Thursday, January 30, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: The Freedman and the Pharaoh's Staff

Please welcome author Lane Heymont, who is going to talk about his latest release, The Freedman and the Pharaoh's Staff. Lane will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on the tour, go here.

The Freedman and the Pharoah’s Staff
by Lane Heymont



Jeb, a former slave, rescues his brother-in-law Crispus from the Ku Klux Klan, only to be drawn into a world of Creole Voodoo, racism, time travel, and redemption.

Verdiss, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, has gained possession of the Pharaoh's Staff, a magical artifact from ancient Egypt, and concocted a diabolical plan far more insidious than himself.

In the end, Jeb and Crispus must stop an entire people from eradication and each find redemption for his own past sins.



Small rib bones clattered on the wooden table, where several black and red candles burned, their flames dancing like a company of elegant danseuses. There was a sense of power in the air. The old conjure-woman felt its prick at the back of her throat as she studied the animal bones. La’Rita was a Haitian woman with a cape of dreadlocks. She would have been beautiful were it not for the boils covering her face—and that her eyes were devoid of any color. La’Rita leaned over the table, shifting her weight in the chair. Shelves and desks filled with jars of grotesque, rotten items surrounded her. Foul-smelling roots and herbs filled some. Rancid liquids filled others to preserve the dead animals they held. Leather-bound books occupied some of the shelves, many etched with strange, archaic symbols.

“Ah, yes,” La’Rita whispered as she looked deeper into the bones. Images danced and twirled across the table, outlined by the dim candlelight. Her empty eyes poured over the phantasms, one by one. Stiff metal birds soared through the open sky, dropping massive pipes. La’Rita shuddered, feeling a sinister force was responsible for the contraptions. The form of an ancient staff passed through her vision. It held within it a great power. Metal boxes on wheels and metallic belts rolled across broken and burning landscapes, fire bursting from their elongated snouts.

Her body shook, spasms rushing up from her feet.

Apparitions whirled around La’Rita, changing, appearing, and dissipating into air. The tremors grew. La’Rita’s entire body shook. She struggled to stay in her chair.

A grizzled man wisped by her eyes. Then the fit ceased. He’d gone by fast enough that La’Rita hadn’t a chance to notice his features. Only his dark skin. She squinted her eyes, spotting the faintest aura in the air. A man with a fine mustache. La’Rita’s head throbbed as if a miner were taking a pick to it. The room shook. Was it her moving or the room?

Her gaze met the phantasmal man’s wretched eyes. The ghostly image made La’Rita sick to her stomach. Utter evil oozed out of this simple-looking man. Too much to bear. Her eyes rolled back. Darkness descended.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lane earned a BA in Liberal Arts with a focus on literature and history. He also holds a double minor in psychology and business. He is a literary assistant with The Seymour Agency, and also has several short stories. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Novel Society, and International Thriller Writers.


Website (

Twitter: @LaneHeymont ( )

Facebook: www.Facebook/Lheymont



Sunbury Press, Inc.:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Two

Our group is certainly expanding by leaps and bounds! Not to mention we have a website, thanks to the generosity of Andrew Q. Gordon. Have you checked it out yet? You should! Go here and see what there is to see!

And of course, it's Wednesday, so it's time for the Wednesday Briefers to show you what we got!

Last week, I began the second Dallas in Wonderland book. For lack of a better title, I'm calling it Dallas in Wonderland II lol But I am open to suggestion. Our story started six months after the first book ended. Dallas is back in his apartment, having spent some time with his sister in hers. Things are not looking well for him. He lost his job, his lover, and had to quit school. The only bright note is his new neighbor, Campbell Cain. Who just gave Dallas some disturbing intel. Don't forget to check out the rest of the Briefers, whose links follow my tale. Enjoy!

Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Two

Dallas’ hand began to shake. Campbell gently removed the cup of coffee from his grip and set it on the maple end table next to the couch. He set his own beside it then claimed Dallas’ hand. Dallas felt two fingers against his wrist. He knew from experience that Campbell was taking his pulse.

“A little fast, but not life threatening,” Campbell fretted. “Is something wrong, Dallas?”

Dallas tried to wrap his head around the question and make sense of it in the current context.  The easier question would have been is anything right. That he could answer in a single word: no. Nothing had been right in a very long time.

