Friday, December 27, 2013

So long 2013 - Another year over

Merry Christmas!!!!

Boy, I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone. I was going to post before Christmas, but time suddenly got away from me as I frantically finished up the final draft of a new story. I didn't know how much work I had left to do with that story, but I was in constant rewrites as my alpha reader and 'Japanese' consultant worked with me for four hard days trying to get everything just right.

Over the year I've had a lot of ups and downs. One big up was with the release of my debut novel, Shadow Embraced. I've had a change of career and life path, as well as big changes within my own family (such as my brother moving to Japan).

With 2013 finishing up, I'm not even going to predict where 2014 will lead me, but I can promise that I'm going to be busy as I get more of my stories out.

And now there are a couple of business I need to get out before new year. One is the winners of my birthday bash. Congratulations to:

Kerry Amburgy-Dickson (winner of $15 Amazon gift card) and
Shelly Hammond (Winner of a copy of Shadow Embraced)

You will receive emails shortly regarding your prize. Congratulations to the two of you, and thank you to everyone who entered.

The last thing I will leave you with is a little teaser from the story I've been working feverishly on to get it ready. Meet Shinigami Eyes.

Most children hope to grow out of their imaginary friends, for 17-year-old Rin Waters, she only hopes hers doesn’t kill someone. Especially after an incident at a dance puts a boy in a coma. Now she finds herself shipped half-way around the world (to Japan of all places) to live with grandparents she hasn’t seen for ten years and a cousin she can’t remember.

Rin would rather just forget about that one night that ruined her life, and pretend that her imaginary friend doesn’t exist - if it was only that easy - but she finds that hard when manga-obsessed otaku, Matt won’t stop pestering her about his magic manga and the tragic accident she’ll be involved in if she doesn’t listen to him. Yeah right, like she would listen to someone who sounds even crazier than her.

When Rin turns from victim to killer in the manga, she knows she has to pay attention to it, especially when her imaginary friend has proven she’s quite capable of injuring people that threaten Rin. The only problem is, she doesn’t know who she’s supposed to kill. 

In an attempt to find out the truth behind the manga, Rin uncovers an event from her past that she can’t remember, and no one wants to talk about. Soon Rin discovers that demons from the past can be deadly.

Well, I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and has an equally wonderful new year. I will be back just after new year as I need to try and catch up on all of the things I have been neglecting over the last few weeks with writing and Christmas. Hopefully then I'll have more news about Shinigami Eyes for you.

How are you spending your new years? How did you spend your Christmas?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Clan

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Clan book tour', hosted by YA Bound. You can view the rest of the tour spots by clicking on the banner above. 

Clans are Unity.
No variation. No deviation.

On Clades, to be a Clan is to be an exact copy. 

A perfect society cloning themselves to survive, even as the zombielike Frags threaten to overrun them on an unforgiving planet. 

Clan 1672 (privately known as Twain) was never supposed to survive the Incubation Tank. 

But he did. Illegally. 
He is different from the other Clans. 

A secret that could destroy him.

Kirkus Reviews: "In this fast-paced novel, Lovejoy uses economical prose while developing the story’s characters and setting in detail. She also meets the challenge of creating memorable characters in a world of identical people...(Read more here!)

Buy Links:

eBook (not illustrated) is 99 cents and the paperback (illustrated) is under $8.99 until 12/26.

The CLAN eBook will be free on 12/19 Thursday and 12/20 Friday.  The author will very much appreciate if you could share this one your post and give a twitter/facebook shoutout.  The following is twitter length friendly if you would like to copy/paste:

My Review
To be a Clan is to be an exact copy, a clone. Twain (1672) is not. He wasn't even meant to survive the incubation, but his sponsor saved him and kept him hidden away, only allowing Twain to look out into a world that will never accept him because he is different, and different is not allowed. When the Frag virus (the reason the cloning began in the first place) becomes a danger to the Clans once more, Twain has to fight for survival and risk execution for being different.

