times--because invariably they will come--I try to remember that I do things that drive him crazy too. It's all about give and take, isn't it?

And thank God for that. If we were perfect, after all, life would be pretty darned boring.

What are you doing to celebrate the person you love today?

Monday, February 6, 2012

An Exciting Day

The old adage. . .time flies when you're having fun. . .truly fits today. Time has flown while I've been busy writing. And now, the day has finally arrived! My debut novel in the Dragonfury series, FURY OF FIRE, hits cyberspace and book shelves today.

Very exciting! And, to be honest, a little nerve-wracking as I embark on a new adventure as a published author. But beyond the butterflies in the pit of my stomach, I'm thrilled to introduce you to the half-dragon, half-human warriors portrayed in the book. I hope you enjoy the crazy bunch as much I do writing them.

I have some cool stuff happening over the next couple of weeks (guest blogs, contests, giveaways), so I'll keep you updated both here and on my website
( I've provided a few links below, so please hop on over and join the fun.

The Kindle Blog (February 7)
The Omnivoracious Book Blog (date coming soon)
Hannah Howell's Blog (on February 15th)
A Bookworm's Haven (date coming soon)

I hope you enjoy FURY OF FIRE. And if you have a minute, drop me a line. I'd love hear from you!

All the best,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Crush

We're in for a spectacular winter storm. The first half came yesterday. The rest? Yup, it's on the way today, and man, I love it.

All right. I can see everyone raising their brows and throwing a load of What the heck? in my direction. But since there's no way around it, I'll just admit it.

And snow. And ice. And the fresh, clean chill of single digits on the thermometer. So, just get it over with and call me crazy (pause here so you can get all head shaking and murmurs of "oh, you poor, poor thing" out of your systems). Feel better now?

Well, all right, then. We're good to go.

My love of winter is more than just about alpine skiing, cool snow gear, and the dip in temperature. It would have to be. Otherwise, I would accept the title of Nutbar gracefully, without so much as a twitch of complaint. So, what's all this craziness about then?

For me, it's about renewal. And play. The ability to start with a clean slate and make something better or different or fun out of it. So yeah, when the snowflakes fall and a blanket of white covers everything, I'm reminded that each day starts fresh, without blemish or fault. That it brings with it its own gifts, and that it's up to each one of us to forget about yesterday and see the beauty and promise in today. Instead of seeing snow, I see the opportunity to make snowangels. Or build a snow fort. The forerunner in the Iditarod with my dog sled team? A sculpter for one of those cool Ice Hotels?

No problem. I'm all over that.

Whatever. It doesn't matter what you imagine, but it's important that you do. . .IMAGINE, DREAM, ESCAPE into a world of your own making. It's part of having fun. Of leaving the every day stressers behind--a super busy schedule, deadlines. . .whatever it means for you--putting it on the back burner if only for a little while to reconnect your with inner child. The one who just wants to play.

You want a stress buster? A healthy New Years resolution? There it is. As simple as that. . .take time to play. Explore. Hold onto yourself--the core of what makes you YOU, and no one else can touch.

Easier said than done, I know. For me, it's about slowing down long enough to play in the snow. What is it about for you?