But he wasn’t about to admit that to Campbell. He’d like to preserve the illusion that not everyone in the known world knew Dallas Crosby was a card-carrying member of the lunatic fringe for as long as he could. He needed all the friends he could get.

 He had Paris and Oz, of course. It was ironic that he’d always considered Paris to be the iffy sibling. To think that she was now considered to be more sane than him was a sobering thought. There was their brother too, but Frankfurt tended to live in his own little world. Dallas wasn’t even sure what he was doing these days. Other than being a certified genius.

No, he didn’t want to lose Campbell, that was for sure.

“Wh-what did he look like?” Dallas tried to steady his voice, to bolster the illusion that he was fine, but that didn’t work at well as he’d hoped. He realized he hadn’t answered the question either, but maybe Campbell wouldn’t notice.

Campbell placed the back of his hand against Dallas’ forehead, not answering immediately. “Cool to the touch, not running a fever.” He reached for the coffee and handed it back. Dallas was grateful for the return of the warmth and took a long, slow sip.

“I didn’t get the best of looks at him, I’m afraid.” Campbell reclaimed his own cup and leaned back, stretching out his long legs and crossing them at the ankle. “I heard a noise in the hall. Thinking it was you, I went to my door, even if it was a little early.”

“How long ago?”

“Hmmm, maybe fifteen minutes before you got here? I remember being surprised your boss let you go early, so I rushed to the door to make sure nothing was wrong. “

She works hard for the money.

Dallas almost jumped out of his skin until he realized it was Campbell’s cell phone, the ringtone one he’d set for the hospital he worked at. “Sorry,” he murmured as he jumped up and carried the phone into the bedroom. He pondered the question of who’d been at his door until Campbell returned and resumed his seat.

“Guess I’m going in after all,” he apologized.”So much for having a day off.”

Dallas waited the space of a heartbeat. “And the man...?” he prompted.

“Oh yes, the man. Sorry. Lost my train of thought.” Campbell flashed a quick smile and Dallas’ impatience melted. “Like I said, I didn’t get a good look at him, though not for lack of trying. Once I realized he wasn’t you, that is. He was stooped over in front of your door. I thought maybe he was tying his shoe or something. But then he straightened up, really quickly. Like he knew I was looking at him. And he turned toward me...”
“And...” Dallas held his breath, hoping against hope... Could it be... just maybe...

“And then I guess I blinked. The next thing I knew he was heading down the stairs, and I never did get a good look at his face or anything.”

Disappointment surged through Dallas like a machete had been pounded into his heart. How foolish to think Samuel would come looking for him, here of all places. That would be an admission, wouldn’t it? Of something between them?

Besides which, if he wanted to see Dallas, he knew where Dallas would be that afternoon—in his office. Foolish, foolish Dallas to dare to hope. Hopes were for kids. For those who hadn’t lived long enough to learn the definition of disillusionment.

“Sorry I wasn’t any more helpful,” Campbell apologized again, and Dallas resisted the urge to press a kiss against Campbell’s soft cheek and tell him not to fret, sugar, but he didn’t want to give him the wrong impression.  

Campbell drained his cup, glanced into Dallas’ and left it with him. He rose and walked the short distance to the kitchen, rinsed it out and set it in the drainer before crossing over to the bedroom. He didn’t close the door and Dallas could hear the sounds of him getting dressed—the snap of a hanger as he pulled off a clean uniform, the wooden slap of a drawer as he reached for fresh socks. Dallas was familiar with these noises, and thought nothing of them.

“It was probably nobody anyway,” he offered. “Someone selling magazine subscriptions. Or Girl Scout cookies.”

That produced a giggle from Campbell. He walked from the bedroom, his transformation into male nurse complete. His long dark hair was held in one hand as he put it into a tail. “I think I would have noticed a grown man in a Girl Scout uniform. That’s not something you see every day.”

“No, you’re right there,” Dallas agreed. This was his cue to leave. He finished off his coffee and hurriedly rinsed it out to join its mate in the drainer. “Guess I’ll get some sleep while I can.” And pray for no dreams.
Campbell walked him to the door, leaning against the doorjamb as Dallas stood in the hall for a moment. “Don’t work too hard.”

“I won’t.” Campbell smiled.

