Thursday, May 31, 2012

Destiny's Fall


Topic:  How did you approach world building for this novel?

One of the best parts of writing a sequel is the chance to return to a much-loved world.  The first wisps of inspiration upon returning to the world of Destiny were the unsettled questions of my world.  Without giving away spoilers, the world played an important part in the first book of the series, Destiny’s Blood.  It’s a space-faring story, and featured many worlds with different cultures and belief systems.  As a lover of cultural anthropology and a professional storyteller, I’ve always been a fan of exploring the human element of world building, and how cultures and peoples interpret the world through their own lenses and life experiences.  I get to experience these various interpretations as I discover the world through my characters’ points of view (I love multiple points of view!)

The world of Destiny is hinged on Mirial, the First Star, cloaked in legends, myths and multiple interpretations.  The Solarian Empire, the greatest expended force in the known universe, believes it to be riddled with treachery and that it promises only destruction, or perhaps profitable trade.  The ether creatures, who rely on the First Star’s continuous flow of ether, believe the First Star brings both salvation while promising destruction.  And Layela, a child of Mirial who grew up in the Solarian Empire, and who can tap into the First Star like no one else, views the First Star as her prison.

The world of Destiny bloomed in the first book, Destiny’s Blood, but it blossomed in the second book, Destiny’s Fall. The third book promises even more world building and exploration, and I can’t wait to discover its other secrets!


BLURB:

A broken tradition. A hunted child. A rebellion that threatens to topple the very fabric of the universe. 

When Layela Delamores gives birth to her first child, the ether immediately rejects what should be its only heir. A wave of destruction sweeps the ether races and sparks Solaria’s ire and rebellion on Mirial. A new heir rises to take the throne of Mirial, one who wields tainted ether.

Unable to access the flow of ether, Layela is left with little choice but to flee Mirial, seeking answers that may no longer exist, prepared to sacrifice everything to free herself and her daughter from the clutches of the First Star.

Excerpt

 “Cap’ain!” her second-in-command, a short man named Larod, screamed.

 “Gun the engines, get us out!”

 “Solariers are telling us to stand down,” said Jaru, her systems analyst.

 “And I’m saying the docks need redecorating. Gun the engines!”

The two moved quickly to obey her order. The engines churned to life, the scent of rotten cabbage pumping through the entire ship. The ship jerked once and the engine popped, and her hull vibrated, resonating in Avienne’s skull.

 “Come on, you useless piece of crap!” She kicked the tactical controls and half the panel lights blinked out.

 “Blood and bones, I need to steal a better ship!” The engines sputtered and the ship stopped vibrating.

 “Engines online, Captain!” Jaru screamed. Avienne whooped and switched the viewport on. The entire metal structure of the docks buckled as they pulled free without first de-clamping, ripping great chunks of metal. The Dessicate’s engines kicked in full blast, throwing Avienne back into her seat. The docks swayed for a moment when the engine’s jet of hot hair struck them, then buckled sideways, and seemed to be righting themselves before suddenly collapsing in a heap of smoke and metal, dragging a few of the smaller ships down.

Avienne hissed. That made a nice, round ten worlds on which she would no longer be welcome. She was running out of planets to do business on.

“Where to, Captain?” Larod asked from navigations.

“Mirial. I believe it’s time to pay my brother a visit.”



 





 Marie will give away a signed eBook copy of Destiny's Blood (the first book in the series) to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and an autographed set of Destiny's Blood and Destiny's Fall in print (US and Canada only) or eBook (International) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Member of the Family

