Tag Archives: novel

Goodreads Contest – Enter to WIN!

Both Books

I just put together a Goodreads contest! The lucky winner will get a signed copy of Deceived, Soul Keeper I and Destroyed, Soul Keeper II! Follow the link below and put your name in the hat. I’ll be sending the two signed books to one lucky winner just in time for Christmas!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/114890?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget

Thanks!!!

L.

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Cover Reveal: Uncross the Stars

Uncross the Stars cover reveal

Uncross the Stars by Janell Rhiannon
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

designed by Mae I Design]

Fiona Lavender is the new girl at school. She has a chip on her shoulder and a pension for poetry. Dario Martinez is the star quarterback, and the most unattainable guy on campus. Their stars cross when they are paired to study Romeo and Juliet for a senior English project. Their connection is fragile and undeniable. But, Dario is afraid of what love will do; and Fiona is waiting for love to claim her.

Will they uncross the stars and find the love they both need to heal their pasts?

 
Janell
Janell has been writing since she was in grade school. In high school, her 9th grade English teacher suggested she consider a career in writing. After a decade in college and a Master’s degree in history, she settled into teaching.

Writing never stopped. Stories never stopped. READING fiction never stopped. Now, she writes and publishes on-line. Invisible Wings is her first YA novel, a compilation of short stories centered on teenage life triumphs and tragedies. She believes being a teenager is difficult and wrote Invisible Wings to let teens know they aren’t alone. That they matter. That even though life is rough, they can still find beauty and love.

Beside the YA stories close to her heart, she adores Mythology and Fairy tales. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles.

She currently lives in CA.

Visit her at Facebook @Janell Rhiannon Author. If you want to see what projects are in the works or find out more about the her, visit

Author links:

Author Spotlight Interview: Helen Treharne

Helen

Helen Treharne, Author

Please enjoy the author spotlight interview before. My friend Helen Treharne, author of Relative Strangers agreed to answer a few questions about herself and give us a little insight into her world!

About Helen: After a successful career in business and career coaching, Helen Treharne returned to South Wales in 2010 to focus on writing, among other things.

Relative Strangers, a modern vampire story featuring an increasingly feisty Sophie Morgan, hits digital bookshelves in 2014. In addition to being the creator of the “Sophie Morgan” series, she is an urban poet and social commentator who can frequently be found ranting in the Twitterverse. She knew the degree in Sociology would come in useful some day!

Helen lives with her husband, three cats, an entrenched tea addiction and an increasing collection of stringed instruments. She can’t be trusted near stationary and is often found watching horror films on a Sunday afternoon.

I love the title of your blog and your affinity for tea. Tell me when that started and how you grew to integrate this warm beverage in your everyday life?

It would be fair to say that my relationship to tea is nothing short of an addiction – there’s nothing quite as calming as the ritual of making tea, particularly when you need to clear you head. It creates a stillness which is very often missing from my life – I’m usually racing through everything at a hundred miles an hour.  Going out for Afternoon Tea is something that you can share with everyone – it brings people together. Nobody gets into a fist fight or vomits over their shoes after a decent mug of tea – well, not on my watch.

When did you start putting pen to paper and realize that you had a story to share?

I remember short stories about an orphan called Annabella , when I was around six, who was the ward of a rich uncle and had lots of adventures. I wanted to grow up to be a writer, but life got in the way and academic studies and a “proper job” took over. It wasn’t until my mid thirties that I rediscovered the joy of writing for pleasure – before then I’d only been writing as part of a day job. I began writing short stories and had a few false starts at novels – then one day I picked up a notebook and started writing Relative Strangers and I never stopped.

Give my readers a run down on your new book, Relative Strangers? I loved it by the way!!

I’m glad you liked it; I wasn’t sure how well it would go down with a non-Brit audience because of the dialect and locations so it’s been great to have such positive feedback from my overseas fans.

