Check out the newest release by Katie Hamstead Dancing in the Athenian Rain

 
Title: Dancing in the Athenian Rain
Author: Katie Hamstead
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: New Adult Time Travel Romance
Blurb:
When Donna is sent back in time to Classical Athens, she’s
furious at Dr. Stephens for sending her against her wishes. Then a Greek
soldier purchases her to be his wife.She’s forced to learn a new language and culture, and faces her fears of never
returning to her own time. The society hates her, especially because they think
she’s an Amazon, which forces her to confront her issues—being compared to her
genius brother, borderline abusive friends, and a cheating boyfriend.

But her husband, Peleus, is kind and patient. Although against her best
judgment, she allows him into her heart. He counters all the negative voices from
her past, but those voices drive a wedge between them. She must let go of her
fears, her inhibitions, and insecurities, and admit her feelings, or she could
lose him and the life they’ve built.

 Buy your copy : Amazon
About the Author:
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day
dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories,
inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she
met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona
with her husband, daughter and their dog.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She
currently works as an Acquisitions Editor with Curiosity Quills Press to help
support her family.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife
and mother. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to
work on her novels.

The fourth novella is here! Check out Gabriel from the Path of Angels series by Patricia Josephine

Patricia Josephine has just released part four of her series Path of Angels. Gabriel takes us to the exciting conclusion of the fallen angel and nephilim story. (I’m being deliberately vague as to not give away any details now. I’ve read all four novellas and encourage you to do the same!)

Patricia’s fast paced story revolved around four main characters – who were angels – and a supporting crew. I loved the diversity and unique traits used in establishing the different personas. In book four, selective mutism affects one of the supporting characters. Here’s what Patricia revealed about Charlie’s trait.

Selective Mutism

When I was writing book four in the series, I knew right off that Charlie wouldn’t speak. She can speak, but chooses not to because of an event in her past. It was a slow evolution to being mute too. Little by little, she said less and less until by the time Alexander meets her, she barely speaks. (When she was in school, she would if called upon, but she never went out of her way to talk.)

In the first draft, she did have one line, but then I cut it. After getting beta notes and editor notes, I ended up having her speak again when I completely rewrote chapter four. I thought it would add a little weight to the scene. If she was saying that then it was important.

What causes Charlie not to speak isn’t shown in the story because Alexander accepts it as part of who she is. He’s spent his whole life being judge, so he vowed never to judge her when she offered friendship so freely. I also didn’t want to make it a big deal, like it was something to pity her for. Charlie doesn’t speak, but she knows how to be heard.

GabrielPoACoverAnd here’s the Blurb

The end is in sight.

To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.

Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.

The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.

Amazon Link: 

Goodreads Link: 

 

95ab8c5453cf0ad8956ec4.L._V142990368_SX200_About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Links:

Twitter:

Website:

Google+: 

Wattpad:

Goodreads: 

Path of Angels: 

Release Blitz for All Cried Out by Ayden K. Morgen

 All Cried Out
Sequel to All Falls Down
By: Ayden K. Morgen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 6/7/15

Summary:

With Jared Corbit and Savannah Martin’s wedding day quickly approaching, everything should be golden for the two, but their trouble has only just begun. When the media learns of the damage Stewart Paulson has inflicted on the Talbot family, Savannah and Jared get caught in the cross-hairs.
Even worse, the past has caught up with Savannah in a big way, and nothing will prepare her or Jared for the danger headed their way or the devastating decisions they’ll be forced to make as a result. 
Jared’s determined to protect his fiancée from the people milling in the shadows, but good intentions only go so far. When Savannah learns the truth he’s desperately trying to keep from her, their future together begins to unravel. How can she trust him when he’s lying to her? And just how far is he willing to go to protect the woman he loves from her past?
All Cried Out, told exclusively from Jared’s POV, is the exciting follow up to Ayden K. Morgen’s All Falls Down.

Purchase Links

25% of proceeds from All Cried Out will go to the Polaris Project, a national nonprofit working to combat human trafficking around the world, in honor of Cassie M. Combs. You can learn more at http://polarisproject.org.