Since the house has been on and off the market we had decided not to add any more pets to the herd, err family, until after the house sold and we relocated. Then when Maggie passed and it was so difficult on the hubby we decided, okay we'll get another dog after the remodeling is done--which we haven't started because we're waiting for our loan to be approved, but that's another story. I dropped off Cat to get his shots yesterday and Ms. E took me to the back to show me our latest rescues in the dog world. Guess who ended up coming home with us? Penny is a year and a half, part lab and the hh and I think part greyhound. Look at those forelegs. She certainly has the body and the head shape. Her tail, over a foot long, should be registered as a lethal weapon.  So far she's torn up the cat bed, freaked out the cats and gotten in the trash. She's also figured out how to open the  back door. We have a fenced in backyard that I want her to get comfortable with so we can leave her out when we take day trips. I put her outside yesterday and the next thing I knew she'd opened the doors and was back in the house. We apparently have a penchant for cat/dog burglars since Cat made a escape at the vet's yesterday too.
Cat's feral and I should have never done a drop off but stayed with him for his shots. He totally freaked.  When I went to pick him up, he and his carrier were in one of the cages and I was told I'd have to get him back in myself. Which I did. The vet came to the front and asked if I'd put him in his carrier and I said yes. After he repeated this a couple of times, I went and checked. He'd made a breakout.  The clasp must not have been completely closed. He'd gotten out and climbed onto the top shelf of the kennel run. The vet got the ladder out and I climbed up to get him back in the carrier. The day was very traumatic for poor Cat and to add insult to injury we brought a dog home. His world still hasn't righted.
~*~
Don't forget to enter the contest below.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Post by Jolene Perry
Sometimes a story is more personal than you expect it to be.

I read an article in an online newspaper that talked about the YA books coming out that year which dealt with abusive relationships.

I'd part mapped one out a while back, and thought maybe I'd work on it - all evidence that the market had just gotten an influx of them didn't sway me the way it should have…

The more I wrote in the story, the more personal it became.

I was not ever hit by my boyfriend in high school. He never screamed and yelled at me - though I heard him trashing his room a few times when I left after an argument, and he didn't hesitate to show me when he was pissed about something.

He'd pick fights with me over the phone and hang up, knowing it meant I'd sneak out to "straighten things out."

There was one really horrible night with him that I'd blocked from my mind for a long time, that I remembered when I was writing, so I used it.

I see these cases my husband talks about with women who are beaten and bruised and making up excuses and going back over and over. One ended in murder a couple of weeks ago. A case my husband will be prosecuting when it goes to trial.

The abuse story I told is nowhere near that dramatic, but so much of Ronnie's story was mine. WAY more than I realized while I was writing it. When I got to the end, and started writing down the parts of her story that were real (I always do this for my author site), I realized more and more how much of me was in that girl.

I stared at my computer screen in shock.

I had one of my best friends, who was a guy, who I shared more with than I probably did to most of my girlfriends - (like Luke from Knee Deep) and a boyfriend I'd known since I was a kid (like Shawn from Knee Deep) And I felt this draw to my boyfriend, only because I'd known him for so long, not because we really had anything left in common.

I felt more like I was stuck in this relationship, and didn't even realize I didn't want to be there until I visited a friend in college and saw how much more LIFE was out there. It was just that the idea of this one person had been in my head for way too long.

And where did I end up? Married to the best friend.

People talk about writing what you know, and then talk about keeping yourself out of your books. But you know what? I KNEW that situation - and I know I'll get some bad reviews (like you always do - ESPECIALLY when you tackle a tough topic) that are going to say that Ronnie's actions weren't believable.

But here's the thing - I told her story, the best way I knew how. Ronnie's reactions with pieces of my truth. And there are some drastic differences, but there are also some startling similarities. So, to me, Ronnie's actions were completely and totally understandable.

And that's the story of how Knee Deep came to be. 

Knee Deep Summary

Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.

Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.

Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both. 
Knee Deep Excerpt
My front door opens. “Hello?” Shawn calls.

“In here!” I say back. Suddenly this feels weird. Why would this feel weird? This is just what happens when one of us is stuck at home. Why would today be any different? But my heart’s beating against the inside of my ribs, trying to tell me this is different.

Luke scoots away from the couch. Does he feel it too? That maybe him and me hanging out alone for the day might not have been the best idea?

Shawn steps through the hallway and scowls when his eyes meet mine and then pass to Luke. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Except...I’m so stupid. I was just thinking how I needed to make Shawn’s life outside of his house less stressful, and part of me
knew it was weird that Luke was here without Shawn. I thought it, and did nothing. But again, it is just Luke.