Relative Strangers is about Sophie Morgan, a down to earth 23 year old who has had a relatively easy if not subdued life. She’s been raised by her single mother in South Wales but has stayed in Coventry in England since attending university there. She hasn’t had much success with men (not that it has bothered her I might add), so when she is dumped by her first boyfriend, a friend whisks her off to Belgium for a weekend of shopping, wine and good food. Things are on the up when she meets unconventionally attractive Irish barman, Mickey, but things quickly go to hell in a handcart when she’s attacked by a vampire. The story follows her reluctant acceptance of the supernatural world and her return to the UK where there is plenty more action – including a 300 year old vampire who takes a shine to her, a dead body turning up outside her apartment, and a neighbour who is more than he seems. It’s not just about vampires though -it’s about figuring out you are, surviving and the uncertainty that comes with new relationships.

Tell me about the process by which you create a full length story. Map out your writing plan for us.

I’d love to say I had a plan for Relative Strangers but I didn’t – not at first – I literally picked up a book and started writing. I wrote three separate scenes, one of which made it into the book and the others which have been banked for the rest of the series. Each of them were pivotal moments when something is revealed. I knew these were the things I needed to write but I still needed to fill in the blanks.

That said, after that I point, I sketched out an outline of the story, and created back “stories” for each of my characters, down to key events that had happened, their birthdays, what they looked like. It was still a relatively “light touch” approach though as I always knew who I wanted them to be. My process is still similar, but the emphasis has shifted from the characters to plot development. I still carry a notebook around with me though, and whenever I get an idea I scribble it down – whether it’s a line of dialogue for a character, an interesting location, or a behaviour that interests me.

 

Tell us about other hobbies that you enjoy on a regular basis.

I’m a big reader and a huge movie buff. My husband says I’ve watched every film that’s ever been made but that is definitely an exaggeration. I go to the gym a few days a week and I also volunteer for an animal welfare charity, although that’s mostly admin and social media management now. We have three cats, two of which are elderly with health issues, which keep us busy!

Are you currently working on any other books? If so, feel free to give us a sneak peek of any/all of them.

Relative Strangers is the first in a series and I’m already working on the follow up, Death in the Family, which further develops the back story of some of the other key characters, plus what happens to Sophie when she moves back to Wales. Needless to say, there are some interesting developments – she definitely hasn’t seen the last of her troubles with vampires!

If you’re not into the supernatural though, I’ve also published a short collection of flash fiction which has some very different themes – I wrote it at a time I was dealing with a bereavement and focuses on themes of grief, peace, love and freedom. On the 17th October, I’m also releasing a collection of 10 urban poems about growing up in South Wales.

What’s your social media of choice and do you use it mostly for promotion of your book or just sharing your day to day life?

Twitter is my favourite platform by a country mile! It gives you the opportunity to network and connect with people with immediacy and on a range of subjects. It’s also a great tool for teaching brevity in writing!

I use it for promoting my book, but I think that the best way of engaging people is to be human. I may tweet the occasional promo, but I mainly like to share interesting content and engage with readers and those with similar interests. My blog is a close second, as that’s where I really get to unleash my views of the world, as well as share reviews and support other authors. I’ve also a Facebook page and I’m on Google+ so I think I’ve covered most of my basis. I suspect I’m a social media addict.

How long did the process of self-publishing take for you and what was your biggest stumbling block?

The whole process from picking up a pen and getting it onto bookshelves took about a year, although I did take the occasional break! The actual process of self publishing took around six months, if I include editing, proofing, formatting and design. The biggest stumbling block was time. I’d love to be one of those writers who have a dedicated “writing time” which they don’t deter from. I’ve tried that, but it doesn’t work for me. I’ve gone days without writing, then spent two days straight at it; sometimes writing in the morning works for me, other times late at night. It took me a while to ignore all the advice that you must do something every day, and gave myself permission to write in the way that suits me. It’s fine if it takes you longer; just don’t expect to be churning out four books a year. Don’t beat yourself up over it; just find ways to write regularly that work for you.