When I first picked up Clan I didn't know much about the story, and Realm Lovejoy really did surprise me (in a good way). Clan is a story that threw in plenty of twists and turns as it powered on through the many challenges Twain had to face. The one thing I felt though was that the beginning was a bit slow to get into the story, but once the action began it was a roller coaster of thrills and twists, even throwing an ending in that I didn't see coming (but I won't give anything away here).

Throw in a character that's bullied and tormented for being himself, and toss in a couple of friends (one a very unexpected ally and one with a really quirky personality that make the story interesting) and see what sorts of trouble and problems the character can get into and find solutions to. Twain is a well thought of character, and in this story he would have to be. For a character who is vastly different from everyone around him, he needs to be able to learn and grow in order to progress the story, as well as be sympathetic. 

Realm Lovejoy has created a strong sci-fi that is packed with plenty of action and a satisfying ending (this being a stand-alone means you don't have to wait until the next story is released to find out the ending, another bonus). I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a good sci-fi story.

About the Author
Realm Lovejoy

Realm Lovejoy is a writer and an artist. She was raised in Washington State and the alps of Nagano, Japan. Her father is a Japanese ex-monk and her mother an English teacher from Rhode Island. Her art is influenced by both the East and the West.
Realm aspires to tell stories through her writing and art.
She is agented by Jessica Regel.

Her upcoming YA sci-fi novel is titled CLAN, due 2013.

Author Links:

1 Signed Paperback + CLAN Button + Signed Illustration from Paperback (US only)
6 Paperbacks (US only) 
10 eBooks (international shipping)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Tour: Alabaster Nights

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Alabaster Nights Tour', hosted by Dark World Books. To view other stops on this tour just click on the banner.

Alabaster Nights
(A Josie Hawk Companion Novella)
A Vampire with a soul. A Huntress with a knife.
In Nashville, Blood equals Power. Will one taste of Josie Hawk cost Keller everything?
Coming January 2014
Add Alabaster Nights to your Goodreads list!
Interested in reading how the tale of Josie and Keller began? Then check Crimson Beat, a novella within the A Celtic Tapestry anthology!
Character Interview

Elle J Rossi interviews Josie Hawk:

