Nab Jami Gray’s SHADOW’S EDGE Free for a Limited Time! #freeread #uf #pnr

This fantastic paranormal action novel is quite possibly the best book I’ve read this year. I could not put it down, and had to exercise serious self-control to keep from staying up all night to finish it. – The Romance Reviews, 5/5 stars

“This book has everything in it, you have your Fey, Demons, Witches/Wizards, and Shifters. What more could you ask for?! Plus you have a great story to follow. The story and characters flowed so well together, it was like watching a movie in my head! Book 2 here I come!!” – Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock, 5/5 Fangs

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SHADOW’S EDGE: BOOK 1 OF THE KYN KRONICLES

Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…

When the supernatural lurks in the shadows of the mundane, hunting monsters requires unique skills, like those of Raine McCord. A series of deaths threatens to reveal the Kyn community and forces her to partner with the sexy Gavin Durand.

As the trail leads to the foundation haunting Raine’s childhood, she and Gavin must unravel lies and betrayals to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

Now available Free in eBook format at: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS / KOBO / SCRIBD

READ AN EXCERPT

Walking into the dim house, Raine braced for the usual smell accompanying a violent death. She knew that smell. It was distinctive. It reminded a person of raw meat and coppery blood. A scent warning you whatever you found, it wouldn’t be recognizable.

Coming down the short entryway, a few steps behind the two men, she realized there was no odor. No blood, no raw meat. She let out the breath she was holding. Only then picking up on the spine tingling traces of magic. It raised bumps along her skin as she drew closer to the front room.

Two agents passed her, heading out of the house, small evidence bags in their gloved hands. Osborn stopped just to the left of the front room’s entryway. Gavin came to a halt in the middle of the opening, blocking her view. Stepping around to his right she came to an abrupt stop, puzzled.

Bane Mayson was sprawled on the faded green couch under the picture window. At first glance the scene didn’t make sense. There were no visible wounds, no horrific mutilations, nothing to show how he died. Just the skitter of magic down her spine, making the deceptively calm scene in front of her much more ominous.

“Can you give a positive ID?” Osborn’s rough voice pulled her gaze back to him. He looked at Gavin who wasn’t answering. She tilted her head to find out why, and then realized Gavin was looking at her.

“What?” she asked.

“I’ve never met him,” he said blandly. “Just spoke to him on the phone.”

“Oh.” A little disconcerted, she turned back to the waiting agent. “Yes, that’s Bane Mayson.”

Now available Free in eBook format at: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS / KOBO / SCRIBD

If you want to play in the shadows, continue the adventure with Jami Gray’s Kyn Kronicles:

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Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.

Come stalk Jami at any of these fine locations:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Google+ / Amazon

 

Fur Ninjas of Destruction Strike Out #writerpets

Last week you met our newest additions, the Fur Minxes, Angel and Lola. They have acquired a new moniker: Fur Ninjas of Destruction. To date, the girls have decided their home and clan have been threatened by:

  1. Two stuffed ducks bent on world domination
  2. One outdoor lounger cushion contemplating overthrowing the government
  3. A nightstand lamp cord infiltrating the secured based
  4. Two dastardly, dangerous remote controls bent on taking over OUR MINDS….

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The girls are great protectors…in their own minds. We’ve also discovered that Lola (remember the sexy little black number?) is a massive love bug, to the point she doesn’t understand why, when you sit down, you don’t want her to join you. At fifty pounds at six months, this is not something I want to encourage considering where we’ll be in another six months. I’m not sure my lap can handle the pressure. Lola’s preferred sleeping position is on her back, legs in the air, much to the dismay of her sister, Angel.

Ahhh, Angel, another misnomer (again, stunning in white fur). This little bombshell can outrun a hummingbird on crack, plus we think she’s our instigator…maybe. She also watches TV. No, seriously, she WATCHES TV. There was this commercial with a cat walking along the screen, when it disappeared off the screen, Angel was off to hunt it down. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a while.

The Knight and I forgot what having a six-month old puppy was like, nevermind doubling it. However, we wouldn’t trade these two for anything. Now if I can survive the next six months, I might survive the girls’ idea of protection.