Dallas turned.

“Although, come to think of it, the man did have rather long hair. I just remembered that. Maybe red. No, more auburn.”

Dallas thought he might just faint.

 to be continued

Now see what's up with the other Briefers!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Price of Justice

Please welcome author Alan Brenham today. Alan is going to talk about his latest release, Price of Justice. He will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To see where else Alan will be, go here.

                                                Full Moon Dreaming Interview

Questions and Responses:
1)   You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice - who is that person
and what item do you have?

The one person whom I’m marooned on a small island would be my wife, Lillian. Our relationship is such that we always share adventures together. Basically, where you find one of us, the other is close by.
      The one item I’d have with me on the island would be a Swiss Army knife. The several attachments that come with this device would allow me to cut and shape branches from island trees into weapons for hunting and defense. The blade would also be useful in filleting meat or fish and constructing a shelter if other options like a cave weren’t available.

2)  Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life - and which character in that musical are you?

The only musical which comes to mind that best exemplifies my life would be South Pacific. It’s a story about overcoming learned prejudices before finding a happy resolution. The character in South Pacific who best fits me would be Emile de Becque. He’s a middle-aged man who has a fairly satisfactory life with his dependents while engaged in a business. His personal life takes a turn for the good with a love affair but goes south when she refuses to deal with her learned bigotry. He voluntarily puts himself in harm’s way so he can get over her. In the end, she learns to deal with the problem and they end up together.

3)  Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them: insurance, owed, talk.

John saw the car of his dreams, a new hunters green Jeep Wrangler 4x4. But the sticker price was three thousand more than he had in the bank. Maybe, he thought, he could talk the salesman down. It didn’t work. John phoned his brother, Bill, who agreed to loan him the difference, but Bill reminded him in some blunt language that he still owed Bill several thousand for paying off a gambling debt. Using the money, John bought the Jeep, however, the salesman warned him that before he could drive it off the lot, John needed to purchase insurance.

4)  What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?

Romantic time is about spending quality time with my wife, time that makes her feel special and loved. That
time may take the form of a week-long cruise, turning off the cell phones and locking them in the cabin’s safe, taking long strolls around the deck, making reservations at one of the specialty-themed restaurants onboard or just sitting on the cabin’s balcony together talking about the present and our future, openly expressing my love for her. A lot of touching, listening to her, whatever it took to make her feel special and wanted.

Another way would be surprising her with a bouquet of flowers and a quiet evening at home, holding her while enjoying a glass of vintage wine and watching a romantic movie - one of her favorites. Or asking her out on a date to a movie she’s been raving about followed by a dinner at an Italian or French-themed restaurant with a table reservation in a secluded part of the restaurant. Or cuddling together on the sofa, laughing about comical events that happened to us while we were dating or right after we got married.
Whatever the opportunity may be, I’d want the occasion to be memorable for her

5)  When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?

I’ve done it both ways. The first story I wrote began with the main character in a situation where he’s faced with making a choice. His decision drove the rest of the story. The next story started with the plot by showcasing the bad guys as they did what they were paid to do. The one I’m writing now opens with a character delivering on a promise he made to himself in prison.

6)  If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who would play you?

I wavered between Robert De Niro and Dennis Quaid, settling on De Niro as my choice to play me. Both are in my age range but De Niro goes from serious and dramatic to humorous and funny with greater ease than Quaid. I’ve watched him in several roles ranging from Cape Fear to Little Fockers. His best role, in my opinion, and the one which made me choose him over Quaid, was his portrayal of the aging thief in The Score.

7)  Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?

My favorite horror villain is the supernatural creature from Hell: the Creeper in the movie Jeepers Creepers
. Aside from his shape-shifting appearance, I like him because he couldn’t be killed whatever they threw at him. They may well slow him down but like the Eveready Bunny, he kept on ticking. He’s overpowering and resilient. Whatever they did to him, he regenerated body parts. He’s unrelenting, in control, and nothing diverts him from his next victim. He won’t be swayed no matter who offers themselves as a sacrifice to keep him from his chosen victim. Right when they think he’s done, they realize, like Schwarzenegger, he’ll be back, returning for a  certain period of time every 23 years to feed.

8)  Do you have a historical crush and, if so, who is it?