EJR: Thanks for being here today, Josie. I know you can’t stay long. I appreciate you taking the time. 
JH: Thank you for having me here, Elle. It’s nice to take a short break sometimes. 
EJR: I bet. So, tell me, what does it mean to you to be a Huntress.
JH: Simply put, it means everything. Hunters and Huntresses live to protect. My people are the people of Nashville. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to keep them safe.
EJR: That’s pretty intense. I imagine it’s a full time job. Do you ever take time off?
JH: I can’t afford to. The dark beings of the occult would snatch up any chance to turn the game in their favor. I won’t give them that chance. 
EJR: Can you tell me the story about how you met Mr. Keller O’Leary? 
JH: Sure. Irish, as I like to call him, made the mistake of feeding in my domain and taking the act a little too far. I understand vampires need to feed. I don’t hold it against them. But when they kill their food, I get upset.
EJR: Are you saying you saw Keller kill someone?
JH: Luckily for him, no. He didn’t go quite that far. But he was on the edge, and it’s my job to show him the error of his ways. I kicked his ass.  
EJR: Quick change of subject. What’s in your refrigerator? 
JH: Bottled water, jelly, and a loaf of bread. I usually grab a meal on the go.
EJR: Here’s a fun one. What’s on your bedroom floor?
JH: Clothes. Dirty towels. Lots of boots. Organization has never been my strength. Unlike Keller. My mess drives him nuts.
EJR: A bit of a neat freak, huh?
JH: Yeah. I try not to hold it against him.
EJR: So, this thing you have with Keller. Is it as serious for you as it is for him?
JH: I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m not evading, I just don’t know. It’s complicated. Keller is intense. He wants my heart, body, and soul. If I give it all to him, what would I have left for me? On the other hand, there is no one else I want to be with. I can’t imagine my life without him. When he’s not with me, I’m lost. When he’s close, I’m scared to be who he needs me to be. Like I said, it’s complicated. 
EJR: Okay, last one. Most women like diamonds. If Keller were to give you the perfect gift, what would it be? 
JH: Haha! Blinged out blades. Please, I’m a woman, too, and I love me some diamonds. Just as long as their covering the handle of a five incher.
Keller shoved off the bar and strode toward the stage, an invisible bond tethering his chest to the singer. Her voice swirled around him, wrapping him in a cocoon made of hunger, desire, and need. A waitress walked by, her drink tray held high over the crowd. Keller reached up and deposited his untouched beverage. Fake blood would never soothe his cravings. For that matter, no blood, human or animal, had ever taken the edge off. He had little doubt that all of that was about to change. 
Eyes that had been full of happiness, as if singing was the only thing that kept her alive, narrowed to slits so thin he could no longer make out their color. 
She knew.
He’d thought she was human. Perhaps not. A human would never be able to tell he was a night creature. This new development had Keller even more intrigued.
“Hey, buddy, Watch out.”
Keller kept his fangs hidden, briefly looked away from the singer, and reminded himself not to kill the man wearing a ridiculously oversized hat and an even larger belt buckle who was currently blocking his path.  
Reaching out, Keller gripped the man’s shoulder, careful not to squeeze hard enough to break his bones. “Move.” One word, infused with the power of persuasion.
The man blinked and rushed off the dance floor. Keller refocused his attention back to his… His what? He hesitated to use the word mate, but everything inside him screamed that’s exactly who this woman was. 
“Big brother. You made it.”
Keller clenched his jaw and fought the tension in his body that wanted nothing more than to pounce on the singer and make her his. Once he felt even a modicum of control, he turned and offered Sage a genuine smile. His sister. Biological or not did not matter.
 “Of course I made it.” He said. “You know I can’t deny you anything.” He pulled on Sage’s braid. “Pink?”
Sage hugged him tight. The singer continued to sing. He squelched the urge to turn and watch.
“This week, anyway. Eventually my hair will probably fall out from all this dying.” Sage shrugged. “That’s what wigs are for. Just ask Dolly Parton.”
“Dolly who?” 
“Never mind,” Sage said, laughing.
Sage grabbed his hand and guided him back to the bar. 
Keller positioned himself so he could see the stage as well as Sage. Sage looked good. Almost peaceful. Almost. A vampire could never truly find peace. Not until the end came, and Keller wondered if far worse awaited on the other side. That depended on which myth one chose to believe.
“So, what?” His sister was up to something. Her eyes sparkled. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen her this happy. Maybe never.
“Do you like her?”
Every muscle in his body stiffened. No. He couldn’t be so transparent that Sage had picked up on his fixation. “Do I like who?” His words were stilted. He cleared his throat. 
She swept her arm in a circle. “This place? I’m going to buy it,” she said, bouncing on the balls of her feet.
Keller angled his head. Buying meant staying, didn’t it? “You’re going to buy a pub?”
Sage shoved him playfully. “You’re not in Ireland, Keller. This is Nashville and this pub is called a honkytonk.”
“I’ll try to remember that.”
“But, yes,” she said with a smile. “To answer your question, I am going to buy it. Isn’t it great? We’re going to call it Wolfie’s”
The song ended and the singer stepped down from the stage. Keller tracked her movements as every nerve in his body strained, begging him to act.
Keller cracked his neck. The motion did little to ease his headache. “We? Will I approve of this partner?” He pictured someone taking advantage of Sage’s soft heart. Keller held his words, but he would not allow Sage to buy this place until Keller met her partner and agreed with the terms. Sage was family and her safety trumped her happiness. 
The singer marched through the crowd. Her heart beat in time with her footsteps as her boots pounded against the wood floor. Something, probably a knife, glinted under the hem of her skirt. Why the weapon? Her gaze never left his. Keller wore a lazy smile and waited.
Sage jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow. “I hope so, bro. She’s awesome.”
He hadn’t considered that Sage’s partner could be a woman. A thought crept in. Keller eased off the bar and straightened his suit jacket. “I look forward to meeting her.”
Deep red hair bounced as the singer planted her feet and crossed her arms over her chest. She smiled at Sage before she turned to him. The smile disappeared as her lips flattened into a thin line.
Keller breathed deeply—something he rarely did—and his heart, along with another vital organ, jerked to attention.
“Perfect timing,” Sage said. “Keller, I’d like you to meet my partner, and best friend, Josephine Hawk. Josie, this is my brother, Keller.”
The redhead licked her lips and swept her gaze from his head to his feet and back up.
Keller could not hear over the roar in his ears. Yes. Josephine Hawk was indeed the one he had been waiting for.