What words of advice would you give to an author writing a novel for the first time?

Enjoy it! Write the story that you want to tell and that you would want to read. Whether you are writing full time or around other commitments, writing a novel is a huge endeavour. If you’re not feeling motivated to write that next chapter, or are struggling on where the story should go next, it’s probably not the right story or not the right time for it – take a break, try writing something new, come back to it. Don’t give yourself a hard time when it’s not working and be sure to celebrate the small successes.

Do you think in the future you will stick to adult women’s fiction or do you have any interest to move into another space as well?

That is a very good question! In Relative Strangers, I’ve written from several characters’ points of view and I’ve particularly enjoyed writing from the male perspective. I’d be keen to do something for a broader audience (although strangely enough I’ve had a lot of support from men, middle aged ones in particular!). I’m a huge horror fan, both literary and film, so I suspect I’ll produce something more firmly entrenched in that genre soon. There’s also a novella for children/ young adults which I started a while ago that I’d like to revisit.

What do your friends and family think of your success? Do they get sneaky peaks at your works in progress, or is it a closely guarded secret, even to them?

It’s only recently that anyone other than my mother and husband found out about my writing. I think most writers are deeply insecure and dread criticism from those closest to you – or worse, that you get undeserved praise which doesn’t help your writing at all. Some of my friends didn’t know until they saw my newly created Facebook page! Everyone is amazed that I kept it quiet for so long and are really impressed that I’ve written a book in the first place!

Do you read as much as you write or is it a give and take situation?

I go through phases; generally I find it quite difficult to do both as I’m an all or nothing sort of person. I’m always reading at least one book, but I have to be strict with myself and limit myself to an hour a day, or when I’m travelling, otherwise it’s all reading and no writing. As a writer, it’s essential to read often and across a broad range of genres and writers -it helps make you a better writer.

Tell us what your average day looks like?

I’m not sure there is an average day, although a little routine isn’t a bad thing. At the moment, it’s getting up, going to the gym, heading into work, then writing a blog post or review over lunch, or reading. Once the work bell announces home, I’m back there to work on my novel and do some work for Cats Protection. At the moment, I’m still juggling writing and my day job in PR and communications so it’s definitely manic!

I have to know… was Sophie (protagonist of Relative Strangers) structured after you or someone in your life?

There are certainly some similarities between myself and Sophie. I’m from Wales (although not the fictitious Bethel/Bethesda from the book), worked in recruitment and lived in Coventry for a while. Some of the events have been inspired by things that I’ve done or witnessed (for example, retrieving a handbag from a mugger, believe it or not), but that’s where the similarities end. I’ve taken a premise and created a character out of bits of me, bits of other people and a few “what would someone do if this happened?” questions.

Give us a piece of advice from someone who has successfully self-published a well-written novel. We’re just starting out, what knowledge would you impart to us?

Self publishing can be as cheap or as costly as you make it. If you can afford professional help – take it, but there are some areas where it’s more important. I’d recommend using a graphic designer for your artwork and if you don’t have the patience to format, then pay someone to do that too. To cut costs, I’d say it’s a good idea to get some “critical friends” to edit and proof for you – ideally these shouldn’t be your actual friends. Twitter is a great way to find beta-readers, authors or others who are happy to help out for an early copy. You can generally rely on them to give you honest feedback as they’re not emotionally invested. There are many self-publishing companies who will provide all these services for you and if you go down this route, I’d advise you to check out works they have published for other indie authors and see what the quality is like. Stay away from vanity publishers who charge a whopping fee for the service and then give you a minimal return (some as low as 30% royalties), its best to pay for a bundle of services and keep all the royalties you earn.

Most of all I’d say that you have to remember that good content is the most important thing, followed by enjoying the ride!

I want to thank Helen for her participation in this interview and say what a pleasure it is to interact with her. She’s a great writer and deserves a good boost on the Amazon market. Check out her book and pick up a copy today!! You won’t be disappointed!

L.