 

Welcome the Fur Minxes… #writerpets #DLRR

Those who’ve following along for a while now, know we lost our beloved Hellhound back in October when our lives jumped the track, then the shark, and the Grand Canyon (the month that shall forever remain nameless). The hole our fur rug left behind was HUGE, and for a long time I truely believed it wouldn’t ever be filled, nor did I want to try. (Stitchy’s first year-top, last ride 11 yrs. later-bottom)Stitchy 1

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Then, as life is wont to do, we got hit with some more changes, and I found myself home during the day again working on writing and editing, but something was missing. The silence, even with my music blaring, grated. Since I’m a glutton for punishment had some time on my hands was lonely, something had to change. After hours of discussion we (Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor, the Prankster Duo, and moi) decided since our Hellhound had such a big heart, we’d see if we couldn’t find two labs who might want to join us at the Shack. Decision made we started visiting Desert Labrador Retruever Rescue (DLRR), just to “see”. We attended a Sniff-n-Greet (it’s actually called Meet-n-Greet, but…) and started to get a bit excited about bringing in some new fur to the family.

We ended up with a three hour home visit, and the next day we were off doing some visiting of our own. We met a beautiful set of girls, but the fit just wasn’t there. Then, we were contacted about another sister set. Pictures were sent, hearts were captured, and three days later we brought the Fur Minxes home.

Since I have now evened the gender odds in my humble abode, I find that maybe I can handle girls, if they have paws and a tail. With that being said, may I introduce the Fur Minxes, Lola in a sexy little black number, and Angel in a stunning white fur…

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As you can see, I now have writing partners and so long as I don’t run over them with my chair, it’s all good!

Want To Make a Writer Snort Coffee? #humorouswritingquotes #humor #writing

I needed a lighter blog fare today, so I decided to share some funny (to me) writer tips, because we all need to laugh a bit!

Here we go:

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing. – Quentin Crisp

Revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done. – Stephen King

If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing. – Kingsley Amis

Writers don’t have lifestyles. They sit in little rooms and write. – Norman Mailer

If Moses were alive today he’d come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.
– Anonymous

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor. – Anonymous

Writing is a lonely job, unless you’re a drinker, in which case you always have a friend within reach. – Anonymous

The road to hell is paved with works-in-progess. – Philip Roth

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. – E.L. Doctorow

A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. – Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanish

Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. – Terri Guillemets

A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

Unlocking the Mystery of Your Readers #readers #writers #stories #MythicCafe

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In case you’re wondering, I do actually read other blog posts, often. As a matter of fact, for the second week I’m going to send you off to see the full article here (Mythic Scribes, Understanding How Readers Read by Nils Ödlund) before we begin.

I love Mythic Scribes, they have a great collection of posts, and this one by Nils discussed why he only lends half an ear to writing rules as a newbie writer, and then an ear and a half to his readers.

He makes a clear distinction on writing rules:

“The rules of writing tell me how I should write, but they don’t really tell me why. That’s something I have to figure out on my own.”

And what he can learn from readers:

“I think – and this is just a hunch – that understanding how readers read can take my writing a lot further than any rules for how I ought to write. When I understand how words and sentences turns into images and emotions and stories I can take that into account and I believe my writing will be better for it.”

I like my writing rules as much as the next writer, but it’s impressive that Nils nailed this particular point early on in his writing.

Writers are generally avid readers, which may explain our instinctive ability to grasp what makes a story, well, a story. Since this is my blog and I haven’t conducted any scientific polls on this, I can only offer my personal opinion here. It may not fit all, but I’m willing to bet most writers will get it.

Because I devour books faster than chocolate (quite a feat!), I know what keeps my attention riveted on turning the next page until the wee hours of the morning. When I write, I try to recreate that same level of sorcery fascination in my stories. I have been (lovingly) accused by my writering partners of not giving my readers or my characters a chance to catch their breath. My characters tend to run from one big “oh shit!” moment to the next, barely taking the time to bend over, hands on hips and choked a few lungfuls of air down, before dashing over to the next catastrophe.

While this hits the writing rule of making sure every chapter, every scene moves your story forward, it also keeps my readers, reading.  Because my readers love fast paced, action packed, tension mounting stories, where there’s no time to second guess your the characters’ actions before you they are faced with the next situation.

Knowing what our readers enjoy, it helps us craft our stories. When I read, I want to be able to put my face on the main character, feel my pulse race with the MC’s, my heart break with the MC’s, and I want to triumph with the MC.

As a writer, to share this magic with my readers brings me joy and helps me sit down for another round with the keyboard.

Who Are You Racing Against? #writercompetition #writinglife #rachelleayala

Back on March 22nd, I read a blog post by author Rachelle Ayala,(click here for post) regarding what she learned after four years of being a self published writer. It’s a great article, so I nudge you to go read it.

She hits four basic points about being a writer, traditional or indie, and the one that hit home for me was point four, “You Can’t Keep Up with the Jones.”