About the Author
Ell J Rossi
Elle J Rossi grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by great people, a huge family and more animals than she could count. But the sites and sounds of the world beckoned, so she left her small town to escape into a creative world full of music. As a full time singer she was able to lose herself in a thousand different songs in a hundred different places. After meeting the love of her life and settling down, she yearned to find a new and fulfilling creative outlet. Overly fond of the happily ever after, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters lead her down dark and twisted paths. The very first word on the very first page sealed her fate. She’d found a new love. She’d found her escape. Now along with weaving haunting tales about the journey to love, she’s creating cover art for authors around the world and loving every second of it. For fun, she cranks country music to take her back to her roots, and sings karaoke anytime she gets a chance. Her husband, two children, and a cat that rules the roost keep her company along the way and guarantee she doesn’t get lost in the enchanted forest. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Website – Twitter – Facebook

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blog Tour: World of Ash

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'World of Ash tour', hosted by YA Bound. You can view the rest of the tour spots by clicking on the banner above. 

World of Ash
There are two inherent truths in the world: life as we know it is over, and monsters are real.

The Pestas came in the night, spreading their pox, a deadly plague that decimated the population. Kat, one of the unlucky few who survived, is determined to get to her last living relative and find shelter from the pox that continues to devastate the world. When it mutates and becomes airborne, Kat is desperate to avoid people because staying alone might be her only chance to stay alive.

That is, until she meets Dylan. Dylan, with his easy smile and dark, curly hair, has nowhere to go and no one to live for. He convinces Kat there can be safety in numbers, that they can watch out for each other. So the unlikely couple set off together through the barren wasteland to find a new life – if they can survive the roaming Pestas, bands of wild, gun-toting children, and piles of burning, pox-ridden bodies. 

Purchase from: Kindle, Amazon paperback, kobo, B&N
My Review
There's no cure for the pox, the deadly disease that's decimated most the population. Kat, one of the lucky survivors, trying to get to her last living relative, has decided the best way to stay alive is to stay alone. But that is until she meets Dylan who has no one else to live for. Convincing Kat that it's safer to stay in numbers, they start off on a journey through the barren wasteland to a new life. That's only if they can survive the disease, bands of armed and deadly children, and piles of burning pox-infested bodies.

Shauna Granger has written a different post-apocalyptic story and I was surprised at how the story turned out. Kat is also a different heroine in this type of story. She wasn't born and raised for this life. Far from it. As it does say Kat would 'rather drink lattes and read magazines' than be in a fight for survival. This is what I really liked about the story. She is just an average teenager who has really had to learn and adapt to her new environment in order to survive, which is especially hard since she doesn't have anyone to help her out but her own mistakes (which she can learn from) and instincts (which she develops).

Granger's writing is beautifully descriptive and she was able to describe all the settings and actions wonderfully, which kept me engrossed in the story. The only part of the story that I found a bit lagging were the beginning chapters where Kat is alone. I just wanted her to do something, but alas nothing much happened. And then two things occurred. Kat met Blue and Dylan, and the story really picked up the pace and held my attention all the way to the end, giving plenty of twists and turns with an ending that has me beginning for the next story.

I definitely look forward to the next story from Gardener, and I would recommend World of Ash to anyone who loves post-apocalyptic stories.

About the Author
Shauna Granger

Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.