All Cried Out Excerpt: 

All Falls Down

When Savannah Martin walks in on her abusive boyfriend and her best friend in bed together, she thinks life can’t possibly get any worse. And then she wakes up in a hospital in Italy, scared and alone. With nowhere left to go, Savannah runs to the family who took her in when her mother abandoned her as a teenager.
But things aren’t as simple as they were then.
For starters, two years of constant emotional abuse has broken Savannah in ways she’s not sure can be repaired. And patriarch Matthew Talbot has been murdered, leaving his eldest daughter, Lexi, in charge of a global non-profit and her younger sisters.
Jared Corbit, Lexi’s gorgeous boyfriend, is the only thing standing between her and whoever murdered her father. That doesn’t stop Savannah from falling in love with him. She knows it’s wrong, but she just can’t stay away from him when he makes he feel like no one else ever has before.
Finding out his relationship with Lexi is a ruse should make things easier, but when the truth is finally revealed, Savannah’s fragile world threatens to fall apart. There’s a murderer on the loose, and he’s gunning for the only family she has. To save their lives, she and Jared will be forced to make a decision that just might destroy her completely.
How is she supposed to let the man she loves be with another woman?


All Falls Down is only $0.99 on Amazon  


About the Author:

Ayden lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart and husband of ten years, and their five furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and CJ field. 

Ayden also writes Young and New Adult fiction under the penname A.K. Morgen.

You can find Ayden on Twitter, Facebook, or via her website at http://aydenmorgen.com. You can learn more about her YA/NA fiction at http://akmorgen.com.

It’s here! The Black Oracle by Michael Cristiano

Humans, you are not alone.

The_Black_Oracle_Cover“Joachim is a hunter in the jungle of a post-apocalyptic Earth. Though generations have passed since the Great Death, something has evolved in the trees beyond the giant glowing mushrooms, mutants that want to see human entrails spread along the jungle floor.

And now they’ve taken Joachim’s wife.

To get her back, Joachim will have to give the leader of these demons something in return: immortality. A creature knows when he is going to die, after all. Plunged into a world of magic and darkness, Joachim must find the only woman who knows where the ingredients are. She is a prophetess known as the Black Oracle living in the realm of Zalm, but she’s a little preoccupied at the moment. She leads a rebellion against the ruthless High Council, and when Joachim seeks her out, he too finds himself consumed by her struggle.

In a story of betrayal, prophecy, and bloodshed, Joachim has ten days to retrieve the ingredients and return to Earth all while evading the High Council’s army, one that wants the Black Oracle and her associates killed — Joachim included.”

“The Black Oracle” is a New Adult post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, and it is available now. You can pick up an eBook copy on Amazon here or a paperback copy here. Check out the excerpt below and join the adventure today.

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“Darcie had been sitting in the doorway when he returned to the village not yet two evenings ago. The day had been hot, and Joachim was sweaty and dirty and tired. He lowered his rucksack, and she closed the book she had been reading, one from Baruch’s Old Earth library, like all the others.

“Welcome home.”

He’d spent the last six weeks in the arms of the jungle, the cold, dark, unforgiving wilderness that never truly felt right even on the most beautiful of days. Joachim had hunted in those trees all his life, but nothing compared to Darcie. In her eyes, he was home.

“How did the great hunters fare?” she teased. “Did you take down three alligators this time? How about an elephant? Will we have enough elephant meat to last us until next summer?”

“Not quite,” Joachim replied.

She stood with her hands on her waist. From the back, someone would think that she was upset if not for the expression on her face. She watched him from under her brow, her chin turned slightly downward. She smiled.

“I missed you,” he whispered as he snuck his hands onto her hips.

“No, you didn’t.” She smirked. “You and Ben and Trent are like children out there—like young boys. And the jungle is your little paradise.”

“What if I told you that you are my paradise?” He kissed her neck.

She snorted. “Oh, please. Think you can just walk in here and woo me with some flattery?”

“I know I can.”

Darcie’s arms snaked around him. Her lips were as intoxicating as barley sweetened in the sun, and soon, he lifted her off of her feet and pressed her against the wall.

“Joachim!” she exclaimed. “The neighbors.”