“What’re you doing here?” Shawn asks. His dark eyes fix on Luke.

“I figured you’d be here, man.” Luke stands up. “It’s like we always ditch together, right?” 

Romeo and Juliet kissing in the pool on the TV screen probably isn’t helping anything. Maybe Shawn won’t notice, or maybe it’s just sending my heart into crazy flutters because this tension between Shawn and Luke and, I guess, me, is happening during the most romantic scene of the movie.

“Uh, I don’t know.” Shawn’s still scowling, his brows pulled low and his jaw tight.

“You would’ve hated it,” I say. My eyes catch his, but his are as black as his mood seems to be. I’m so stupid. Why did I have to let Luke stay?

“Yeah, maybe.” Shawn’s narrowed eyes go from Luke to me, back and forth, as if judging the situation. Really? What did he think could possibly happen between Luke and I? Even if this is suddenly on my top three ‘most awkward moments’ ever. I can’t even think about what the other two might be. Maybe I’ve just found number one.

“Romeo and Juliet all day.” Luke laughs, but I know him well enough to see he’s trying really hard to be relaxed. His shoulders are too stiff, and his normal stance is too rigid. I wonder if Shawn sees it too. “Guess I’ll leave you two alone.” Luke’s trying hard to keep his voice light.

“Yeah.” Shawn has yet to return Luke’s smile. “I almost never see my girl anymore.” 

It’s like I’m on the edge of my seat, tension pinpricking every part of me. I’ve never seen Shawn like this. 

Jolene Perry's Bio:
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.
Knee Deep web site:
http://knee-deep-book.blogspot.com/
 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Porch Visitor

Anybody recognize this one? Its got to be a peacock something.....

~*~
Memorial Day: To honor all American soldiers that have died fighting wars.  And to remember our loved ones.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mahonia

Mahonia is a member of the evergreen family and has leathery leaves that resemble holly leaves. Its blue berries are edible but tart. The bark is gray-brown and the shrub can grow to ten feet tall.

I had never seen Mahonia until I moved to North Carolina where its very prevalent. It was love at first sight.
I also was enamored of the plant's name. Mahonia. Isn't it a great word?
Author Amarinda Jones has incorporated 'pukeable' into her Amarandisms.
I've incorporated Mahonia, as a Sandraism. My former sister-in-law and I used it as a greeting instead of hello.
What wordism have you made your own?

~*~

I poured thick warm syrup over my pancakes.
I took a mouthful, chewed, swallowed, then closed my eyes and purred in delight. My eyes flew open. I really did purr.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Released Today:

To celebrate the release of Minder, I'll be running a month long contest. The winner  gets:
A set of butterfly pins--on right
A Starbucks gift certificate
A book dedication
and
A download of Minder
To enter: Just leave a coment mentioning Minder and  include your email addie.

 Blurb:

Among the northern tribes there is a legend passed down from generation to generation about shape-shifting Minders—guardians of the innocents—and how they came to be. 
It is said that nowadays only a handful of Minders exist, hunted to near extinction by a fearsome beast. Of the remaining Minders, only one wears a garnet-studded collar, the symbol of protection and royalty.  
Even when my aunt told me the story, and handed me an ancient garnet-studded band, I had no idea the tale applied to me.
After all, it’s only a legend…

Excerpt: 

“Shall we walk the two miles into town?” Aunt waited by the door. Over the years we’ve worn a path through the woods.
“Most definitely.” I breathed deep then exhaled as we stepped outside.
In moments, we were in the forest. The sun shone bright through the trees, our path alternately in sunshine then shadow, the temperature, a comfortable sixty-six.  Our feet crunched on brown pine needles that filled the air with a crisp tangy scent.
A Tiger Swallowtail fluttered by my head joined by a Black Swallowtail. “Look, Aunt.” I pointed in delight. I love butterflies.  They are so delicate and beautiful.
My aunt smiled and nodded.
Another Tiger Swallowtail landed on my head. I laughed with pleasure.
A Black Swallowtail fluttered near me. Then another and another until black and yellow, blue-tinged bands of color flickered around me.
My arms extended, I turned around in a circle as pure joy washed over me. “Oh, Aunt, have you ever seen anything like this?” I didn’t look at her, my gaze on the glistening winged creatures that circled me.
“Not in a long time,” she said quietly.
“When did you last see a swarm of butterflies?” My head tipped back and forth as I watched the flurry of color.
“When your mother was alive. Remember?”