2 - Signed paperbacks of World of Ash (US only) 
2 - eBooks of World of Ash (INT)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When a passion becomes an obsession

Everyone who knows me knows that I have recently taken up a new hobby in photography. Well, I would have to call it more than a hobby since I'm undertaking a diploma in photography and am hoping that I'll be able to eventually take professional shots and make money doing something that I really love.

Yeah, that sounds great, doesn't it? The one problem I have encountered is that I can become a bit obsessive, and when this happens I can look at the time and wonder where the entire day has gone. It's quite productive with my photography skills as I'm getting better the more shots I take, but it's not productive with everything else. After all I have another course that I need to keep up with (yeah, with quizzes happening every week as well as homework needing to be submitted that's really important), and then there's also my writing. I have a lot of stories that need to be finished so they can venture out into the world.

I know that one thing I need to improve is my organisation. I need to be able to arrange my time so that I'll only stick to that time and not get too engrossed in an activity that I'll totally forget that I need to move on. So, I think I've got a lot of work to do.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being a bit obsessive, because at least I know that I'll enjoy the task I'm doing and I'll stick at it, I just have to work on the fact that I've got more than one thing happening in my life and I need to get everything done.

So I need to learn how to manage my time better, or I'll petition for more hours to be added to the day. As much as I'd love the latter to happen, I think I'll just work on the former.

My question for today is: Have you ever had a hobby or other activity that you have become so obsessed with that that has completely gotten away from you?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blog Tour: Hyperion Keats

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Hyperion Keats', hosted by Publicist Christine Marie

Hyperion Keats
Three modern teens, a 200-year-old diary, a literary mystery to solve. 

Twelve-year-old Hyperion Frances Keats, great-great grand niece of poet John Keats, hates tip-toeing around her older sister's “medical diagnosis”.  Why is Isabella so determined to turn her back on what makes her unique in a sea of wannabes?  Is popularity more important than the truth?

The sisters and boy-next-door Will find themselves in the middle of a mystery after discovering a 200-year-old diary written by the girl who inspired the sonnet “To A Lady Seen For A Moment At Vauxhall.”   The teens aren't the only ones after the answers found in the pages from the past, though.   The LBT Brotherhood – a secret society dedicated to preserving the Romantic Poets three creeds of  love, beauty, and truth – want the secrets contained in the diary to remain lost to time and will stop at nothing to silence Hyperion, Isabella, and Will forever. 

My Review
Hyperion Keats has been around poetry her whole life, and even if she wanted to, she can't escape it since it's not just her name 'Hyperion' that screams poetic, it's the fact that she's the great-great grand niece of the poet John Keats. When poetry fanboy Will moves in next door and Hyperion gives him the honour of showing Will the famous 'Keats' house with her 'normal-named' sister Isabella, they stumble upon a mysterious diary written by the girl who inspired the sonnet "To A Lady Seen For A Moment At Vauxhall". Finding out who this girl was is only half of the mystery, especially when a mysterious car seems to be following them, intent on keeping what they've found hidden forever.

Hyperion Keats was a fun and page-turning mystery that definitely keeps the reader guessing until the last page. At times I had to wonder where the story was heading, especially with some actions taking place and then not being mentioned for the next few chapters, but everything came together in a perfectly thrilling conclusion that definitely opens up for more adventures from Hyperion and Isabella.

All of the characters were well-rounded. Hyperion was the perfect character to follow through the story, a mixture of little sister wanting to take the spotlight (and the boy) away from her sister, and young Nancy Drew. Isabella was the perfect addition for an older sister, and the surprise medical condition (which I won't give away as it might spoil some things) was perfectly written and when thinking back through the story it is easy to see some actions that Isabella did that fits in with that condition. And then there's Will, the boy who's got his own dark shadows which are revealed towards the end of the story (again no spoilers here).

Hyperion Keats was a quick and interesting read and I would recommend this to anyone who loves mysteries like Nancy Drew. I look forward to reading more of Hyperion and Isabella's adventures. 