“There’s no one watching.”

She laughed and hit him lightly on the chest.

“How was everything while I was gone?” Joachim asked.

“Fine,” Darcie said. “Boring.”

They went inside the dwelling. There was simmering jackalope stew on the stove.

“Ophelia’s ceiling had a leak last week,” Darcie continued. “A big rainstorm pushed through here, and it ripped some of the roof off. Did you get a storm out there in the jungle too?”

“Yes,” Joachim said. “I’m not even sure my rucksack is dried all the way through yet.”

He dipped his finger into the stew. It tasted salty.

“And how are you?” he asked.

Darcie played with a lock of her dark hair and bit her bottom lip. She reminded him of the day they married. There had been no parent left to walk Darcie down the aisle, so she walked herself. The whole time she eyed him: shy yet eager. Almost childlike.

“I’m pregnant,” she said.

He almost dropped his hand back into the stew. A little boy, she had just called him, alluding to his exhilaration whenever he entered the jungle. And Darcie was right: he often became so energized that he did feel like a little boy—and he felt like one again now. He felt like laughing, like scooping Darcie up and twirling her around. He could feel life bursting through his chest: ravenous innocence and maddening excitement. They’d been yearning for a child for so long.

“You are?”

“I found out into the second week of the hunt.” She touched his face. “I skipped my cycle, and I told Jolyne. She ran a test and told me I was expecting.”

Joachim cried. The hunter was supposed to be brave, but being brave sometimes meant having courage to show his emotions. He wept for her, smiling and laughing through the tears, and she cried too.

She spent the night tight to his chest and coiled in his arms like a huntress in camouflaging paints, like a butterfly in a cocoon.

Like she was protected by a shield.

Joachim wished she were there for him to protect now. She hadn’t mentioned the creatures that evening, and he doubted she even knew that they had come while he was away. But now she was gone, and so he had to be too. If he waited too long, the creatures would keep her away from him forever.

If she wasn’t already.”

ender

Headshot.The.Black.OracleMichael Cristiano is a Canadian writer. His relentless obsession with writing began long before he could spell the words ‘relentless obsession’. Growing up in endless suburban sprawl, he spent most of his childhood pretending to be Harry Potter and attempting to get published by the age of thirteen.

When he isn’t writing or reading, he can be found planning his next backpacking trip around the world. He is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with studies in Foreign Language and Linguistics. Previously, he attended a Regional Arts high school where he majored in drama. He is fond of all things dramatic.

Michael currently resides in the Greater Toronto Area, and he is using his years as a twenty-something to establish what he hopes will be a long career in writing. He works in editing and acquisitions for Curiosity Quills Press, and his freelance work has appeared on websites such as Nexopia, FluentU, and BlushPost. The Black Oracle, his debut novel, is out now.

Like him on Facebook. Follow him on Twitter.

Will Zephyr’s gift lead Zade to salvation or astray? Check out Zadekiel, part Two in The Path of Angels

ZadekielPoACoverBlurb:

The path is lost.

With Michael gone, the mantle of leadership falls to Zadekiel. In this time of darkness, with tempers running short, Zade struggles to guide his brothers. Hope comes in the form of a green haired woman with a unique gift. She represents a way back to the path they lost when Michael disappeared.

Zephyr fills books with cryptic poetry, a powerful compulsion, which is more a curse than a blessing. With no control over her ability, she struggles to live a normal life. When she meets Zade, he insists her ability is a gift from God. Reluctantly, she agrees to join the cause–it’s hard to dispute a man with wings.

Now the path is found, but one question remains. Will it lead to further darkness?

Amazon Link:

(Check out my review of Zadekiel while you’re there.)

Goodreads Link: 

PatriciaLynneAuthorPic2About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Links:

Twitter:    Website:   Google+:    Wattpad:    Goodreads:

Michael (Part 1 of the Path of Angels series) by Patricia Josephine

perf6.000x9.000.inddBlurb:

There is only one path.

Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell. He is determined in his mission, never straying from his appointed path, until he meets Lake Divine, and discovers there may be more to his beliefs than blind duty.