Minder can be purchased at: MuseItUpPublishing  


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friends

Friends. What would we do without them?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mancode

Rachel will be awarding a chocolate treat to a random commenter at every stop and a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

The Mancode: Exposed and A Walk in the Snark
by Rachel Thompson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blurb for The Mancode: Exposed:
-        I'm over forty. I don't have a blankie. I have vodka.
-        I'm no 'ologist.' I don't give advice. If that's what you're looking for, go buy Dr. Somebody's book.
-        I write about men, women, sex, & chocolate. My experiences, my truth, my martinis.
-        *Note: Thompson employs hashtags (i.e., the # sign) in her work. Google it. These are not typos, people #deargod.
Praise for The Mancode: Exposed -- already a #1 bestseller in Marriage, Parenting & Families AND Parenting & Relationships!
5/5 Star Reviews:
--As a long time warrior in the Battle of the Sexes, I would've won a lot more skirmishes had I had a copy of Mancode in my saddle. Reaching back toward my shotgun, I would've found this book. Instead of shooting the man, I could've said, "Stop acting like a man!" Buy Mancode and stop wasting bullets.
~ Beth Wareham, author Power of No
--Finally! A woman who gets what I'm going through every day, front hat whole spitting thing to my deep abiding love for chocolate. Well done!
~ Amber Scott, author of #1 Kindle bestsellers IRISH MOON, FIERCE DAWN, WANTED
--Mancode: Exposed is a scathingly funny, rapid fire and heartfelt looks at guys. Author Rachel Thompson delivers a satirical piece that invokes strong shades of Penny Marshall and Seth McFarlane.
~ Casey Ryan, Host & Creator, Cutting Room Floor radio program

Blurb for A Walk in the Snark:
-        Be forewarned -- the material in this book has been called controversial in nature. It is based on the author's popular blog. There are recurrent themes regarding men and women, love and loss. It's not all funny. But it is all honest. Can you handle the snark?
Sometimes I think I'm too jaded. Then I think no, it's just the lighting.
Praise for A Walk In The Snark -- now a #1 Bestseller!
5 of 5 stars!
--The commonalities we all share is what makes this book spark to life.
Tony Eldridge, Author, The Samson Effect
--Thank you for making the lives of women and men more intelligible, Rachel, and for making us laugh at ourselves!
Berit Ellingsen, Author, The Empty City
        Rachel believes "Men are from Seinfeld, Women are from Friends," and so do her legions of fans. She dares to ask "Why do men want to change the world, but can't change a roll of toilet paper?"
        Drawing on her decades (#deargod has it been that long?) of marriage, friendships, and past relationships, Rachel's specialty is observing male behavior and dissecting it with humor (Shopping is NOT a Verb). Think of her as the Scientist of Snark...without the ugly white lab coat #asif
Husband: Mumble, mumble, mumble.
Daughter: What?
Me: It's okay. I speak husband.
See why everyone is buying this book! Mancode, Chickspeak, and much, much more!
See why critics love it!
More praise:
5/5 Stars:
Crisp, cutting, and caffeinated. A gem of a read.
~Rebecca Tsaros Dickson, Author, I Could Tell You Stories; Editor-In-Chief, Indie Ink
The author's wicked sense of humor sprinkles every day stories of relationship angst with spicy hot pepper with keeping it real adventure.
~Bonnie Jean Adams, Chicago Culture And Events Examiner
        If you want to laugh, cry, and risk blowing coffee out of your nose at Rachel's unique take on life (Manesia, anyone), you've GOT to buy this book today!
Want to know why this book reached #1 on the Kindle Motherhood list (and Parenting & Families, and Women's Studies) and is still a mainstay months and months later?
Buy it!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I'm a chick who writes stuff that makes you laugh. My book A Walk In The Snark hit #1 on the Kindle Motherhood list this past September (do you think they know I talk about sex? Shhh.). It's since hit about oh, SEVEN more times. #woot! I've been nominated for Funniest Blog, Best Humor Writer & Redhead Who Makes A Killer Dirty Martini (okay, I made the last one up, but it's true. Honest.).