Character Interview
  1. Today we are excited to have the wonderful Hyperion herself joining us on the blog. Okay first question, Hyperion. You're name is quite different, is there a meaning behind it? My full name is Hyperion Frances Keats.  Hyperion is a poem by my great-great add a couple more greats uncle John Keats.  He's famous now but he wasn't back in the day when he was actually alive.  Frances also has a long Keats family connection.  My parents got “literary” when picking out baby names so I got saddled with Hyperion instead of something more normal.  
  2. So, if you could pick a normal name what would you choose? I used to want to be called Ashley or Sarah but I've gotten used to my unusual name.  It has character which can't be said for a lot of names.  
  3. Is there a reason that you'd want that name? Everyone knows how to pronounce Ashley or Sarah.  Not everyone knows how to pronounce Hyperion.   I could be a little more anonymous and not stand out so much.
  4. What about your family? How do you feel about them being connected with John Keats? I grew up around literary and family history so it's not a big deal.  People make it a big deal – especially our new neighbor Will – but being related to Keats isn't a big deal to me.
  5. So having a name connected with the literary icon of Keats, does it affect how people see you at school? Not really.  Thankfully,  most kids at Polk middle school just think my parents got creative in the baby  naming department because you don't study the Romantic Poets till high school.  My sister Isabella is in high school and hasn't found any down side to having a famous ancestor either.  Maybe I'll get lucky too.
  6. You seem to be handling things well, but if you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? I wish my parents wouldn't favor Isabella over me.  She has a 'medical condition' she doesn't want to talk about.  She's not dying or anything, but Mom and Dad are so used to focusing on her that they forget about me.  I don't like feeling like an afterthought or “shadow sister” to Isabella.  
Thank you Hyperion for taking time out of your busy schedule and letting us all get to know you a little bit more.

About the Author
Molly Zenk
Molly Zenk was born in Minnesota, grew up in Florida, lived briefly in Tennessee, before finally settling in Colorado.   She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Creative Writing.  She spent six years using those degrees teaching High School English, Poetry, and Creative Writing before going on “hiatus” to focus on being a stay-at-home/work-at-home Mom.   Molly is married to a Mathematician/Software Engineer who complains about there not being enough “math” or info about him in her author bio.  They live in Arvada, CO with their  young daughters, one dog, and one cat.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Tour: The Corvids - Winter Tour

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Corvids: Winter tour', hosted by Dark World Books. To view other stops on this tour just click on the banner.

The Corvids: Winter

(The Corvids #2)
Francesca de Lorimar, the beautiful Gypsy necromancer from Ravenswood Glen, is called to investigate a murder at Talus Hall and exorcise the unruly poltergeists which nightly ravage the mansion. During her quest to unravel the truth, Francesca discovers scorching secrets about herself, her parentage, and of power, as she stumbles headlong into first love and battles the ancient evil which stalks The Corvids.


About The Corvids: Autumn (Book #1)
Amazon – Smashwords

The Corvids is a four-part paranormal romantic suspense series. Delve into the depths of darkness, magic and love in this murder mystery/coming of age quartet!
Arabel Spade, a young girl living in the strange and mystical land of The Corvids, determines to solve a brutal series of murders using her unique paranormal abilities. Through her perilous journey, Arabel learns about herself, the dark secrets which stain her family history and the passions and rigors of first love.
Author Interview