But Lake is not who he seems. Offspring of a human and a fallen angel, a Nephilim, Lake must choose his own destiny: give in to the coldness and embrace the dark, or seek the light and rise above the sins of his father.

Two paths lay before them, but only one has the potential to destroy them both.

 

PatriciaLynneAuthorPic2About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

 

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

 

Links:

Twitter: |   Website:    |   Google+:    |    Wattpad:   |    Goodreads: 

 

 

Fun Facts

Sometimes the devil is in the details. When writing a story, little things can creep in or there are conscious choices that have meaning behind them. Here are a few fun facts about Michael that you would never know.

 

  1. Lake’s school bullies were named after my ex-boyfriends. Not at first though. One day I was editing and I thought it’d give me a giggle given how Lake gets back at them. Although, I shouldn’t really laugh at that.
  2. The dog Lake meets in the park is named after my friend Erin’s dog. She was one of my critique partners for Being Human and helped make it awesome.
  3. In the story, Jophiel is considered an archangel, but when I was looking for names I found conflicting evidence. Some sites he’s just listed as an angel, while others say in Jewish lore he is an archangel. I opted to keep the name because it was one that I had yet to see used.
  4. Michael’s hometown I named after Monroe, Louisiana. It’s where a friend lives, but that’s not where Michael is from.
  5. At the beginning of chapter two, Gabe asks about cigarettes being banned in public buildings. Michigan banned smoking in bars and restaurants.
  6. This last one will make all my writing friends gasp in horror. Joe doesn’t like to read. But he does enjoy writing. He mostly writes jokes. His plans before finding out he’s an archangel was to be a comedian.

Stop by and check out The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski

TheThornAndTheSinkingStone-500x750The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski
Release Date: March 2015  Entangled Teen
313 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…
Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth’s Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel
. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…
To avenge his father’s death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers,must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill
him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.
But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

A Rafflecopter giveaway

As a special treat for readers, CJ shares the backstory and development of the infamous Two Daggers, Sebastian’s family gang.
THE TWO DAGGERS
Motto: Honor Your Brothers
Heads of the Family: Current: Kane Leold (The Irishman) – The eldest brother of the Leolds and current leader of the Two Daggers, recently inherited after the death of his father, Lucky. With striking red hair and a brutish build he is often seen as tough, but fair.
A concerned big brother to Sebastian and Callan, he struggles to be all things: a parent, a leader, and a friend. He is honorable to the core and as dependable as a rock but cross him and you’ll live to regret it.
Deceased: Lucky Leold – The Deceased leader of the Two Daggers. A kind and intelligent man; deep thinker and talented businessman. The source of Kane’s red hair and Sebastian’s softer side, he was a leader with a sharp sense of duty, pride, and responsibility.
Deceased: Killian Leold (The Brute) – The Deceased founder of the Two Daggers. A hardened former sheep farmer and sometimes bootlegger.
Notable Members: Sebastian Leold (Leold Brother) – The middle child of the Leold Brothers. A sharp witted, yet troubled, member of the Two Daggers, struggling with a life of violence and searching for deeper meaning in the wake of his father’s murder.
Callan Leold (Leold Brother) – The youngest Leold Brother. A snarky ball of energy, Callan has every comeback on the tip of his tongue. A life of pent up angst over the loss of those close to him, he is swift to attack without consideration. But underneath all the showmanship, he’s still a young boy looking for guidance from his older brothers after the death of their father.
Corduroy Leold – Lucky Leold’s youngest brother and only surviving sibling. He is uncle to Callan, Sebastian and Kane, though acts more as a friend that a parental figure. A cool-headed, bachelor, Corduroy has led his life honorably and with unwavering loyalty to the Dagger’s cause and his nephews.
The Bowler Hat – A stray that Lucky Leold brought in from the streets years ago, scarred with battle wounds he refuses to speak about. A silent and skilled sniper, he is the perfect ally and an enemy’s worst nightmare
History:
The Two Daggers are the most respected gang in Rain City, run by the Leold family. Of Celtic descent, they were one of the first families to arrive in Rain City after the Last War that destroyed modern civilization. The land surrounding Rain City remained fertile after the war, productive, and so hundreds of thousands of survivors over the century since the last bombs fell found their way to the abandoned city to start anew—whatever the place had been before it was no more, budding from the ashes to begin again in a darker time, scarred by a violent past.
Among those first travellers who heard whispers of Rain City’s survival were several families fleeing from war-torn Ireland, drifting aimlessly a long roads from crumbled village to crumbled village in search of a new life. With nothing but the clothes on their backs and a will to survive, the first Leolds crossed thousands of kilometers of land through dead cities and fallen nations to reach the small pearl of hope nestled deep in what was once southern Europe. Borders were no more, fields turned to ash, and the skies near constant rain, as if the very earth were trying to wash the blood away.
After weeks of grueling travel, the Leold family finally reached the rumored city and found assuaging, sad place that once could have been beautiful, but was now tired and broken. With fists and guts, those first Leolds managed to scrape a home from the ramshackled warehouses of the city’s ruined West Bank, the least desirable part of Rain City, half ruined in decay, but ideally located along the river. Recruiting the lost and orphaned into their ranks the Leolds, over time, grew to create their own boarders. With more numbers they could defend their territory against others trying to take a piece of their growing pie. It was a bloody, violent first few years, with men fighting tooth and bloody nail to keep what they’d won. A strong knife was a must to survive, a sturdy dagger did better.
Sebastian’s great-great grandfather, Killian, ‘The Brute’ Leold led the first members, binding them together as family. Together they defended their right to the home they’d made and to the streets and canals that serviced them. To survive the new world, Killian began doing what he had done best all his life: smuggling liquor. And lots of liquor. As much as he could manage over the canals. It took years to build a network of shippers; many more years simply to find anyone who still distilled the stuff. But he did, eventually, as people resettled in a new kind of normal. A few of his contacts from the old country reappeared, scattered across the continent, and began, once again, to thrive. From this Killian began his illegal smuggling ring, which kept his family fed, but not prosperous. The Two Daggers, he called the enterprise, in memory of the Celtic daggers of his heritage…a name that would forever define his children, and theirs, and theirs to come.