I released The Mancode: Exposed right after Thanksgiving 2011! Two books of snarky goodness, baby.

I've been told I write in the style of that Dickens guy. Kidding.

I'm a mom, a wife, and a recovering pharmaceuticals rep. It's been a long process but I'm doing okay, thanks.

I also used to sell Trojan brand condoms. Yeah, it's hilarious, I know. I did it for three years way back when, and I was their top salesperson in the Western Region, a dubious honor at best. My number-one customer was the Mustang Ranch. No, seriously. The Mustang Ranch. I couldn't make stuff like that up.

The experience definitely gave me insights into the... er... ins and outs of men.

So it should come as no great surprise that I write about how men (The Mancode) and women (Chickspeak) approach most things differently. And since I did, in fact, grow past my Trojan days (in more ways than one or--insert your own joke here), I've thrown in a few tidbits about marriage, kids, being a mom, living in the OC (ya know-being a pale redhead living in a sea of blondes), coffee, and vodka. Not necessarily in that order, depending on the day.

Don't read this book to find advice about how to be sweet or nice. I'm pretty much allergic to both of those words. Actually don't read this book for advice on anything. (My lawyer made me put that in just in case you know, you thought I could save your marriage or something - not).
Or if you are looking for some light, heartfelt humor in everyday life (Erma Bombeck-style), well, I'm really not your girl, either. Nothin' homespun about the Queen of Snark, baby. Mostly I just laugh at stuff and make up words (See "Refrigeratoritis and Manesia.") Yet somehow it all seems to work.

And don't call me cute. (Hint: Babies and puppies are cute. Grown women are soooo not.)
Special note to men: I write frequently about "The Mancode"--like how you guys do goofy stuff and we women try, and often fail, to understand. (Um, change the toilet paper roll much? Yeah, that's what I thought.) If that offends your sensibilities, this may not be the book for you. Yeah, I'm crushed.

Like everyone, I've also had some rough times. I share those with you, too. Life can't always be martinis and beaches. Wait, this is the OC (Orange County, CA, for those of you from Canada, or people on the East Coast who don't know California beyond LA). Naw, not even here.

So, welcome to RachelintheOC.

Now go read an essay or two and find something to laugh at, would ya?

I have to go help my husband find the butter. Again.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Antique Charming

This short story is available for FREE on Amazon during this barrage.  Link to the schedule is http://cblspromotions.blogspot.com/2012/05/blog-barrage-antique-charming-by.html



EXCERPT

She heard it again.

The same time as last Friday night.

Three taps at her front door.

Lizzie muted the television, tossed the blanket off of her body and scurried out of bed. She slipped her robe over her shoulders and tied it securely, determined to find out who in the world would knock at her door at three in the morning. By the time she had reached the door the week previous, no one was there. The street had been dark and still.

It had to be a mistake. She had only recently closed sale on the long abandoned funeral home, determined to restore it to its once former glory. She had only been living in the upstairs flat for a few weeks.

As she hurried down the staircase, each step beneath her feet creaked in protest. There was no one visible through the peephole. She unchained the door and opened it just enough to peek around it.

No one was there, just like the previous week.
 
The street was dark and quiet. Not even the whisper of a wind could be detected. Only the cold dampness of the October night raised a chill on her skin.

Who was playing this weekly joke on her? Could it be the ghosts of some departed soul who had passed through the halls of Nichols Funeral Home sometime during the past century? A small smile crossed her lips as she prepared to close and lock the door. She was a third generation Funeral Director. Did she now believe in ghosts?