  1. Where did you come up with the inspiration behind the book? This book is the second in the series, and the series was inspired by my love of corvids as well as an old folktale told to me by my grandmother from Russia. My grandmother told me of a man running after his body at his own funeral, trying to catch up with the casket to get back inside of his body. Book one opens with this imagery. I’ve always loved the supernatural!
  2. What inspired you to write your first book? I was inspired to write my first book after completing “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. The novel fairly flew out of me, completed in three months! I was living in Hollywood at the time, so the novel is completely inspired by that fabulous city.
  3. What books/writing have influenced your writing? I’ve been inspired by many books and many authors! I love anything by Jeannette Winterson or J.D. Robb and am a big fan of the old gothic murder mystery/romances from the likes of Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Dorothy Eden– seriously old school!
  4. What was your favourite scene to write? My favourite scene to write was a reunion scene, but I can’t tell you whose reunion!! Too many spoilers 
  5. What was the hardest part of writing your book? Killing off characters is always the hardest part 
  6. How do you overcome writer's block? I overcome writer’s block by getting myself inspired – usually by re-reading something I love. I’m lucky though because I generally don’t suffer from writer’s block. Anyone who has ever completed “The Artist’s Way” knows that writing is a process and does not actually require one to ‘be in the mood’ or to be struck by creative impetus in order to write. As Julia Cameron says, you just have to ‘show up at the page’. Creativity is always available!
  7. What are your current projects? My current projects see me tied to The Corvids for the next two years! Next I’ll be writing The Corvids: Spring, which is the story of Daphne Grace, and after that it will be The Corvids: Summer and the tale of Allegra Lourdes, whose story wraps up the series.
  8. What book are you reading now? I haven’t started reading it yet, but next up will be “Thankless in Death” by J.D. Robb. I love the “In Death” series!
  9. If you could have dinner with any fictional character who would it be and why? If I could have dinner with any fictional character, I think I’d pick Jonathan Strange from the book “Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell” because he is such a fascinating, magical character!
  10. Do you have any advice for other writers? Advice for writers? Keep reading and explore different genres for inspiration. Also journaling is great and any exercises from “The Artist’s Way” might be beneficial.
Francesca saw the body before she smelt the decay of death.
She knelt down beside the cold flesh and closed her eyes. Flashing images assaulted her senses immediately. She watched in dull horror as the spectacle of the poor girl’s death played out in glorious color, all of the abysmal details glaringly vivid. Horror closed over Francesca; a great fist of unrelenting enmity clasped her tightly. 
The dead girl was young. Too young to die leaving a life unlived in her wake.
Hovering above the corpse, Francesca utilized her preternatural vision to discern several small intersecting red and grey lines - denoting possession - and she glanced around immediately to seek out the corresponding Dorojenja wheel of death. Francesca could feel the pull of the wheel’s malicious intent as it greedily trolled energetically for further souls to ensnare.
Xavier immediately pulled his mount to a stop in front of the gruesome display. 
He jumped from his horse and knelt in the snow beside Francesca and the dead girl. His eyes closed, Xavier efficiently created a sacred circle of Gypsy magic and performed a counter-spell ritual to immobilize the curse, utilizing his athame. Zander quickly joined in with the work. 
The throat of the girl had been slashed viciously. Multiple jagged lines had been cut gleefully across the expanse of her now cold, lifeless skin. Her innocent blood soaked the snow, glistening deep ruby red and dark, inky black. 
A sacrificial victim, the young woman had been dressed in a long, heavy, brown hooded robe and she wore nothing underneath.  The large cowled hood had been thrown back to reveal the torn throat of the victim and the harsh, angry slashes against her pale skin. 
The dead girl did not appear to be much more of an age than Francesca and Francesca keenly felt a terrible sense of loss at her untimely demise. The sorrow permeated the most profound depths of Francesca’s gentle heart. 
To have one’s physical life ended in such a vicious manner! And then to further suffer the cruelty of eternal possession to the forces of darkness and evil was a fate Francesca was certain no one deserved. She despised the forces who had stolen the girl’s life-force. No one deserved to die like this and most certainly not this young, innocent girl.
Francesca telepathically followed the trail of red and grey lines to the pulsating source. The wheel of death beat out a sharp series of harsh, staccato notes of displeasure, soiling the environment. Peering intently, Francesca determined that the Dorojenja wheel was indeed placed next to the roaring bonfire, and was hexed properly to ensnare the sacrificial victims to its torturous call. The wheel had been coated with invisibility rendering its presence impossible to detect through regular vision. 