When I was growing up, my brother, sister and I loved to watch the Mickey Mouse Club on TV. The highlight of the whole show, for me, was one of the Mouseketeers named Annette Funicello. She was very pretty with short black hair and big eyes. Every time I saw her dance or sing on the show, I had wished I was right there singing or dancing with her.

9)  Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?

The one I’d like to tell would begin in 3090 AD. The world has evolved into a unified society where governments and laws don’t exist because they aren’t necessary. People live in a peaceful non-violent society with total respect for each other and their property. Covetousness doesn’t exist. They have no names and are known only by numbers. Everyone wears a single color and style of uniform. There is only one language, one race, one ethnicity, and one religion.
A group of dissidents, wanting to install a world government, operates in complete secrecy on the fringe. They try persuasion first. When that doesn’t work, they up the ante with midnight attacks on society’s icons to create uncertainty, distrust, and pit neighbor against neighbor.

People band together into cliques. A status quo group forms to counter the dissidents. Leaders are selected by each side. They jockey for advantage by manipulating public opinion and smear campaigns. People are forced to take sides. Physical boundaries are formed. Weapons are introduced. Jails and prisons are built. Police and militia are formed. Open warfare breaks out. Who will win? 

Price of Justice
by Alan Brenham



His focus is on solving the murders—until the unthinkable happens…

Recently widowed, Austin Police Detective Jason Scarsdale works to solve the murders of two pedophiles, while trying to be both mother and father to his five-year-old daughter. During his investigation, Scarsdale is forced to navigate between the crosshairs of two police commanders out to get him. Drawn to Austin Police Crime Analyst, Dani Mueller, who has also suffered tragedy, Scarsdale fights both his attraction and his suspicions that something just isn’t right…

She is hiding a secret, one that could not only cost her a job—it could end her life…

Dani hides a deadly past. After her daughter was brutally murdered, Dani exacted her revenge then changed her name and fled to Austin. But if her secret ever gets out, she knows there is no place she can hide from the murderer’s vicious family.

Pulled into a web of malice and deceit, Scarsdale and Dani discover the value of breaking the rules. Then just when they thought things couldn’t get worse…they do.



Looking down the black barrel of his service weapon, Detective Jason Scarsdale saw the promise of peace. Just pull the trigger, flick out the lights, and rest. He couldn’t sleep, he didn’t eat, and he couldn’t work. He saw the fingers of his right hand on the trigger guard, his left clutching the grip. With deliberation, he shifted his hold to adjust his wedding ring so that the three diamonds were showing. She had bought it for their first anniversary and, after the priest blessed it, had placed it on his ring finger in a reaffirmation of their vows. She told him the three diamonds signified the Holy Trinity. She said the Trinity would protect them, keeping their union intact as they grew old and feeble.

Now Charity was dead. Killed four weeks ago. Dead at twenty-eight. Dead because of him.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alan Brenham is the pseudonym of Alan Behr, an American author and attorney. He served as a law enforcement officer before earning a law degree. He worked first as a prosecutor then defense attorney for the next twenty-six years. His travels took him to several European and Middle Eastern countries, Alaska and almost every island in the Caribbean. While contracted to US military forces, he resided in Berlin, Germany for a few years. Alan and his wife, Lillian, currently live in the Austin, Texas area. He has authored two crime fiction books, Price of Justice and Cornered, and is working on a third titled Rampage.




Black Opal Books:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Into the Darkness

Please welcome author K.F. Breene, who's here to talk about her newest release, Into the Darkness. One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/B&N GC. The more often you comment, the better your chances of winning. Look for the rafflecopter at the end of this post. To find the other stops on this tour, go here.

by K.F. Breene



I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.

Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.

No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived.

I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity.

I just had to know.

“She was fated to live.”
“Then why must you save her?”
“Often Fate is struck down by dumb luck.”



As I met his black eyes, his puzzled expression deepened. “You’re human…”

“We established that, yes. What I want to know is, if I am human, what does that make you? And why do I notice you when others usually don’t?”

His head cocked to the side. His easy balance, his lethal edge; he was like a blade resting on billowing silk. “Very few humans are able to withstand our pheromones. Fewer still to break a Kolma once it has been placed. You’ve not been trained, that’s obvious, so how is this possible when you’re definitely human? Do you possess the blood of another species?”