Relative Strangers by Helen Treharne is available at Amazon: http://bit.ly/Vu4Ve3  , iBooks http://bit.ly/1mTRyv7 and all major online retailers.

To find out more about the author, visit her at www.helentreharne.wordpress.com or hook up on  Twitter @Tea_Talks https://twitter.com/Tea_Talks

Must Read! A new spin on an old favorite!

Helen's Book

Review: Relative Strangers (Five Stars)

All Sophie wanted was an entertaining vacation to recover from work and a recent heartbreak and yet she got so much more than she bargained for. Treharne writing creates a solid protagonist that makes you want to befriend her for her humor, her bravery, and her willingness to fight.

The plot is simple and yet contains an added level of complexity in the subplot, causing me to wonder what’s coming next. I very much enjoyed simplistic style in which the story was written, my heart connecting quickly to Sophie’s in her struggle to form some sense of normalcy after tragedy.

Sophie and Mickey – just a fantastic friendship that started from a night at the bar, a shared tragedy and grew into a longing for more. Through the course of the book I found myself huffing at the distance between the two budding lovers, wanting for Sophie what we all want for ourselves – companionship.

I LOVE the additional story lines that run throughout the narrative, giving you a momentary break from the main characters and letting you ponder as to how this new introduction of cast members plays into the story as a whole.

I must say that this was nothing like I expected it to be. I’m quite the vampire junky and to pick up a vampire book is something I’m willing to do any day of the week. The twist is in the way Treharne portrays the creatures, truly giving them the ominous, vicious structure that Bram created in the original Dracula. No shiny creatures here with thoughts of love and happiness.

This is a great book for anyone wanting a solid story and fantastic plausible characterization. I loved it and will be reading it again soon!

L.

Relative Strangers by Helen Treharne is available at Amazon: http://bit.ly/Vu4Ve3  , iBooks http://bit.ly/1mTRyv7 and all major online retailers.

To find out more about the author, visit her at www.helentreharne.wordpress.com or hook up on  Twitter @Tea_Talks https://twitter.com/Tea_Talks

Deceived – On Sale $0.99 until Saturday, 9/13!!

Hi my friends, new and old.

I’m putting my debut novel, Deceived on sale for $.99 starting this morning through Saturday, 9/13. If you’re interested in checking it out (and you should be), please go grab a copy at any of the links below. I’d LOVE to hear back from you on what you thought. Leave me a comment on Amazon, BN, Goodreads, Smashwords… here – anywhere! 🙂

Thanks for your support and I hope you love the book as much as I do.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N1F8ULW/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0TX93H3ZMD3X1E8JNN02&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deceived-la-starkey/1120223623?ean=2940150539877

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/471446

L.

Deceived, Prophecy Excerpt

Maybe reading the prophecy out loud and a little slower might actually help me decipher its meaning. Samantha exhaled loudly and began.

 

“In a battle of wills,

 of the gods of old.

For each his revenge,

 will he forfeit his soul.

 

On the chess board of blood,

 will their narrative play.

aged, innocent lives,

 revenge claims her way.

 

Out of hate will come love,

 and love will come hate.

For immortal and man,

 have entwined their damned fate.

 

As the time draws near,

 a soul mate will speak,

And invoke its commencement,

 when strong will fall weak,

 

And the child in the middle,

 will break the seal

That is held by the fate,

 who’s heart cannot heal.

 

 With death sets in motion,

 a prophecy of old

Ergo seeker of heart,

 and keeper of soul.

 

“One heart with two parts,

split between twins,

two bodies that hold,

one despondent young man.

 

As the battle ensues,

against himself he will stand,

her pendulum swings,

with balance in hand.

 

For this generation,

will affect us all,

for the same man will rise,

 but he also will fall.”

 

Sam stopped at the end of the prophecy, the room much cooler.

Deceived Preview: Chapter One

Well… I’m sitting on the precipice of hitting submit for the various uploads I’ve created for my first YA novel and thought it would be fun to put chapter one on here so that anyone interested can get a sneak peek.