Before the door could close, a hand poked into the slight space and seized her wrist. A cry rose in her throat and she jerked backward, but the hand held tight and the door flung open.

The man emerged, shrouded in darkness. He was an ethereal creature, tall, and dressed in anonymous black. Only a streetlight glowed behind him.

“I’m home,” he announced.

BUY LINK

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.

Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles.  Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.

She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.

Visit Natalie-Nicole online at
Twitter: @BatesNatalie

Monday, May 21, 2012

Viking Laws

Mike Hayes posted these on Night Writers. I found them intriguing. A bit aggressive but many of them could still be incorporated today.


THE VIKING LAWS
1. BE BRAVE AND AGGRESSIVE
    • BE DIRECT
    • GRAB ALL OPPORTUNITIES
    • USE VARYING METHODS OF ATTACK
    • BE VERSATILE AND AGILE
    • ATTACK ONE TARGET AT A TIME
    • DON’T PLAN EVERYTHING IN DETAIL
    • USE TOP QUALITY WEAPONS
 
2. BE PREPARED
    • KEEP WEAPONS IN GOOD CONDITION
    • KEEP IN SHAPE
    • FIND GOOD BATTLE COMRADES
      AGREE ON IMPORTANT POINTS
    • CHOOSE ONE CHIEF
 
3.BE A GOOD MERCHANT
    • FIND OUT WHAT THE MARKET NEEDS
    • DON’T PROMISE WHAT YOU CANNOT DELIVER
    • DON’T DEMAND OVERPAYMENT
    • ARRANGE THINGS SO THAT YOU CAN RETURN
 
4. KEEP THE CAMP IN ORDER
    • KEEP THINGS TIDY AND ORGANIZED
    • ARRANGE ENJOYABLE ACTIVITIES WHICH STRENGTHEN THE
GROUP
    • MAKE SURE EVERYBODY DOES USEFUL WORK
    • CONSULT ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP FOR ADVICE

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Its The Weekend

It's the weekend. Enjoy it to the fullest. See you Monday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dance Me To The Stars


BLURB

Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career at New York’s top architectural firm, and an engagement ring from one of New York’s most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream, but when Alec Brunell, a sexy tango dancer, moves into the apartment one floor above from Claire’s, he unwittingly awakens Claire’s old insecurities, making her question her life choices. Will Claire brave her fears and allow herself to take a chance on Alec, or will she continue to play it safe?

In order to secure his place as his father’s successor, thirty-three-year-old David Lawson must settle down with a wife befitting the future head of Lawson Enterprises - and who could fit the prerequisite better than the stunningly beautiful and incredibly bright Claire Chatfield? There is just one glitch – David Lawson is in love with another woman – a Hollywood Legend Claudia Block.

A successful tango instructor, Alec Brunell has never lacked for women’s attention, but he finds himself at a loss when faced with his downstairs neighbor, Claire Chatfield. Upon hearing of his occupation, most women swoon with desire, but Claire runs for the door. Still, her iciness only adds fuel to his fire, as Alec is determined to change Claire’s view of him.

Claudia Block has been basking in the limelight of Hollywood for more years than she cares to admit. While she still has her looks, she would much rather not mention her age, which makes her unconventional affair with young and handsome David Lawson that much more difficult for her to give up.

Dance Me to the Stars is a love story about finding one’s perfect match - sometimes following one’s heart is as convoluted as learning the steps of tango.