I have been heard to say I’m not competitive. Of course, it’s hard to hear me over my Knight’s strangely re-occuring coughing fits, but I’ll share a little secret with you.  I am competitive. Not in many areas, but when it comes to my writing, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Now, I don’t go out and challenge authors to a duel or anything, instead I find myself talking to my writer-self. “Two books a year? You’re falling behind, girl.  What are you doing taking a shower? Get yo’ ass in a chair and start another book. You want to make it, you’re going to give me three books a year. Do you hear me?” (Yep, I’ve morphed into a screaming drill sergeant during this rant).

So, imagine how grateful I was when Rachelle said in her post,

“Even if you are one of the superstars of 2014, you are one book away from oblivion. Yes. That’s true, IF you are comparing yourself to others. There’s always going to be that book about space vampires steampunk BDSM billionaires that’s going to surprise the world and blow up your carefully crafted series with the bazillion brothers, sisters, cousins, and the entire state of Virginia family saga for the #1 position. It came from nowhere! And you, my goodness, you slaved and slaved for twenty hours a day, you wrote your fingers to the bone, and you can barely open your eyes and drag yourself to your laptop one minute longer, and blammo. That book beat yours! You’ve lost the brass ring, the lucky charm, the golden crown. You’re a HAS-BEEN!!! Ahhhh… kill me now!”

Because, sometimes you need to hear the truth. You really are one book away from oblivion. Doesn’t matter where you rank today, you have to keep writing, at your own pace, because true craft takes full fledged committment, not a teeth-gritting “I’m going to win” attitude.

It gets better. TOUCHED BY FATE, the second book in the PSY-IV Teams, is now in my brillant editor’s hands, and my type-A personality means I am now scheduled to start the next Kyn book in May. Maybe. Because, like every writer, I am afflicted with new ideas, ideas I want to explore. Unfortunately my “scheduled” writing makes me worry about taking that time to follow through.

Sigh. You’d think I’d have learned by now, but no, because I’m ON. A. SCHEDULE.

But…there’s this idea digging in, and it’s not letting go. It’s a story, and the only weapons I have as a writer are stories, my stories.

My schedule may have to be adjusted.

I leave you with another of Rachelle’s pearls of wisdom:

“What writer doesn’t want to be read? Everyone wants recognition or a pat on the back or even someone to scream, “I hated your characters. Kill them off.” Who wants to yell into a vacuum? I mean, if a book is unread, does it mean it doesn’t exist? So do what you have to get discovered. Write lots of books, hang out, socialize, and take feedback. Then let it go. You can only affect how well you can be discovered, not whether you’ll be read.

*raising a mug of coffee* Here, here, Rachelle.

*Rachelle Ayala’s post can be found here: http://www.rachelleayala.com/2015/03/what-i-learned-after-four-years-of.html

Releasing the Saftey Line #writerlife #misconceptions

Right vs Wrong Way - Two-Way Street Sign

*Deep breath, brushing nervous hands over jeans* I don’t normally make a deliberate decision to step into hot topics. Like many, I was warned to avoid topics of politics, religion, and sex if I wanted to escape social interactions unscathed. Being fairly open-minded, I tend to keep my opinions on heavily discussed topics (of which I have many), to myself. So far I’ve done pretty good. Today, I’m going to skirt that edge because there is a misconception out there which has found a way to burrow under my mental skin, causing cuts of self-doubt.

Insecurity exists in each of us, there is no way to avoid it. It helps drive us up and over hurdles plunked in front of us by a merciless hand of Fate. It’s the crux of determination, without it you wouldn’t push yourself to accomplish what others tell you can’t be done.

I am not exempt. At all.

I’ve been seeing a huge discussion rise about writers, specifically women writers, following a “hobby” with their chosen career path, because their big, manly husbands are carrying their family’s financial security.

*honestly stunned* What the hell, peeps?

Not the manly husband aspect (mine fits), but carrying our families’ financial security because “we want to indulge in a hobby”? Are they really that uninformed? Granted, the biggest crock came out of a mouth use to causing issues, but much like when you’re on a diet and suddenly everyone’s eating chocolate, the echoes of this nonsense kept getting my attention.

Writing is not easy.  It is not a hobby. It is a CAREER. It is WORK. Writers–female or male–don’t make writing their career lightly. They’re the brave ones, the ones to be lauded for their courage. Even their families deserve a round of applause. It’s just as hard to give the one you love a chance to rise or fall on their own, while your family is buckled in for the ride.