Hope you guys are doing great and I’ll upload widgets tomorrow to where the book can be purchased if you’re interested. 🙂

 

Part I: The Broken Life

In a battle of wills,

of the gods of old.

For each his revenge,

will he forfeit his soul.

On the chess board of blood,

will their narrative play.

aged, innocent lives,

revenge claims her way.

Out of hate will come love,

and love will come hate.

For immortal and man,

have entwined their damned fate.

 

 

Chapter One

There was no moving in the moment. Her body afforded her no such luxury as swirling white mist covered the soft, green grass, giving her an ethereal appearance. Crimson danced against the golden sky as the evening moved in quickly, hoping to make way for its dark lover. Samantha gazed about her, trying to make sense of the familiarity she held with her settings, but failed to render her conscious with remembrance. The soft crunch of grass moving changed everything as realization dawned – she was no longer alone.

Her dark sapphire eyes narrowed, brow creasing as a figure cut through the dense, chalky air. He towered over her by a head or two and judging by the large expanse of his shoulders he oftentimes left the gym stained in his scent. As his shape continued to gain clarity from color and size to defined lines of a life well lived, the swell of anticipation grew at the story his facial features might tell.

As he drew close enough for focus, her jaw slacked and her eyes widened with wonder. He was for all intents and purposes a teenager, and yet by his exotic appearance, she guessed him to be a foreigner. Wherever he was from, he was simply beautiful. He stopped just before her, his gaze locked on hers, and try though she may words escaped her cry for assistance. His piercing jade eyes bore into her, dark orange rays stretching lazily from the iris, his skin seeming to glitter as if kissed by the sun.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

“For me?” Sam blinked in surprise, taking a hesitant step back.

“Ah, Samantha,” he breathed out, his brow creasing ever so slightly. “Same questions every time, my love. Shall I give you the same answers?”

“W-what a-answers?” She shook her head, attempting to draw in a breath that wasn’t filled with the smell of pure male.

There would be no relaxing in front of him for something was so very familiar and yet alarming to all of her protective senses. Brick by brick, her heart constructed a thick wall that would promise protection. He took a step forward and reached for her hand, but was a bit too late to infiltrate her senses as the wall was up and impenetrable.

She exhaled softly as their skin connected and instinctively let her fingers wrap around his as a sign of friendship. The warmth of his touch sent tingles racing along the corridors of her body and yet still the cold loneliness remained because she demanded it so. No one would ever penetrate her defenses again. Self-preservation had become her lifelong companion simply because life required such company. The momentary experience of loneness brought back her first memories of white-washed walls at the orphanage and the feelings of abandonment, leaving her empty, a wasteland of hopes and dreams.

“Still not ready to let me reach your heart are you, Samantha? I’ve yet to find you, my love.” His voice was airy, but deep; like resounding thunder after a storm.

“What do you mean, ‘your love’?” Sam retorted, pulling her hand from his and placing them both firmly on her hips, her eyebrow lifting sharply, “and it’s Sam by the way. No one gave you permission to use my full name.”

Her full name held to many memories to a life that she’d rather forget ever existed. Only a few days old, her mother had left her in a shopping cart wrapped in a dirty yellow blanket. She hadn’t even given her a name. The people in the front office at the orphanage had to name her and just happened to be watching “Bewitched” at the time. She was abandoned in the world on top of having her identity aligned to a worn-out witch on a sitcom. The nickname, “Sam,” would have to do until she was old enough to have it changed.

“Of course, Sam. I’m sorry. You look beautiful. That shade of lavender against your soft skin and beautiful blue eyes reminds me of the essence of color that lingers in the sky just before twilight. You’re such a rare beauty and you’re all…all…” He stopped suddenly.

Wow, a stutter, go figure. At least he’s not perfect. Besides, when you look that good, who cares what’s coming out of your mouth? Sam caught herself before she chuckled out loud.