Dance Me to the Stars, has been selected in the first round of entries in the General Fiction category in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest this year.
 Excerpt
 Upon waking up the next morning, Claire arched her back, relishing the feel of the satin sheets against her skin. Beside her, David lay breathing evenly, still asleep. It had only been a couple of months since she had finally gotten comfortable enough to actually be able to sleep with him in the same bed. Before, Claire would always find an excuse to go home after they made love, but David must have gotten onto her - one night, he insisted on staying at her place, and ever since then they had been taking turns between his and hers apartments. Granted, David’s place was a lot more glamorous than Claire’s – a split-level junior four in a full service luxury building in Battery Park.
Clair rose on her elbow and checked the time – it was ten a.m. She snuck out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom to brush her teeth – she might have gotten comfortable enough to sleep in the same bed with David, but she still wanted her breath to smell fresh when he woke up.
A few minutes later she tiptoed back into bed and snuggled next to David. Usually, David was always the first to wake up, and together, they would go for a four-mile run. No doubt, upon waking up, David was bound to get upset for oversleeping, but Claire was not about to nudge him – she wanted them to spend the morning reading newspapers over breakfast instead of gasping for breath in sweat-soaked clothes. David muttered something incoherent as he flung his arm across Claire’s chest. Careful not to wake him, she maneuvered out of the way and tucked the comforter up to her chin – she loved lounging in bed like this.
“What time is it?” David mumbled groggily, reaching for the clock on the bedside table. “Ten thirty? Claire, are you up?” He turned toward her.
“Huh? What?” Claire was a good actress when she needed to be one.
“Good morning, sleepy head.” David smooched her. “Well, since we’ve overslept our run this morning, I think there are a few other activities I can think of for us to make up for missed exercise.” He reached underneath her lacy nightgown.
“What exactly did you have in mind?” Claire grinned, thinking that her plan had worked perfectly – after all, she much preferred making love to jogging.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels Dance Me to the Stars, On the Rim of Love, and Lucky Charm.  Marie Astor has also authored a collection of short stories A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

Marie’s latest contemporary romance novel, Dance Me to the Stars, has been selected in the first round of entries in the General Fiction category in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest this year.

Currently, Marie is working on her next novel – a first installment in her romantic suspense series.

Author Website: www.marieastor.com
Twitter: @marieastor

Giveaways

 








~*~

Amarinda Jones is relaying for life. If you're in the vicinity go to her blog and help her out.
amarindajones.blogspot.com

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Time Next Week

Minder will be released next Friday. Since its near the end of the month I'm debating on whether to start my promo contest on release day or wait till the first of June. Any thoughts? If so cast your ballot on the right.
Excerpt:

At the cliff’s edge, I stopped and listened to the steady lap of the waves against the rocks. I sucked cold air deep into my lungs. Night sounds surrounded me. A purr of contentment rose in my throat. I was getting used to the purr. It’s a great way to express pleasure.
I pivoted toward the house and saw my aunt silhouetted in the window. I lifted my hand. She waved back.
The wind shifted. I smelled a rabbit. My butt twitched. The perfume of warm flesh filled my nostrils. His rapid heartbeat pulsed through my ears. I forgot about Aunt and went bounding into the forest.

The rabbit saw me. With a frightened squeak, he hopped away, his little powder-puff tail white in the dark. I leapt after him and laughed with exuberance from the sheer joy of being alive.
The rabbit ran deep into the woods. I followed. Fear gave the bunny speed. He stayed just out of my grasp.
It happened gradually.  My joints stiffened. The hair on the nape of my neck rose. A horrific scent filled my nostrils. My stomach flopped. No longer the hunter, at some point, I’d become the prey.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another Visitor

This guy was another porch visitor and absolutely huge. I went through my butterfly and moth book but couldn't find him. Does anyone know what he/she is?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Words and Genres

I'm blogging today at DowntownYA on words and genres.  If you're in the vicinity stop by and say hey.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Scoundrel's Match