Nearly a century later, members of the Two Daggers can often be found on the docks surrounding the shipping canals, watching for their boats coming in with the goods to offload in the warehouses along the Slums. From their lands on the West Bank, the Two Daggers keep an eye north for Cowboys trying to break into their stores, south for the Boat Men looking to intercept a shipment, and east for the Black Roses coming to challenge them to a fight.The Daggers are a hard lot, honorable, but not to be crossed. They know how to use a blade and can throw a mean punch. Above all, they look out for one another, and won’t hesitate to kill if it means protecting their own.

cj d authorAbout the Author
While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii. After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired a nd began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada– home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the
world, and weave her experiences into stories. CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.
Author Links:  WebsiteTwitterGoodreadsFacebook
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Check out my interview with the talented Melody Winter, author of Sachael Dreams

Melody Winter Author PhotoMelody Winter’s debut novel Sachael Dream was just released. I was lucky enough to score a bit of her time to ask a few questions about her writing process, critique partners, and new projects.

 Are you a panster or a plotter? How do you approach a new idea?

I’m more a plotter. I tend to have an idea and run with it from start to finish. I even outline each chapter of a book with what needs to happen. Having said that, I tend to be a panster while writing within my outline. Many times my writing wavers from the original outline, and I love it when it happens, it usually means my characters are leading the way. It’s a wonderful feeling.

For example, with Sachael Dreams, I had a quite detailed outline of the story, but as I planned the chapters it became apparent that there was too much material for one book. So it became two books. And, as I wrote the words, more and more ideas came into my head. I got to know my characters even more than I originally did, and realised that the full story was going to take even more than 2 books. Hence I ended with a rough outline of chapters and events for 4 books. I like knowing where I’m aiming with a book. It keeps me focused even though my characters like to lead me astray at times.

So, even though I plan, I wander from the outline many times.