“You’re all what?” Sam asked, like a chicken with its feathers ruffled.

“And you are allllll-ways beautiful.”

“Thanks, I guess.” She started to relax a little, or at least let it appear as such. “Where are we and who are you?”

Not having focused much on herself, she glanced down to inspect what the boy before her was staring so intently at. Her breath caught in her chest due to the revealing purple ball gown that hugged the curves of her athletic body and created a seductive cleavage. The dress’s hem skimmed the ground as shiny black shoes peeked out from underneath.

Sam reached up to touch her hair and noticed that it wasn’t hanging down long and straight on her shoulders in her usual style. Instead, to her surprise, it was wound tightly in a bun, stray pieces caressing her neck.

What the… I’ve lost it and now I’m standing in a grass field in prom attire with People’s sexiest man of the year.

“I’m Marcus. Marcus Greco and you know me, Sam. You visit my dreams quite often, but not often enough.” He shrugged and turned away from her, continuing to speak over his shoulder. “You and I have spent many nights tucked away here and when you go I search for you endlessly.”

Sam inhaled, flooding her senses with the musky tones of his cologne.

Hello, hormones.

“So, you’re the reason I’m in this itchy dress?”

“Guilty as charged.” He stopped briefly to glance over his shoulder, a smile touching his mouth. Sam was certain she’d heard heaven and hell applauding at the beauty that was Marcus.

“Sounds fun,” she said, a bit dazed.

“So, what do you want to do tonight? Dream up your best and let’s have a good time.”

Becoming more comfortable with the fact that she’d slipped into the world of fantasy, Sam decided to test the proverbial waters. She allowed herself the pleasure of engraving him into her memory first. Her eyes moved from his handsome face to his muscular chest, thick arms, narrow hips, and solid legs, finishing with his decadent mouth. A soft gasp left his lips, quickly confirmed by the shocked look on his face.

“Sam, what are you doing?” He moved a step closer, his voice questioning.

“Most teenagers in this era call it ‘checking you out.’ Which I have to admit is like going to the candy store. Such a treat.” She looked up into his eyes.

“Let it leave your lips, Samantha, say it. Tell me you know me. That you’ve missed me,” Marcus whispered. “Say it…. Come on, Sam…”

He reached for her hand, but she backed up, her desire turning into something bordering apprehension. Her internal struggle waged it’s all too familiar war as Marcus’s expression changed from one of desire to concern.

“Why do I have the extreme desire to touch you, to know you? Why do I feel that maybe I’ve already done both?” She glanced up as Marcus moved away, his shoulders sagging a bit.

“I’m sorry, Samantha, that was too forward. I just miss you so much.” His gaze lowered to the ground, as if he were a scalded puppy.

“Walk away, Sam.” A voice as warm as the summer sun caressed her from behind as the wind picked up, circling her body. It was full of excitement and comfort and it reminded her of someone. Someone she loved. Someone she needed and belonged to. And yet she didn’t belong to anyone… Did she? Her head turned slightly to let the words brush along the softness of her cheek.

“What is it?” Marcus demanded, walking toward her, his eyes swirling with mixed emotions. “What did he say?”

Until then, Sam hadn’t realized she’d been slowly backing up, walking farther and farther away from him. Confusion beat against her and beads of sweat formed near her brow.

Her legs refused to obey her silent command. Half of her heart longed to return to Marcus and the other half demanded she run free toward someone far more exhilarating. Her soul wept as the fleeing half of her persona won and she ran hard and fast until she could no longer see him.

“No!”

The loud masculine voice resounded in the waking world, pulling her from a fitful sleep. Her body jerked upward, drenched in sweat; her heart determined to race its way out of her chest. A network of goose bumps laid claim to her skin as she shivered against the cold air of her dark room.

To no avail she tried recalling the details of her dream in hopes of shedding some light on whose scream had woken her. Exhausted and filled with angst, she flopped back onto her bed and rolled onto her side, succumbing to a restless sleep, the dream a vapor in the ether.