I could barely think past the pounding ache of my body, begging to touch him. I needed to get a grip! He was revealing some very interesting factoids that I needed to jot down in my mental notebook.

His nostrils flared. “Charles was right; your arousal is a unique scent. Like a spicy, warm drink on a mid-winter’s night. It rises above other smells, entrancing the mind.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A wine country native, K.F. Breene moved to San Francisco for college just shy of a decade ago to pursue a lifelong interest in film. As she settled into the vibrant city, it quickly became apparent that, while she thought making and editing films was great fun, she lacked cinematic genius. For that reason, her career path quickly changed direction. Her next goal was a strange childhood interest, conjured at the dining room table while filling out a form. For some reason, her young self wanted to be an accountant. Thinking on it now, she often wonders how she had any friends. Regardless, it was the direction she finally took.

While she could wrangle numbers with the best of 'em, and even though she wore the crown as the most outspoken, belligerent accountant in the world, her mind got as stuffy as her daily routine. It was here that she dusted off her creative hat and began writing. Now she makes movies in her head, not worried about lighting, shutter speed, or editing equipment. Turns out, a computer is much easier to manage than a crowd of actors. She should know, she was an actor at one time.


Twitter: @KFBreene

Facebook for friending:

Facebook author page (for liking):

  1. Balancing life and writing;
Balance… Hmm. I don’t have much of that at the moment. My trade is accounting, which I love. When I have my head in math and spreadsheets, my brain is free to wander. This enables me to come up with different story ideas, or ways to make the story I’m working on realistic and lifelike. Since I have the first three novellas in the Darkness Series going through editing, and want to take a break, I decided to take a contract job.
I live in the Bay Area. What this means is that, unless you work in downtown San Francisco and live in the East Bay directly on the BART line, you’ll have a long commute. My normal work day is sandwiched between over an hour (each way) of traffic and commute time. By the time I get home, I am bursting with ideas that I have to write down. I am also exhausted.
But oh wait, life isn’t as simple as when I wrote Jessica Brodie Diaries (when it was just my husband and I). Now I have a 2.5 year old that wants to play, needs to eat, needs to bath…
Add to that a husband that has somehow regressed into a child himself…
No, I’m not balancing everything all that well. What I am doing is losing sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. And I love sleep.
It’s a tough spot when you have a few things you really like, and you want to do them all. It’s not even about the money, either. I enjoy the things I’ve got going on (except when the husband gets an attitude that I didn’t make dinner—seriously, guy? I’m working two jobs, basically, and making more than you are. Get your butt to the kitchen!)
I just want more time in my day to do these things I’m doing.
Since that time has to come from somewhere, I’m very grumpy in the mornings.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

Before I start, I would like to tell you I'm visiting with Jon Keys today, so go check that out.

Things have changed from when I was a kid. Back then, there were two basic seasons for television programs - the regular seasons and the summer reruns. Of course, back then, we basically had what? Five channels? Six after UHF came out? (Yes, I'm old enough to remember a time before UHF, and also a time when color TV's were brand new and not the norm, like they are now).

With the coming of cable, that all changed. There is no one season fits all. Which is actually good. You can balance your programming and not try to watch everything at once, which is impossible due to the demands of time (and yes, DVR is a real godsend too). As one show you enjoy ends its season, another is sure to begin. And so it is with me.

Once Upon a Time, Masters of Sex both finished. Grimm just had a finale, at least until February 28th, at which time both it and Hannibal will return. And yay for Hannibal! I saw a promo for it last night, during Grimm, using a song very familiar to me, Can't Get it Out of My Head:   It's an old ELO song, and how well it works with this.

I think this season we will see Hannibal really coming out as the serial killer we all know and love, even more
than in the first season, as he frames Will Graham for the murders he has committed. If they continue in this vein, and I hope that they do, I think season three should be the season of Red Dragon. And eventually we will come to Silence of the Lambs and Clarice. There can be no spoilers, if you've read the books and watched the movies. But the fun is in the anticipation, in watching it played out using these very talented actors. I wasn't sure I could accept anyone other than Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, but Mads Mikkelsen is superb, and Hugh Dancy shines as Will Graham. When NBC is good, they are very very good, especially with their dramas. They put all the others to shame, as far as the networks go. But sometimes they also screw me over, cancelling shows I love. I don't think this will be the case with Hannibal, though, or Grimm.