Francesca, with her advanced training and preternatural vision could barely see the shield. But she could feel it, and she knew what sordid stains decorated its face. 
The intersecting lines and numbers. The headless dove. The blood.  
Francesca attempted to block the noise from inside of her head as best as she could. The screams of the possessed filled her with their sobs, their unrelenting terror. The dead girl had joined a large number of souls, many more than Francesca had ever known to have been collected within a Dorojenja wheel of death. She felt the trapped energies pulling at her, desperately seeking a last audience, desperately seeking release from the torment.
Francesca sent the image of the wheel and its location to Xavier. He frowned as he addressed the group.
“We shall disperse the Sending & Seeking Spell immediately to source out Arabel’s presence. We’ll soon see if she is being held against her will by these Dorojenja members. Advancing upon their meeting under the cover of our current energy void - assisted by a severe Blocking Spell – we shall disperse in two’s to encircle the members of their party. Once we have ensnared them within our boundaries, Zander will unleash a hostile energy void, regressing the ages of the members to that of toddlers. We shall easily capture their party with an Immobilization Spell. ”
Xavier released the potion Daphne and Francesca had created. 
The potion filled the air with a colorless, spinning vortex as the herbs swirled and danced excitedly in the frigid air. A line of magic assembled itself into a seeking circle of energy as the herbs took hold of the destination Xavier programmed them with. The herbs would thoroughly track and trace the Dorojenja and search out Arabel’s presence among them, if she was indeed held captive.
Francesca shivered involuntarily. The screams inside of her head from the dead girl had increased, both in intensity and volume. Inundated with misery, Francesca felt all of the victims – so many other young girls - pressing now, against her very temples, screaming and wailing and screeching. Francesca clasped her small hands to her ears, fighting once more to control the harsh, disturbed track of her inner audio. She sent golden waves of solace toward the ravaged and violated girl.
The screams continued, moaning from the depths of eternal torture.
Stella butted her head lovingly up against Francesca’s arm, letting her know telepathically that she was going to fly up to the top of the nearby forest branches where she could observe the Dorojenja without being noticed.
Zander was busy creating the hostile energy void filled with regressive properties while Xavier monitored the Sending and Seeking Spell fragments for clues. Francesca wrapped the psychic edges of the protective energy void Xavier had called into being closer around herself, much as she would enclose herself in a warm blanket. The wrath and pain of the wheel of death became suddenly muted and Francesca felt the energy void extending its reach farther out as the group broke down into pairs.
Without discussion, Francesca found herself coupled up with Simon. 
Xavier and Zander had moved to the right of the bonfire and Bertrand and Lorenzo were circling around to the left. Which left herself and Simon. Francesca ventured a quick look at the golden curled young man and was comforted at once by the calm assurance she spied within his compassionate hazel eyes.
Simon took hold of Francesca’s hand briefly. She watched as colors of green and gold encircled her upon the contact. Francesca’s eyes closed of their own volition for a brief moment as the energy created between the two of them warmed her instantly. They moved in unison toward the roaring red flames of the bonfire and the amassed group clustered in celebration of dark lust and black magic. Francesca set her jaw firmly. 

Saul Porchetto would pay for this latest desecration, she vowed to herself.

About the Author
Lisa Ann Brown
Lisa Ann has been involved with storytelling and entertainment, in one form or another, her entire life. Beginning her creative journey as both a writer and an actor, Lisa Ann spent many years immersing herself in innumerable books, countless theatre productions and earning a degree in Musical Theatre. Shortly after college, she attended the Vancouver Film School to learn the finer points of screenwriting. This study culminated in the writing of a few feature length scripts and an overwhelmingly potent desire to move from Canada to Hollywood. Once ensconced in East Hollywood however, creative inspiration lured Lisa Ann away from screenwriting and returned her to her original writing intentions: to be a novelist. In three months, Lisa Ann had completed her first novel, I Raid, and there has been no cessation of her novel writing ever since. Moving back to Canada, she spent many years working as a talent agent in Vancouver before retiring from the film industry to focus on writing full-time. Lisa Ann derives great personal satisfaction by delivering her characters through the twisting arcs and unexpected tribulations of their imaginary lives. She strives to keep her readers on edge while enjoying the suspense and surprise of their literary journey. She resides in picturesque Vancouver, BC, Canada where she is happily nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range.
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