I approach a new idea by letting my mind wander. I listen to music, look at images and write copious amounts of notes around my idea. Gradually a clearer outline emerges and it’s only then that I start to plot. I’m currently pulling together ideas and information for a new book, The Ascent, after the Sachael books. It has a pinterest board and I already have a chapter breakdown—28 chapters, but it’s looking as if this could turn into more than one book. I’m still exploring ideas within the main thrust of the story and they could have a dramatic effect on what’s already there.

 

Do you have the same critique partners for all your work or do you have different sets? And why?

I have a small group of people who I can really rely on. I’m not one of these people who send my MS out to loads of people for feedback—I keep my manuscripts very close to me. I have a pre-reader who also doubles as a ‘google junky’, a friend who does the first edit—she’s very blunt! And then I have a CP whose advice is incredibly valuable to me. I have two other great people who read for me, but my initial three are the ones who really dig deep and give me so much of their time. So I sort of have a little Melody Winter team who love my work but aren’t afraid to tell me when it’s no good or a really bad idea! I’m hoping to have the same team working with me on The Ascent which is a dark romantic fantasy. My pre-reader and first edit person are very excited about it. But again, I’ll keep things pretty quiet until I need to start shouting about it.

I suppose the reason I keep the same team is because I trust them and their advice. I’m very lucky to have found people who love my writing and feel as attached to my characters as much as I do.

 

What is the most difficult aspect about being a writer? 

For me, without a doubt, it’s time. I work, have two teenage boys, and a husband to split my time between. Life can get pretty hectic and at times I want to just shut myself away from them all and forget what’s outside the door and concentrate on writing. It’s been hard, as my writing has always been seen as a hobby and not to be taken seriously by my family. That is gradually changing now I’m published. I’ve seen the looks passing between the three males in the house, and the willingness to cook tea so I can write. But I’m not sure how long it will last.

 

Do you have any suggestions for editing drafts?

I don’t necessarily think there is a right or a wrong way to edit drafts. Some people write a very clean first draft, other just want to get the story down. But I can tell you the way I work:

My first draft is usually pretty much how I’d like my final version to be in terms of plot and story. My pre-reader see’s each chapter as it’s written so I’m alerted to anything major while writing. My first edit person tightens things up. We go through each chapter and she tells me what works, what doesn’t, where my characters aren’t reacting strongly enough or where things get boring (Yes I’ve deleted whole pages due to her critique) After this I go through a full 2nd edit by myself. I tweak the original MS with the feedback and suggestions from the edit. I remove ‘dead words’ and then send the whole document to my kindle. It reads very differently to on the screen on my laptop. I tweak sentences, see areas to expand/alter and I read straight through marking what needs to change. I’ll then do all the alterations back in my word document. Then I leave it alone for about a month. I write something else, do meme’s, or plan another book. But I leave my current MS alone. After that magic month I give the whole MS another read through and tweak before sending it to my CP. Once back from my CP, I attack it again taking into account her comments. After that it’s another full read, then it’s as ready as it can be. It’s a long process getting from that first draft to the version I’m eventually happy with, but I see each step as getting nearer that published version.

For me, I also have the expertise of Kisa Whipkey, my editor with Reuts, but if I didn’t have her and was looking to self-publish, I would definitely have my MS professionally edited. I want my words to shine as much as possible.

 

Do you have other stories in the works?

As mentioned earlier, I have a dark romantic fantasy planned—‘The Ascent’. I’m really excited about this one as it’s completely different from the Mine Series. I keep drafting little scenes that come into my head because the characters are already speaking to me, but I refuse to spend any large amount of time on it before I’ve finished writing the Mine series.

Sachael Dreams is finished. SD2—Sachael Desires is going through its final edit and then it’s ready for Reuts with publication later this year. SD3—Sachael Delusions is written and is currently undergoing its first edit with my friend. And SD4—Sachael Destiny is being written – I’m 2 chapters in, but a few of the later chapters are already drafted. So there’s plenty going on. At times it feels weird jumping through different stages in Estelle’s head (my main character). But it’s also interesting to see how much her character had grown during the series.

 

 If someone wrote a book about your life, who would star as you in the movie version?