Dracula had its season finale, but the fate of the show is up in the air. NBC hasn't decided. That's what I mean. Sometimes you have to trust your instincts and go with it. Dracula is a strong contender, and they should renew it for another year, see where it goes. I hope they do, because the creators have taken a familiar story and given it some interesting twists, and I'm not ready for it to be over.

Justified has just returned for its fifth season, and it's going strong. Guess who's back? Remember Dewey

Crowe of the four kidneys? Dumber than a bag of hair Dewey? Well, he's not any smarter. And now he's got kinfolk from down South to reckon with, a cousin who's pretty sure he can control Dewey and get over on him and everyone else. Raylan's a new daddy, with a little girl down in Florida. Still not sure why Winona left him - she must be crazy. Raylan's staying in some fancy digs that the feds appropriated from a criminal and he's sortof seeing Loretta's caseworker, who has a crazy boyfriend. Ava's still in jail for murder, and Boyd's doing what he can, but he's got problems of his own. I wonder if their relationship will survive this?

Top Chef New Orleans has two more episodes, as they wind out the finale into two, which means probably a lot of filler, which is annoying. It's down to Nina, Shirley and Nicholas. Carlos was eliminated last week, thank goodness. I couldn't stand him, and felt that his personality aside, he was too one-note to win. I'm looking for Nicholas to be eliminated before the final showdown. He should have been gone already, and only having immunity saved his ass and cost a worthier chef the chance to win. See, in the end, it isn't necessarily the best chef that wins. This is just a longer form of cutthroat kitchens, with its own form of sabotages. Take immunity off the table from the beginning, and you get a whole other ballgame. I'm rooting for Shirley. Not that I don't like Nina, I do. But I think Shirley is the more skillful of the two and deserves to win.

Speaking of Cutthroat Kitchen, I have to say it's a lot better show than I thought it was going to be. In fact, I
downright enjoy it. Alton Brown delivers just the right amount of coldness for the part of the emcee, and the contestants are obviously encouraged to play as unfairly as possible, including a lot of trash talk. But it's all in fun, and don't worry - Alton's as sweet as ever, it's just a persona, folks! But it makes for some fun times as people are given handicaps to their cooking, whether it's how they cook, or what they cook. For example, sometimes only one chef is allowed to taste their dish. And one time a chef was forced to do all his cooking with utensils made of aluminum foil. Losing time, having fresh ingredients swapped for process ones - it's all part of the game of Cutthroat Kitchen!

American Horror Story Coven ends this week, and I must say it's been a wild and crazy ride - and I've loved every minute of it. How's it going to end? I have no clue! ****SPOILER ALERT**** In the last episode, they killed the Axeman. Nan is dead. Delphine trapped in a Hell of her own making. Fiona is dead, without having named a successor. Misty was rescued from her premature burial. But I would not underestimate Fiona. And it's not over until it's over, as the coven prepares to perform the seven wonders which will determine who is the next Supreme. All bets are off, and I would not hazard a guess as to who it might be. With a triumvirate such as Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates, can you possibly go wrong? I think not.

Speaking of shows that have come back, my darling Sherlock as returned! Reports of his death were greatly
exaggerated! Of course, if you know Sherlock Holmes at all, you knew that already, as the infamous Reichenbach Falls was the scene of the fictional detective's demise those many years ago. And like his literary counterpart, this Sherlock isn't dead either. Of course not, that would mean an end to the series. I'm sad that each season consists of only three episodes, but what wonderful episodes! I loved the first one. I laughed and I cried. ****SPOILERS**** Next one should be great, as Dr. Watson gets married. We met his fiance in the first one, and surprisingly I liked her. Can't wait for the next.

And The Following is back! Didn't we all know Joe couldn't be dead? Seriously? Well, the first episode aired after one of the football game playoffs last weekend. And that was a huge mistake, I could have told them it would be. Basically because of the unpredictable timing element of football games. They don't tie up neatly in an allotted time, they're unreliable. And how do you set your DVR when you can't be sure what time the show will start? You can't, not with any real assurance that you'll catch the whole thing. And that's just what happened. Apparently, the idiots at Fox began airing it 12 minutes early! Well, duh, that means for everyone who recorded it that twelve minutes were lost. At least they realized their stupidity and are re-airing the episode prior to the next one. But that means blocking out more time to watch both. Jeez, people, get your act together!