I’ve spent the last twenty plus years in the corporate hamster wheel, where 60-70 hour weeks were the norm, office politics were trickier than a seeded minefield, and game playing was a necessary survival skill. While I danced my way through, I decided to replenish my soul with something that was solely mine, my writing. In 2011 I published my first novel, and by the end of this year I’m hoping to have my sixth out. By no means has my writing come close to replacing my “professional” job, but the dream existed. However, so long as I had the security of being able to be an equal partner with my Knight in our family finances, I wasn’t inclined to give up the “professional” aspect.

Until I was politely laid-off  after 18 years of service, and came to the realization I no longer wanted to put that much effort into something or someone who could give a crap less.

My Knight, being the manly man he is, sat down with me and we began to talk. We discussed our finances, our family, our boys, our goals, and then my brilliant beloved said, “We have a little bit of breathing room. What do you want to do that will make you happy?”

I opened my mouth to answer, “Write”, only to close it. I was already writing, being laid-off wouldn’t change that, and like most writers, I know that sales don’t magically appear on your doorstep with an oversized check. Writing is work, but the rewards take time–marathon vs. sprint, peeps.

Which meant I needed something else, another avenue to generate an income. Not equal to what I was making, but enough to live. So, I turned to a lifelong passion I’d just begun to indulge in–editing. Freelance editing, to be exact. Discussions abounded, a partnership struck, a business plan developed, a marketing strategy set in place, and I unhooked the safety line of a guaranteed paycheck and leapt into the wild unknown.

Am I scared? Oh, hell yeah, I’m shaking in my damn shoes. Success, or failure, is all on me, no big bad to point fingers at later, just little ol’ me.

Not to say I’m putting all my eggs in one basket, I have a deadline for determining if this will work or not. In the meantime, I’m passing around my “professional” resume.

Am I relying on my husband’s financial contributions for our family? No more than I was when I had a scheduled paycheck coming in, but we both know the ROI (return on investment) won’t show for the next few months.

Doesn’t mean in the darkest hours of night, while I’m staring at the shadow covered ceiling unable to sleep, I’m doubting myself and my choices. I’m haunted by the nasty voice of my insecurities who mutter, “Do you have the right to take this risk?” or even worse, “You think this is a job? You’ve been writing for years, look how much that’s gotten you. What makes this different?”

As they laughingly circle, there’s a kernel of furious determination fighting back.

Yeah, I do deserve the chance to find out if I can do it on my own. If I’m going to put 70 plus hours in a week, it’ll be because it’s for me, my company. You try to tell me something can’t be done (You’ll never get published–You’re too old to be adopted–Odds are against you having a normal, loving relationship–You can’t start a successful business after forty), and I’m going to shove your ass into a chair and say, “Watch me.”

 

 

DESTINY MINE’s Nana Prah Asks, How Hot Do You Like Your Scenes? #DestinyMineBookTour #multiculturalrom #romance

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The beautiful and talented, Nana Prah is here today, and she has her latest romance release in her Destiny Series, DESTINY MINE, in tow. Now, I don’t gush (much) about my friends, but she is one of mine that I love to help support (and not just because she makes me blush about my own works). Nana’s writing will keep you hooked from the get go. Although she’s setting her baby (DESTINY MINE) lose upon the world, she’s asking an important question many writers (myself included) wonder about:  How hot do you need your romance? 

Before I turn it over to Nana, I must share the intriguing, DESTINY MINE:

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Extraordinary midwife, Esi Darfour, is looking to get married.  She’s a master matchmaker but has no luck when it comes to her love life and has yet to find a man worthy of her. Until she has to deal with gorgeous Dr. Adam Quarshie outside of work.

Adam is a player who refuses to get married—ever. His interest lies more in getting her into bed than in having any kind of committed relationship. Esi’s matchmaker instincts warn her to run in the other direction as quickly as possible, but her heart insists she stay…get closer…and see if what they feel for each other can change his mind.

I know that I’m supposed to be bragging all about myself and my latest book, Destiny Mine, but I have to let you all know just how much I LOVE Jami’s work. I’m addicted to her Kyn Kronicles. I pretty much harass her for the next story once I’ve read the previous one. She can’t write them fast enough for me.

The last time I was on Jami’s blog I did an interview so I thought I’d change it up a bit and write a post sharing my experience with writing a sex scene.

My latest release, Destiny Mine has a sex scene in it. My first three published novels were sweet. There’s only one reason why I decided to open the door.

My characters were gagging for it.

First of all Adam is a man who’s had a lot of sex in his life. A lot. A man whore who gives it away for free (I love him, but I have to be honest). A blazingly handsome man who exudes charm and a bit (okay a lot) of arrogance. And yet he has this soft spot in his personality that will make your heart melt.