Ohhhh, heck, let me think. Firstly I think it’d be a pretty boring book so this would never happen, but the person who I think could play me would be Rene Zellweger. I’m thinking mainly about the character Bridget Jones that she so famously played. Perhaps that’s because I see myself more of a Bridget Jones character, daft at times, but with a heart of gold. And let’s face it – who wouldn’t want to kiss Colin Firth!!!!

 

Please check out Melody’s new release Sachael Dreams.

Grab your copy here: 

Signed copies available from her website: www.melodywinyter.com
 Add to Goodreads

sachael-dreams-front-cover

And here’s an excerpt from Sachael Dreams

 

Jumping to my feet, I took in the scene. Azariah was standing completely still, like a beautiful statue—the skin along his spine and the back of his arms raised in spikes as he faced the strangers, silently daring them to come closer. I wanted him to run. I wanted to run, but I couldn’t turn away. I backed up the beach, my breathing short, shallow, and hurried. One of the pebbles, slipped from my hand as the men charged at Azariah.

Three against one—he didn’t stand a chance. Why hadn’t we run into the sea? Surely, it was the safest place for us?

I turned away, not wanting to witness what I was sure was about to happen. If everything Azariah told me was true, these men would kill him. They wanted him dead.

Scrambling footsteps, the sound of pebbles being dislodged, shouts, and cries for help echoed across the beach, and as I hesitantly turned to where I had last seen Azariah, I saw one of his attackers lying motionless on the sand. Azariah was dragging the other two by their feet, heading to the sea. They were kicking ferociously with their free legs, shouting and swearing at him. He didn’t register the blows of their feet as they made contact with his body. One of them pleaded for him to let go, and the other cursed loudly. The sight of Azariah, the man whose arms I’d been lying in only a few minutes ago, dragging two big, muscular men into the sea, pulling them as if they weighed practically nothing, was a shocking scene to witness. His skin, raised in tiny silver scale like spikes, caught the bright light from the rising sun, but I could easily remember its softness, the way he had quivered under my touch, and how his eyes sparkled with pleasure. It was difficult to reconcile this angry, beautiful man with the one I had lovingly spent the past two nights with.

I glanced at the dead man lying on the beach. Two others would be joining him soon. Strangely, the fact didn’t scare or shock me the way his admittance had the other night. If Azariah didn’t kill them, they would kill him. This is what he had warned me about.

The two men he was dragging into the sea thrashed wildly. They were helpless against Azariah’s strength as he held their heads under the surface of the water. I was so intent on watching the calm, controlled way he stood looking out to sea as he willingly drowned his opponents, I was unaware of anyone else on the beach. But hearing the sudden crunch of pebbles behind me, I spun around.

There stood another man, smirking at me.

I screamed at his menacing appearance, and turned to run. But I moved too quickly. My foot slipped on the damp pebbles and my ankle buckled beneath me. I stumbled. The man grabbed me from behind, lifting me off the ground. I kicked my legs, trying to hurt him. I scratched at his arms. Nails raked flesh, but nothing made him release his hold.

“Let me go!” I cried, continuing to struggle, trying to hit him with the pebble in my hand.

“You are coming with me,” he growled, managing to hold me with only one arm. Wriggling with determination, I managed to free my arm and swung it through the air, aiming for his head. The pebble made contact with the side of his face before dropping to the sand. Unfortunately, the blow had no effect on his hold, and as I took in a ragged, desperate breath, preparing to scream for Azariah, a cloth was placed over my mouth and nose. Within seconds, I slumped against my captor.

My head spun, and my vision became distorted. My heart beat fast, rapidly thumping in my chest. I drew in a panicked breath, realizing too late that whatever was on the cloth had now been inhaled deeply into my system. As my body was dragged backward across the pebbles, the cloth was held against my nose and mouth. My limbs wouldn’t react; they ached with a forced weightlessness, unresponsive to any demands from me.

Pain jabbed at my eyes, and I screwed them shut. Whatever was on the cloth was having a dramatic effect on my body. Desperate to catch sight of Azariah, I managed to open my eyes. My view was blocked by a hooded, cloaked figure. Jerked upright from my slumped position, the cloth was removed from my face. Free from the suffocating substance, I took several deep, lung-filling breaths of air. Bony fingers grabbed my chin, and I was forced to meet the eyes of the cloaked figure. Haunted dark brown eyes stared at me. It was the woman who had passed Azariah and me the other morning, the woman from the farm shop a few weeks ago.