BLURB
 The dark time once resided in Kalas. Now, dawn had begun. An infamous womanizer, Richard Bradley had never wanted to tie himself in a serious relationship. Until he was caught in embarrassing circumstances by her. Marguerite Bennett learned her lesson of lover-boy from her ex. Their fates were now crossed and danger from dark time also followed them. Could true love triumph intact?
 EXCERPT
 Marguerite went around the counter and sat across from him. “So how did you come here?”
 He seemed relieved that she broke the silence. “For vacation.”
 “Oh, for how long?”
 “A month.”
 “I heard about how Brig and Dave got out. I mean, isn’t there a funeral at Kalas?”
 “Yes, but the old king was not my family so I don’t have to be there for the whole month.”
 “A whole month for one funeral?”
 “Two exactly but they were royal so Gille wanted a proper ceremony.”
 “It must be hard for Gille.”
 “Not really. They’re not like real father and son.”
 Marge didn’t want to get personal. She changed the topic. “Have you been here before?’
 “No, this is the first time.”
 “What do you think of here?”
 “It’s beautiful and peaceful.”
 “Where did you go?”
 “Uhm, I haven’t traveled much.”
 No doubt, you were busy looking for women. He averted his eyes. What else to ask him? What did people talk about when they first met?
 She smelled like citrus, fresh and relaxing. Richard felt himself stirred. No, he had to control himself; he was in a towel for God’s sake. She seemed to run out of topic. Well, now was his turn to ask about her. “So, how long do you know Brigitte?”
 “Since middle school. She, Natalie, Alex and I were in the same class.”
 “You must be very close to keep a fantastic friendship like that.”
 “We get along great. We have kinda similar background.”
 “Background?”
 “Family matter.” She said vaguely.
 Clue for him not to ask any further. “So, you’re the manager here?”
 “Yes, I like working in a hotel.”
 “Why?”
 “I like working in traveling field. You know, like guiding tourists or working for traveling company. But I don’t like to move around too much, so I work in hotel. It’s good; it’s what I want to do.”
 “That’s good. A lot of people get the wrong job; they don’t enjoy their job but they have to, you’re one of the lucky ones.”
 “But you changed your job, right?”
 “Yes. I’m sure it’s much better, way better than a prison guard.”
 “That was how you met Brig.” Marge giggled.
 “Yes, who know my job could help sometime. And it was all in the plan.”
 “And you really enjoyed that plan.” A male voice chimed in. They both turned to see Dave and Brig hand in hand walked in. Dave held up a bag, indicating clothes.
 “Uhm, let go to my room, Dave.” Richard pointed upstairs.
 “So, lover boy, where are all your clothes?” David laughed low in his throat.
 “Shut up! Just an accident!” Rick snapped. Dave was going to tell Gille, and Rick would never hear the end of this.
 They got in Rick’s room. Rick took out the clothes. A gray sweat pants and a pink T-shirt. “A pink T-shirt?” Rick scolded.
 “You didn’t give us time to go shopping.” Dave shrugged innocently.
 “And you just had in your closet a pink T-shirt? How convenient! You’re sure Brig weren’t mistaken you for a girl?”
 “She bought it for Valentine. If you don’t like it, just go bare ass!”
 “Valentine is months away. You guys are running out of romantic ideas!” Rick complained but put on the clothes. Even he looked girly; he figured it was still better than going bare.
 Dave laughed out loud. “Man, you need to let me take a picture. You look gorgeous!”
 “Shut up! This is your pink shirt!” The man just needed to get back at him.
 “You can keep it. I hope Brig has a camera with her.”
 Rick reached under his bed to retrieve his sword. He had to resist the urge to strike the laughing man. Dave raised an eyebrow. “You bring a sword to worship woman? Nice, no wonder she stole all your stuffs.”
 “Just in case. What if something happens in Kalas, I can come back with my sword ready.” He stomped out of the hotel room.
 “Yeah, I can’t wait to see you holding the sword in a towel.” He laughed like a maniac.
 “Cut it out, man. It’s not that funny.” Rick irritated.
 “That’s because you didn’t look in the mirror.”
 And he was not going to. The pink T-shirt was stupid, a tight one was worse.
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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Hello, I’m Betty Petite. I’m not a writer; I’m only a voice-person for the characters in the Door of Dimensions series.
 I was born and raised outside of the United States; hence, English is my second language. My personal life is just like any other busy ordinary woman. I have a job and school load to advance my education. Neither English nor writing is my major; science is. I have never thought that I would write a story. The series came as a surprise and I knew I would regret if I didn’t write them down. Hence, my style of story-telling involves a lot of dialogues and characters’ interactions.
 The characters came to me and befriended me during hardship. They gave me laughter, hope and a little joyful escape from painful reality. I hope they can do the same for you. Happy reading!