Back to cooking for a moment. Food Network is now airing Chopped Canada, the Great North version of our beloved series. It's very similar, of course, and follows the same format. Different host, different judges, and of course different contestants. It's interesting. If you like Chopped, I think you'll like it. The host is no Ted Allen, but he does fine. The best part for me is getting to see Roger Mooking as a judge. Last seen, he did a show with Aaron Sanchez called Heat Seekers.

And on Saturday mornings, something different - The Kitchen. This is a weekly talk show featuring five Food
Network personalities. I'll admit the biggest reason I tuned in was because of my crush on Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and also because Jeff Mauro, the Sandwich King is there too. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it's a fun, informative and interesting hour of television, and I look forward to it every week now. Well worth your while if you enjoy learning about food, listening to light, fun banter, and seeing talented chefs cook. Geoffrey has his own portion of the show - It's 5 o'clock somewhere - and he mixes a different cocktail in every episode.

Lest you think I've forgotten, let me mention that The Blacklist is back and better than ever, and James Spader is hot, hot, hot and I cannot wait to find out what is going to happen. Will we learn the truth about Red's relationship with Lizzie? Will we discove the truth about Tom? We already know who the mole is. What a fabulous first season this has been. This goes on my gotta have list for sure, along with Hannibal and Grimm (I got the first season, thanks to my Sarah!)

I think that's about it for now. More about the Following, once I actually watch it. Same with Hannibal. I'm working on my first BDSM novel, and hope to finish it by the end of February, although that might be ambitious. I'm excited that When Will I See You Again comes out tomorrow. I hope, of course, that it does well, but mostly I hope that people enjoy it. I poured my heart into it.

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Friday, January 24, 2014

Baby it's Cold Outside!

Well, it's winter, what do I expect, right? Doesn't mean I have to like it or think about it. So I think I'm going to indulge in some warm thoughts and fantasies because frankly that sounds like a lot more fun.

So, everything being equal and no holds barred, where would be a good place to be that isn't here and cold? (The temperature was almost zero this morning when I left for work! Yipes!)

Isn't that beautiful? It's Tahiti. Hmmm, where else?

And now Hawaii.

What else? Something to drink, of course!

All right, maybe it's not tropical or fruity, but right now it sounds a whole lot better lol

Now, I think I'm lacking something else on that nice sunny tropical beach, something else hot that will help keep me warm

Gary Oldman, of course!  Hotter than hot, hot, hot!

Okay, that takes care of me on the beach rather effectively, so more hot things.

Chile ghost peppers - hottest peppers in the world!

Wow, what a combination - volcano and lightning! And very beautiful too!

Something a little less dangerous to cuddle up to, plus you can cook food on it, such as wienies and s'mores!

And now some hot things just because I can

Now if that didn't get you hot, I can't help you lol

I'm visiting with JC Wallace today and I'm talking about When Will I See You Again. See you there!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Introducing my latest release

On Sunday, I'm excited to say, my first release with Amber Quill is coming out, and today starts my informal blog tour to promote it. I say informal because it's something I put together myself with people I know, and a few very nice reviewers. I hope you'll love my book as much as I do, so I'm going to tell you a little about it. You might have seen snippets of it here and there. This book is very close to my heart, I must admit.

The name of the book is When Will I See You Again. If the title sounds familiar, that's because it's the name of a song by the Three Degrees, and yes, I was influenced by it when I wrote this. Here is the video, so you can listen to it, too.

Now, here is my inspiration for Raoul Marchand.

This is what Raoul looks like in my mind. And yes, this is Gerard Butler, the way he looks in Attila.

When Will I See You Again takes place in a time when the presence of werewolves and vampires among the general populace is known and accepted, largely because of drugs that control any baser animal instincts. SL57 is the werewolf wonder drug, short for SomnioLupus, otherwise known as Wolf Trank. In the small seaside town of Crescent Bay, people come to the famous nightclub Charisma, mostly because of the charismatic man who is one of the best-known supes in the area: Raoul Marchand. Raoul is a regular party animal, one who lives but to have a good time, and who cares for no one and nothing. But he hasn’t always been this way...