“Well done, Pactolus.” Her words were angry and short. “Take her back. Orontes wants her.”

The thudding of my erratically beating heart filled my head. I tried to force a scream from my lungs, but it wouldn’t come.

The woman released my face, pushing it sideways, and the cloth was shoved onto my mouth again. I held my breath, not wanting to take in any more of the substance.

As the woman moved away, my vision became increasingly blurred, but I saw Azariah. He stood in the water, the bodies of the two men floating motionless next to him. He was safe. It was all I could ask for.

Spots sprang onto my eyelids, grainy specks of darkness that slowly increased. My sight disappeared.

“Estelle!” A tremendous, angry roar rang out across the beach.

My world was plunged into darkness. I had no control over my lifeless limbs, my aching chest, or my shallow breaths. The cloth was removed from my face before I was lifted by my captor and thrown onto his shoulder. I concentrated on the names I’d overheard—Orontes and Pactolus. They were ones I never wanted to hear again.

 

Book 3 is HERE!! 18 Thoughts by Jamie Ayres

18thoughts 18 Thoughts Launch & Giveaway!

Greetings, fellow book nerds! I’m YA author Jamie Ayres, and I’m sooo excited to announce that 18 Thoughts, the final book in the My So-Called Afterlife trilogy, is finally available from Curiosity Quills Press! Toss the virtual confetti, because it’s been three years in the making (and virtual confetti is a lot less messier).

If you haven’t heard of this series yet, here are the cliffnotes summary of each book:

18 Things: Olga Gay Worontzoff struggles to live again after a lightning strike kills the best friend she was secretly in love with. Her therapist suggests she write a life list of eighteen things to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday, sending her and her friends, including the new hottie in town, on an unexpected journey they’ll never forget. But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

18 Truths: With the lessons the 18 Things life list taught her engraved on her heart, Olga spends her summer in the Underworld and embarks on a new adventure as a spirit guide, but nothing prepares her for the chilling truths she’s learning along the way.

18 Thoughts: Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld anxious to return to normal, but fate had other plans; now she’s caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, torn between past and present.

Book Trailer:

 

What do others have to say about the series?

A surprising paranormal tale that explores deep questions concerning love, faith, and friendship that will absolutely resonate with teens.” ~Amy Christine Parker, Critically Acclaimed Author of Gated and Astray 

“A haunting tale that had me smiling one moment and on the brink of tears the next.” ~ Heather Burch, Critically Acclaimed Author of the Halflings Series and One Lavender Ribbon

“A touching story that will make you cherish each day and the ones you love.” ~Jaime Rush, New York Times bestselling author of the Hidden series

“Warning: These characters will move right into your heart, rearrange all the furniture, and never, ever leave. 18 Thoughts will become a part of you–prepare to be changed.” ~Teshelle Combs, Amazon Best-Selling Author of
the Core Series

“A twisty conclusion to a spiritually charged trilogy that will grip you from book one.” ~Eliza Tilton, YA Author of the Daath Chronicles

“An emotional journey readers won’t soon forget–will have readers making their own bucket lists.” ~Marisa Cleveland, Author of the South Beach Series, Pushed, and The Valentine Challenge

“An achingly beautiful story of life, loss and hope… a triumph.” ~J. Keller Ford, Author of Dragon Flight and The Amulet of Ormisez
Purchase 18 Thoughts (Book 3) on Amazon

Purchase 18 Things (Book 1) on Amazon (Free from Jan. 25-27th!)

Purchase 18 Truths (Book 2) on Amazon (Special $2.99 price through Jan. 27th!)

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a huge swag bag valued at $115! Just enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yes, it’s open to all people of the world, not just Americans 🙂 Best of luck, and happy reading!

Amazon bestselling author Jamie Ayres writes young adult love stories by night and teaches young adults as an English teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She has been praised for featuring strong, appealing heroines and plot twists readers never saw coming. Visit jamieayres.com for more information or to simply share your thoughts with her.