Esi is a spitfire. She’s passionate about life, not only hers, but the ones she escorts safely into the world as a midwife. She lives life with gusto because she knows how fleeting it is.

So what happens when you put a spunky intelligent woman with a hot sex loving guy? Yup. The answer is full on intercourse. It wasn’t as difficult to write as I thought it might be. My intention was to make it different, and that occurred naturally because of the personalities of the characters.Nana's

Will I write another book with sex in it? Let’s just say that writing a sex scene is like eating a potato chip. You can’t write just one.

Do you prefer a romance with or without sex scenes?

Don’t forget to take part in my Rafflecopter Giveaway, where you could win a $20 Smashword or All Romance eBooks gift card!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know you want to find out what happens next, so please click any of the following links for your copy:

AMAZON     Barnes&Noble    All Romance eBooks (ARe)   iBooks    Smashwords

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

If you want to connect, reach out to Nana…

Blog : www.nanaprah.blogspot.com           Twitter: @NanaPrah

Facebook: Nana Prah, Author                      Goodreads: Nana Prah

Google + :  Nana Prah

Need an Editor? Need Two? Check Out Wicked Dragon Solutions #editing #editors #WickedDragon

If you’ve been following me for the last month, you’ll remember how my corporate road came to an abrupt end last month. While it may not sound like something to celebrate, it did provide me an opportunity to strike on and blaze my own professional trail. I’m not one to sit around, so I partnered up with my co-conspirator, Amber Kallyn, and we began planning our latest adventure.

On April 1st (no, not an April Fool’s joke), we will be opening our virtual doors to our writer friends and ushering them inside Wicked Dragon Writer Solutions, where you can get two editing beasts for one smoking price! 
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Between Amber and I, we have 13 hard-won years of word crafting experience, not just in published work, but in editing for other authors. While we’ve been doing this without gathering our fees, we decided it was time to put our pens to work for us. We know how vital editors are to Creators of the Written Word, and what’s better than one editor? How about two editors putting their eyes to the jewlers loop to examine your precious treasure, and you’ll only be out the gold for the price of one. Think of it as an Editorial BOGO (buy-one-get-one-free).

Feel free to come on over and check us over at Wicked Dragon Writer Solutions (www.wickeddragonsolutions.com)! Doors officially open April 1st, but if you’re anxious to start your epic journey, feel free to reach out to wickeddragonsolutions@gmail.com and we’ll get you set for your editing adventure.

 

What’s your Pink Elephant? #writing #writingtells

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Are you scratching your head yet? Good. In a recent discuss with my fellow writing geeks, it was brought to my attention that I have a unique tell in my writing. If I submitted a story, so long as this was part of it, they would go, “Ah-ha! This is Jami’s piece.”  Further ribbing discussion revealed I wasn’t the only one with this little habit. Oh no, we managed to pinpoint a unique fingerprint in each story. I have decided to name this phenomena, the Pink Elephant.

The Pink Elephant can be a person, place or thing, or even phrase. (Yes, I realize this is not a game of Charades). Mine can be traced back to my obsession with HGTV and the Property Brothers. You see, in every book, someone, somewhere owns a *drumroll please* Flat screen TV. Not some measly little thirty two inch either. Oh no, we go for the gusto. It’s always a “large” flat screen TV. Because being able to see the on screen action from any room is a must.

When this was first pointed out, I came back with, “No I don’t.” because my inner five year old just couldn’t believe it. Sure enough, it was proven time and time again. And because the competitive curious spirit moved me, I  discovered my fellow word slinger tended to express his love of all things related to the big, shiny, red apple, in his stories by peppering  i this and i that with flagrant abandon.

Hmmm, coincidence? Perhaps but let’s move on to our next contestant…why lookie here, her love of all things plush has created Pink Elephants of overstuffed couches. No room is complete without the luxury of being able to sink into a couch cushion. Her characters tooshies must be supported by many layers of fluffiness. Uh…

And our find contender, what was her Pink Elephant? It wasn’t hard to identify, not at all. Right before her heroine headed off to face down the big baddies of the world, she’d ensure to fuel up first with a nice homemade meal. Feeling a little discouraged you couldn’t fight off that soul sucking demon without losing a sidekick? Have a nice cupcake, it’ll make you feel better. Still hungry? There’s a nice hand tossed salad in the fridge, help yourself while I get rid of this pesky ghost.

Now that you, too, can identify Pink Elephants, what’s yours?