Let me share the blurb with you.

 Raoul Marchand is the crown prince of Charisma, the infamous night club in Crescent Bay, renowned for its supernatural clientele. He has the pick of any and all men, but he cares for none. He uses them and throws them away again, and has done so for some twenty years, in the aftermath of a tragedy that robbed him of what he loved most in the world.

Alexx Jameson is an idealistic young would-be reporter with the Crescent Bay Chronicle. Presented with an opportunity to write a story on the Marchands, he eagerly grasps the chance to be a real reporter. His friend, Chronicle receptionist Miller Fenwick, suggests they go to Charisma to do a little research. Alexx isn’t sure that’s such a great idea. After all, he’s still under age, being only twenty. No problem, Miller can fix that! Added bonus, there’s a full moon tonight.

When Alexx first encounters Raoul, it isn’t exactly in the way he dreamed of, and he’s sure he made a terrible first impression. But Fate throws them together under unforeseen circumstances, and the attraction between them can’t be denied. Can Raoul let go of the past long enough to find his future with Alexx, or is he doomed to repeat past mistakes?

And now for an excerpt:

Alexx drew in his breath in dismay. This wasn’t going well. Even so, he could not stop staring at Raoul. His eyes met the other man’s. Raoul’s were very golden; he wasn’t aware such colors even existed in the spectrum of the human eye. But then again, he didn’t have any friends that were werewolves either. He wondered if this was a sign that perhaps this man was about to change, right here and now?
The thought was both exhilarating and frightening.

Alexx’s vision telescoped until he wasn’t aware of anything but this gorgeous man in front of him. Blood pounded in his ears and his mouth felt suddenly dry. Having lost all sense of the others in the room, he was surprised when he felt his chair yanked out from under him. Before he could fall, a hand grabbed the scruff of his neck, propelling him to his feet. He glanced at his companion; Miller was being subjected to the same surly treatment.

“You waste my time for this?” Raoul’s upper lip curled back in a snarl. Alexx found himself wildly attracted to him. “I have somewhere I need to be. Paolo, please show these gentlemen out.” Sarcastic much? He turned and reached for the door, but it opened before he touched it.

A shaggy blond with hazel eyes and a cheerful countenance stuck his head inside. “Hey Paolo—” He interrupted himself at the sight of the occupants of the room.

Alexx heard Miller’s sigh of relief, even as he too recognized the newcomer. He’d seen him around the Chronicle often enough, although he’d never really spoken to him. Foster Levine, son of the Chronicle’s owner—heir apparent and future newspaper magnate.

Alexx’s relief quickly changed to anxiety. What if Foster knew how old he really was? He couldn’t be sure one way or the other, but for the sake of argument, he had to assume he did. Would he out him to Raoul Marchand and his burly minion? Had they simply jumped from the frying pan to be scorched by the fire?

And this is how I pictured Foster, for the record. Get your drool bibs ready for this one too lol

I always hoped that I would find a publisher for WWISYA, but the road wasn't an easy one. Luckily for me, I have the support of my wonderful kids and some very great friends.  First I was rejected, and then I was ignored (the publisher was interested but forgot to get back to me). I had always wanted to sub to Amber Quill, but they were, until recently, by invitation only. So I took a chance, and found my book accepted in six days, and published three months later.

So now here I am, excited and thrilled to bring this to you. I don't want to give away too much of the story, because that's what reading is for, right? Discovery, exploration, sharing... and I hope you get to experience them all. So I am going to have a giveaway. Two readers will win a copy of When Will I See You Again.

What do you have to do? Well, I would like it if you followed me, but I won't demand it. What I am asking for is that you comment and tell me whatever comes to mind. What you think of the song, the blurb, the excerpt - how you're feeling today, anything. Be sure to leave an email address, so I can contact you if you win.

I will pick the winners before my Valentine's Day Blog Hop, and post them. You can comment on any of my stops on my tour. I'll put all the  names into a hat and draw from them.

I hope you enjoy the tour. Most of all, I hope you enjoy the book. I put my heart in it.  Thanks for listening.

The first stop on my tour is The Novel Approach. Go there and enjoy! There'll be a giveaway there too!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie