Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting, Guest Post, Danube Adele

Dreams of a WIld Heart Banner 851 x 315

The best workouts I have ever had in my entire life were the ones I endured for kick boxing and Muay Thai classes in my early twenties. Absolutely fantastic. They were the most fun, the most demanding, and gave me the best physical results I have ever had in my life from exercise as an adult. The unexpected benefit? A sense of badass confidence when walking down the street. This was the feeling I wanted my character Cecilia “Ceci” Bradford to have in Dreams of a Wild Heart.

There was no mercy. There was no pity. There was no empathy or sympathy from my instructors. From the moment I began taking these classes, I was perpetually sore. Push-ups (and not the girl kind because they weren’t allowed) were a challenge, where I could maybe do one or two full and complete ones to begin with. Burning muscles accompanied my every step forward, my every reach. Who knew you needed shoulder muscles to keep your hands up in a fighting stance? I never sweat so hard or slept so well on a daily basis, and before long, I began noticing changes.

I could do more push-ups. Good ones. Strong ones. Then, my legs didn’t burn so much, they started feeling like I was walking on springs. And when I did a roundhouse kick to the heavy bag, it made a great, satisfying, cracking sound that echoed in the gym. Another great result? I could jump rope like a pro, looking all Rocky Balboa-like. The extra few pounds I’d carried for most of my life, not a lot but enough to give a friendly jiggle, just melted away almost visibly, day-by-day until one day I looked in the mirror and saw that I had a faint six pack where my stomach used to be. Okay, and this is wrong of me, I know, but there was a part of me as I walked down the street that silently dared anyone to try and f*ck with me, not that I really wanted anyone to attack me. More than anything, this is just evidence that I walked with more confidence, and from what I’ve been told, most attackers look for someone who has more of a meek, uncertain mannerism. A funny side note: My husband and my first date was to a muay thai fight. It was my suggestion.

In Dreams of a Wild Heart, Ceci worked her *ss off to finish school early, work as a trauma ward physician and immerse herself with anything that would keep her from remembering the tragedy of her past, and one of those activities was mixed martial arts. Her best friend since birth, she and Carlos were inseparable, even moving on to more than just friends as they got into high school, but he was killed when she was just seventeen, leaving her with a yawning emptiness. She filled it with work, study, hobbies, doing everything to keep herself from having to think until Tabron, a dark, brooding soldier, brings a spark back to her life, though he’s got secrets that are from out of this world. Literally.

A few of my favorite scenes in Dreams of a Wild Heart are action scenes and include Ceci using her mixed martial arts skills, kickboxing and jujitsu. I wanted her be a strong, confident, I’ll-do-it-myself kind of heroine, and she surprises the Braussian warriors on the planet Te`re by defending herself with modern moves when they’re a dying culture stuck in what we would call the Middle Ages. She doesn’t wait to be rescued. She doesn’t need to look for the big, strong man to save her. She meets her match with Tabron, a big, strong man who ultimately can’t deny that he’s drawn to exactly the kind of woman she is.

Thanks so much for taking time with me today. I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever tried a martial arts class? If so, how did you like it? If not, would you want to?

cover

Dreams of a Wild Heart

The Dreamwalkers

Book Three

Danube Adele

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: 12/15/14

ISBN: 9781426899324

ASIN: B00M6G8MS8

Number of pages: 325

Word Count: approx. 132,000

Book Description: 

Dr. Cecilia—Ceci—Bradford at your service.

I dance, rock climb, and have mastered Mixed Martial Arts, because just being a twenty-six-year-old doctor isn’t enough. It doesn’t keep me from remembering the terrifying night my life changed, the night my true love died. I was nearly seventeen.

Life goes on, but the secret I keep is that I still talk to him in my dreams. That was getting me by until Tabron showed up—or, more specifically, until the six-foot-two brute of a Viking whisked me off to another planet because his leader is dying. And the joy didn’t end there. I’m being forced to choose a mate. The Brausa are facing extinction.

Tabron has no need for a mate, himself, and he’s told me as much. Multiple times. What he does have are hands and wicked lips that stir feelings I thought lost forever. Choosing him (just to play along until I can find a way home) seems to irk him and I find this surprisingly fun. But surviving a hidden conspiracy and the dangers of this alien place might be more difficult than I could ever imagine…

 

Available at  Amazon  BN   Kobo  ebooks.com  

 

Fantastic Fiction  Amazon UK

Prologue

There were vicious elbows being thrown, shoulder slams when the ref wasn’t looking and very questionable slide tackles that took out several players. Clearly, the other coach had taught his team to play dirty, but even so, no one could touch number twelve.

The tough-ass, hardcore soccer player wowing the crowd with trick moves and fierce determination was this cute little ten-year-old girl wearing a pink hair ribbon and sparkly pink cleats.

My heart ached a little as I watched her run. This was the kind of kid we would have had, Carlos and me. She was kicking butt and making no apologies, taking the hits, hitching the ball up at just the right moments, jumping over outstretched feet, fighting past the obstacles and punching through the attacks. This kid had guts and a will of steel. I would’ve loved to have a little girl just like her.

It was clear that the coach on the other team was about to have a coronary, his face tomato-red, his body heaving in start and stop sprints up and down the field while screaming at his team to Cover her! Cover her! She’s just a little girl! What’s your problem? You gonna let a girl beat you? He’d obviously expected his mostly boy team, with the few girls on the team being sat on the bench, to have a shutout. Wasn’t happening. The game was tied.

My grin was mocking. Served him right. Schadenfreude to the max.

My pink-cleated girl flashed by in a sudden breakaway move that had everyone jumping up from their chairs.

Her long legs tore down the field. She dribbled the ball left, then right, juked one player, then another. She broke through the group of defenders, to the gasping dismay of parents on the other side of the field, and raced full speed for the goal. No one could stop her. The group of ten-year-olds desperately chased her down the field amid the excited shouts of nerve-racked parents.

Oh my God! How did she do that? My own shout mixed in with everyone else’s as I clapped and hooted.

Go, Jolene! Go! Go! Go! her coach shouted. Don’t hesitate! Take it all the way! Go, go, go! He bounded after her along the sideline.

Damn it! Get ready, Colby! She’s coming! Stay on your toes! the opposing coach shouted.

Take the shot! Take the shot, Jolene! You’ve got this!

The goalie waited. He was a young, shaggy-haired blond boy with knees bent, legs quivering as he balanced on the balls of his feet to see which way the wind was going to blow. Sweating under the hot noon sun in the middle of a November heat wave, he could only watch as she drew back and blasted the ball. It flew low to the far corner. He dove for it. His gloved hands reached out to block.

Missed it by a mile. The net stopped the ball.

Hands cupped to my mouth, I shouted, Great job, number twelve! Way to get the job done!

Piercing whistles, excited shouts, and clapping came from my side of the field while teammates high-fived the girl. Pink-cheeked and glowing with pride, a satisfied grin split her cheeks. She accepted back slaps and trotted back to join the lineup in the middle of the field for the next kick-off. It wasn’t to come. The ref blew the whistle signaling the end of the game, and the little girl’s team cheered, excited to have won.

I’d want my little girl to be just like that. Just like that. The unbidden thought whispered wistfully across my mind once again, but I shook it away before it could cause any major damage. I wasn’t going to have kids, so it was pointless to ponder it. With a flush of self-consciousness, I glanced around, but no one was paying me any attention. I had to remind myself they couldn’t actually see me.

Hey there, Tiger.

Ahh. This was why I was here.

I smiled at my hated childhood nickname and responded as I was expected to. I spun around, gave him a good shove. Jerk. Don’t call me that.

Carlos laughed, not the least bit rocked by my actions, probably because I hadn’t actually been trying to hurt him. He was my forever best friend, confidante, first and only boyfriend, best…everything, and had been since day one. He pulled me in for a quick squeeze, where I burrowed my face into my favorite spot on his chest, before he leaned back to look down at me, dark eyes twinkling with mischief. His black hair had a stubborn lock that liked to droop over his forehead. I brushed it back for him. He definitely had a Benjamin Bratt thing going on.

He winked at me. The little girl reminds me of you.

Me? I studied the little girl, who was grouping up with her teammates to do a 2-4-6-8 chant in appreciation of the other team.

Carlos smiled. You were just like her at that age. Don’t you remember? Absolutely fearless.

Fearless? I scoffed, but he wasn’t kidding.

Seriously. Nothing kept you from trying whatever the hell you wanted to. Always confident, like you knew things were just supposed to work out for you. He paused. They usually did. You were a force to be reckoned with.

You make me sound like a superhero.

I’d meant it as a joke, but he furrowed his dark brows. You kind of were. You acted like nothing could stop you. It was always balls to the wall with you. I wanted to be like that. When we were growing up, you would piss me off and make me proud at the same time with the way you took risks. But of course, it always worked out and usually in a big way.

I gave him my smirky eyeroll. I think you’re exaggerating.

I don’t think I am. He shook his head for emphasis. You were always ready to not just win, but kick ass if anything got in your way.

Where was he going with this? He was being so uncharacteristically insistent. I gave him a covert, assessing look, like I would a patient who seemed…off. He looked the same as usual—handsome, friendly, gentle—but still, his attitude took the edge off the warm memories we were sharing, and I felt my grin sliding as he continued.

Don’t you remember? No one could keep up with you. You’d just get this look on your face, set your chin in a particular direction and anyone who got in your way would be toast. He pressed in a little, and I almost stepped back.

But this was Carlos. My Carlos. I shook the strange feeling off and chuckled at his description of me, trying to just enjoy the feeling of contentedness, warmth and love that I always felt when he came to my dreams. I cocked my head coquettishly and smiled. You managed to keep up with me.

By the skin of my teeth, and not even half the time. My ego suffered.

But you handled it.

He took a moment, studying my face. At the point when it started feeling weird again, his intense expression relaxed into a smile. The best I could. He tweaked a lock of my long, black hair. Calling you names and pulling your pigtails.

We were on track again. You’re going way back in time.

For some reason, I catch myself remembering lately. Times when we did our homework together. Times when we went riding our bikes around the neighborhood, scavenging whatever you were certain we needed for your next project or adventure. I remember calling you bruja.

My look was pointed. What about froggie and…something else. Tom, short for tomboy. I didn’t appreciate that, as I recall. I nudged his arm.

His laughter was immediate, filling the cold, sad places inside me with remembered warmth. I didn’t even mind when he shook his finger at me and announced, You deserved to be called froggie. I got in trouble because of you over that little episode. You told everyone it was my idea. My mom wouldn’t let me go out for a week after that stunt, and it was summer. Do you remember how much that sucked? You still owe me for that.

I tried to look outraged, but couldn’t keep from giggling. But itwas your idea to make a lily pad garden in the backyard with that blue, plastic kiddy pool.

Yeah, but my idea was to use make-believe frogs and grass and leaves from the yard. You were the one who insisted we walk over to Bailey Canyon and find actual lily pads and frogs.

I was doing my part to make it authentic.

He raised his eyebrows. Yeah, well, as I recall, the look on your mother’s face was one of authentic horror when the bucket tipped over on her beautiful hardwood floors and frogs were jumping everywhere.

I snickered. Everyone was suddenly jumping after the frogs. My mom, your mom, my dad, me, you, the dogs…it was mad, chaos. Frogs everywhere. Even a few days later, we found frogs behind the furniture. Unfortunately, they were dead and resisted my valiant efforts to revive them, though I did, very appropriately, try CPR. I’d forgotten about that.

See? Like I’d proven his point. All of us moving to the beat of your drum. You were hardcore, this little girl with a larger-than-life point of view. Keeping up with you was a full-time job. You’re the only girl I ever let give me a black eye.

I shot him a snarky look. You didn’t “let” me do anything. I was tougher than you.

That new, thoughtful expression, the one I was starting to dislike, reemerged. Was it something I’d said? He searched my face for a quiet moment, then nodded, like he’d suddenly realized something.You’ve always been tough. You never needed…anyone. Not even me. You were sure of yourself. You helped me find that for myself. I want you to know I appreciate that.

I didn’t need him? Where was this coming from? It almost sounded like a goodbye. Silly. Where would he go? I brushed a prickle of fear away and managed a smirk. Good.

No really. I mean it.

The kids lined up on the field so they could shake hands with the opposing team.

He held out his hand. Walk with me?

Always. I clasped his hand and made the promise with a warm smile. It’s been too long. I’ve missed you so much. There was no one in my life who could take his place. Certainly not any of the guys I’d tried dating. Being on my own, having my medical career and these visits from Carlos, this was the best I could expect now. You used to come more often, and we could spend time together. Now you only come every other month or so, if that, and our time seems so much more limited. You barely give me the news that someone needs help, and then you’re gone. Why not more often?

He frowned for a moment, then squeezed my fingers gently. How are things?

I let it go. It wasn’t the time to push this. I never knew when he was going to get pulled away from me. So much has happened between the times when we meet that I can’t remember where I left off last time. My family is good. Your family is good.

How are the wicked seven?

I laughed at his description of my cousins. We’d all grown up together, more like siblings. We were all black-haired with the same shade of green eyes, inherited from our mothers and grandmother. This was where bruja had come from. Witch. When we were kids, Carlos had insisted that anyone with black hair and green eyes was a wicked witch, and he’d teased me with that unmercifully for years.

Everyone seems happy and satisfied within their own predictably dysfunctional world. Stephanie is close to being married, Cassie is likely on her way to her deathbed—according to her own self-diagnosis using WebsmartMD—and Amanda’s finished her credentialing to teach. She’s looking for a job now. Oh! Your brother went off to complete a sabbatical in some distant corner of the world where he could study the customs of some obscure native tribes. Not sure of the details. Your mom told me the last time I saw her, which was last week, I think, when we ran into each other at the grocery store.

His smile changed, sort of went heart deep and introspective. He looked down at the ground as though seeing the image within the square pattern blocks of cement. I’ve seen my brother. He’s happy. He’s going to be okay.

Leaving the park, we walked companionably through a suburban neighborhood, the kind you’d find at the beginning of a Steven Spielberg movie, like E.T. or Poltergeist or something like that. Kids were out playing in the street, adults gardened in fashionably strange, floppy-looking hats, and there was a sense of safety and peacefulness. Of course, if this were a Spielberg movie, in the next scene, the shit would hit the fan.

This was the nature of our relationship now. I never knew where we would end up when we dreamed together.

Carlos leaned into me affectionately with a light shoulder-to-shoulder bump. How’s the doctoring?

I love it. The energy of the trauma ward is like nothing else. It’s always go, go, go. Stay on your toes. Be alert. Take charge. Every day is something new. Someone comes in ready to die, and I can fix them, send them back to their loved ones. Every day, I can see the difference I make in the world. The feeling is amazing. Cars drove by, taking carloads of kids from the soccer field. A few days ago, I actually got to do a heart massage, which is unheard of in the ER

You had to pump a guy’s heart?His squinty-eyed wince said it all. There was a reason not everyone became a trauma surgeon. Carlos had never liked the sight of blood.

Yes. It was an amazing moment, having someone’s heart in my hand and pumping it to keep them alive.The remembered excitement of that day had my blood surging with renewed adrenaline, and the story tumbled out. This guy was brought in, barely breathing, and he goes into arrest on my table. So I’m going through the checklist wondering what the hell is wrong with him, right? He looks young and healthy. There was no other sign of major trauma, abdomen was soft, so I could tell he wasn’t bleeding internally, and because he was turning blue, it had to be something with respiration.

Remembering gave me that wired feeling again. Problem-solving at that level of intensity was the best kind of drug. I figured it must be some kind of pulmonary embolus, some kind of blockage between heart and lungs, which was the only thing making sense. We hit a point where even with heart compressions, we weren’t getting a pulse. By then, I’d called a cardiologist, and it was do-or-die. We decided we had to crack his chest and pump his heart manually, which got a pulse going long enough to get him to the OR, where he had an eight-hour surgery to remove some nasty blockage by his heart.

When I finished, Carlos had a funny smile on his face.

What? I asked. Did I lose you in there?

No, I managed to follow.

Why the smile?

You’re living your dreams. I’m proud of you. You kick ass, Ceci. You always have. You’re going to be okay.

Okay? I guess I was, but it seemed weird for him to say it, again like it was some kind of final proclamation. I could agree for the most part, that I was okay, living out some amazing career dreams. The silence stretched while I studied the handsome face I’d memorized long ago. It was a reminder some things were never going to happen. Not all of my dreams will be lived.

He shook his head before I could even finish my sentence. I wasn’t a dream. I get that now. We were just kids, Ceci. You have to know that.

What was this about? We had plans, Carlos, remember?

He shook his head impatiently. We made childish plans. What were you, sixteen? Seventeen?

They weren’t childish to me! I was counting on them. I worked my ass off to finish school early so we could go to college together. Remember? Get our degrees, get married… We’d talked about places we were going to visit together, things we wanted to do in life. Take time to travel, maybe go to Costa Rica.

His look turned stubborn. If you want to go to Costa Rica, you should go.

That was our plan! My irritation was turning to fear. We were going to be all bohemian, remember? You and me. Together. Why in the hell would I want to do that now?

He took a deep breath, but his eyes never left mine. You were counting on life happening. So was I. We don’t always get what we want.

I know it. Every day of my life I know it. I live it! My voice was rising, but I couldn’t help it. The horror of that day came back—the screams, the terror, the sobbing, the sound of the ambulance, the helplessness I swore I would never feel again, the blood so thick and warm, tacky, coating my hands, soaking into my jeans in that deep, deep red arterial color, the color of a deep bleed. There was nothing I could do, and all because of a stupid argument… My eyes burned with shame, but I fought back the moisture. Too hard to think about it.That was the worst day of my life. I’ll never forget.

You aren’t the only one that lost on that day. A surge of anger flared in his dark brown eyes. It faded quickly, but this time I knew I’d seen it.

What? What was that for?

What? He looked off toward the mountains with a neutral expression, not making eye contact.

The look on your face.

What look?

Cut it out. You know what I’m talking about. Stop playing dumb.For the first time ever, I felt a crack in the connection I shared with him. There was distance between us, like he was closed off to me. Like he was pulling away.

He tried giving me a quick smile, but it wasn’t a real one. I knew what his real smiles looked like, each kind he gave. This one didn’t touch his eyes at all. He gave my hand another quick squeeze and let out a sigh. I’m fine. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Yeah, you do. I couldn’t help the sullen tone of my voice. That was a blow-off response if I’d ever heard one.

I’m here for a reason, remember? I don’t get much time to do what I need to do. I’ve got something to show you.

I know, I know. It’s always all business now.

Something was very wrong. There had never been a time when he hadn’t shared what was on his mind. It got my back up and the stubborn child inside of me decided to pout. If he didn’t want to tell me, then I didn’t want to know. He could sit and stew with it. Jerk. Except who knew when I’d see him again?

Yeah, fine. Show me. We’d turned a corner and hit a more rundown neighborhood. The houses had bars on the windows, grass grew in the cracked sidewalks, and fewer kids were out. A feeling of oppression seemed to cast a dark shadow over this neighborhood. It was enough to make me want to back the hell out and find that nice Spielberg neighborhood again.

Look. He gestured to the house in front of us. Somehow, it was even worse than the rest on the block. It was a puke green with falling-down shutters on the front window, a broken screen door that yawned crookedly, and grass so overgrown someone could hide a body in it. It was on a corner, slightly separated from the other homes.

Carlos turned his soulful eyes on me, and I knew it was going to be bad.

Tell me. I braced myself.

She lives here. Our little soccer player.

Irritation with Carlos forgotten, I looked back at the house. No way was that little girl on her way to pizza.

A woman’s scream split the air. A crash. A man’s voice yelling. Another crash. The sounds of violence erupted so suddenly my heart jump-started. A child’s cry bled through the walls punctuated with, No, no! Leave her alone! Don’t touch my mommy! No!

This was a nightmare. I looked to Carlos. What the hell?

There’s nothing you can do. They can’t see us.

The hell there isn’t. I sensed the girl’s desperation and felt a rush of panic. I tried to push through the gate, but I couldn’t grasp it. I had no substance. A frustrated growl came from my throat. I couldn’t even kick that damn fence.

Soon. He caught my arm and held my gaze.

Sudden intuition made me pause. She’ll be coming in?

Yes.

That can only be bad. There was another sound of crashing, and then quiet weeping punctuated by low moans. To stand there and hear the ugliness was painful.

It’ll be bad, but you’ll take good care of her. The intensity was back on his face. And one day, she’s going to want to be a doctor just like you.

I accepted that responsibility with joy in my heart. Part of the girls-kick-ass club. Good.

What was she going to look like when she came in?

The worry fled as soon as it arrived. Carlos was fading on me, about to become one with the ether. He pulled me in for one more tight hug, and the pain of separation hit me as it always did when the blackness smothered us and pulled us apart.

Traveling back through the layers of consciousness, I wondered when I would be able to dream him again. The feel of him faded until I was alone, waking up with the early morning gray and a sense of loss that was always a part of me.

 

authorAbout the Author:

Danube Adele wrote her first romance at the age of seven when she penned the story of her dogs falling in love and having puppies. She’s been dreaming up romantic tales ever since. A lifetime resident of southern California, she spends time playing at the beach, camping in Joshua Tree National Park, and hiking Mammoth Mountain.

Always a lover of adventure, she and her husband took their sons on a cross country road trip to Florida and back in an old VW Westfalia, that had no A/C, in the month of July, and still, it continues to be the best trip they ever took.

Extensive travel and trying new things has kept the creative spark alive. Danube lives in Claremont with her biggest fans, her loving husband, amazing and wonderful identical twin sons, and a teddy bear of a Rottweiler.

Her debut novel, Quicksilver Dreams, Book 1 of the Dreamwalker series, was released January 6, 2014, and Dreams of a Dark Summer, Book 2 of the Dreamwalker series, is set for release June 9, 2014. The  next book in the Dreamwalker series is set to come out in December, 2014.

www.facebook.com/Writer.D.Adele

www.danubeadele.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/DanubeAdele

www.google.com/+DanubeAdele

www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340150.Danube_Adele

Tour Giveaway

5 $10 Amazon Gift Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Display link

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc890/

 

Let’s Reunite this Family!

Kim Mullican:

What a great cause!

Originally posted on Why Authors Rock:

2742817_1417833758.6692

Below I will include a link. It is for a Go Fund Me for a woman who is willing to shave her head bald. That’s right – bald. See, the State of Florida saw it fit to take her kids away while she was in the hospital fighting for her life after drowning.  As you can see from the Go Fund Me, this long and expensive battle has left she and her husband homeless. To make things worse, the state’s lack of understanding of Jonnie as Trans further delayed getting her children back to her.  The great State of Florida has found no reason not to return their kids to them, so long as they get a house completely set up…in a month.

Now I’ve seen authors work together and accomplish tremendous feats. We all work hard to help our friends reach the best seller’s list. We join in anywhere…

View original 155 more words

Pushing 40?

My birthday quickly approaches, being a Scorpio and all. I’ll be 38. Now 38 doesn’t seem like that high of a number until you think that 38 is knocking on the door of 40.

It is then that I start to feel old. As if I needed confirmation of my ripe old age, I had my first hot flash during a NaNoWriMo write in. How absolutely embarrassing. My face was blood red and I was fanning myself like I would pass the hell out if I didn’t cool down my body in record time. The woman sitting across from me was much older and just gave me the “poor dear” look. I wanted to rip her throat out. I don’t know why. I’m not a violent person but her confirmation that I was going through what I was going through made me very unhappy.

But I told myself, “Self, you’re not that old.”

Self laughed at me. “Yes you are.”

I  cried.

Then I looked at my children, one 18 and one about to be 14. The 14 year old constantly whines that he’s bored. Bored! Can you imagine? When I was a kid, we didn’t have cell phones. No one did except the military and they were about the size of a 1979 Pontiac Bonneville. 79pont46425-1Oh Christ, I just referenced 1979. I digress.

When you left the house, you simply missed the call. Yep. We weren’t in touch with one another 24/7. When you wanted to talk to a friend, you rode your damned bike to their house (rain, snow, it didn’t matter.) We talked face to face. We made eye contact. When we hung out we listened to music, talked about stuff, watched a movie. We didn’t sit for hours and play video games together. I mean really, how do you kids even know you like each other when you’re sitting next to one another for hours doing something that does not require eye contact?

Speaking of watching something. When I was your age, I was the damned remote. When Dad wanted the channel changed, I got my lazy ass up off the couch or floor and stood at the TV turning the dial until he told me to stop. And if I was really lucky, I got to stand outside (rain, snow, wind, it didn’t matter) to turn the enormous fucking antenna back and forth to that sweet spot where there was no snow  on the channel. 1406861_30166393Dad would scream so I could hear him outside. “Go back! Go back! Yep, right there. No, go back. Toward Chicago. Turn it toward Chicago!”

We had about 10 channels on a good day.

Riding in the car was a hoot. We didn’t have car seats or automatic seat belts. Mom threw your ass in the back seat and you held on. If you were unfortunate enough to call “shot gun” and sat in the front, you would get mom’s arm in front of your chest if she had to stop too fast. If you were really lucky, you didn’t slam your forehead on the dashboard. Cause screw seatbelts. Our cars were older. They didn’t have them most of the times and when they did, they’d cross over the bench seat in the front.

No we didn’t walk uphill both ways in waist deep snow to school. We did stand out in whatever weather there was (and in Northwest Indiana, winters are a bitch,) to wait for the bus. Once it arrived, I had the pleasure of riding to one school to switch buses to go to my actual school. Total ride time: about an hour. Yep, an hour on a stinky bus with other stinky little shit heads. It was a blast.

Getting in trouble in school meant getting my ass kicked at home. (Not abuse, actual discipline.) CPS wasn’t going to come running to your door for a spanking. As a matter of fact, my friend’s parents could have kicked my ass if I were disrespectful and no one would have done a thing about it.

When I wanted to heat up food, there wasn’t a microwave. I stood over the stove and reheated what I wanted. There was no dishwasher. I WAS the dishwasher.

There was no Caller ID. We didn’t know who was calling, but you’d better answer by the third ring!

We didn’t have the internet. When you had to do a paper for school, you had to sit your scrawny little ass at the library and use the card catalog to find the material you needed. Papers were handwritten. The first keyboard I used was attached to an actual typewriter…you know, the old thing with the inky ribbon and if you were really lucky, it had correction tape built in. It was loud. It was obnoxious, but it was better than writing things out by hand.

When I wanted money, I got a job. My first job was picking strawberries. But since I was just a kid on a minors crew, we got to pick berries after the migrant workers. When you get paid by the pound, this means working all damned week for about $20. So I stepped it up and detassled corn. Oh hell, that was a total riot. Imagine, if you will, having thousands of tiny paper cuts all over your arms, hands and face. Then imagine the pleasure of your salty sweat stinging in each cut.

I drove my moped to that job. Dad gave me a loan and each check went to gas, then to him until it was paid off. So basically, I suffered thousands of little cuts, sore hands, working in the down-pouring rain of Satan’s fucking heat to pay for a moped. 1432100_94414075But the moped was paid off by the time I had my third job, waiting tables in a hole in the wall tiny truck stop. The boss was a drunk Greek guy. The cooks were non-English speaking Mexicans. It was awesome. No one knew what the other was saying. Until one day, the new girl started and she spoke fluent Spanish. All I can say was that those cooks were perverted assholes, and they quit talking shit about my rear after she busted them publicly. It’s a sad state of affairs when the lonely truckers are the most well behaved in the bunch.

But there wasn’t a fancy Point of Sale system. 840748_55174328There was a calculator and an old cash register with a wooden drawer that weighed about 20 lbs. The day I quit was the day the drunk Greek came out screaming at me in his native tongue. The restaurant was packed and I was the only waitress on staff. It took a customer to translate for me. I was being accused of stealing. $1. Yep one fucking dollar and this dude was going ape-shit on me in front of an entire restaurant full of hungry customers. I walked over to the big ass register and pulled the drawer to count it myself. That’s when a wadded up $1 bill fell on the floor that had gotten stuck behind said wood drawer. The money wasn’t missing. But the drunk proceeded to call me a “white cunt.” So I threw my order pad at him and walked away from Kathy’s Kitchen forever.

I finally had my license and a car so, I went to go work for two Italian broads down the road. It was a bigger truck stop and they didn’t abuse their staff. I worked there until I went off to college. Still, hours on my feet, speed (it was legal back then, sold over the counter) to keep me going because third shift didn’t like to come in on time. So there were days I wouldn’t get home until 1-2 a.m. then up at 6 to get ready for school. That was my life as a kid. I managed. I damaged my heart with all of the Ephadrine, but I managed.

That was decades ago now. Gas was less than a dollar. I drove old vehicles that maybe squeaked out 10 miles to the gallon.

Parents and kids were smarter back then. We had to be. Dad took away my keys, so my cousin taught me how to hot wire my car. Dad figured out I’d installed a toggle switch so for the next grounding, he pulled my plug wires. SMARTER PARENTS. To this very day, I can hotwire a pre-80s car, thanks to my cousin, Chuck.  Hey, don’t judge. If the zombie apocalypse happens, I “got me some skillz.”

Dad made me change my own oil. He taught me how to change a tire. I learned a lot because I was made to. I wasn’t “busy” with Facebook. I wasn’t distracted with text messages. I wasn’t wrapped in bubble wrap. There was lead paint, CFCs, and riding bikes with no helmets and no seat belt laws.

The world around me has changed. I’ve changed with it. But damn. At 38 I feel old. I cannot imagine how the retirees feel.

Guest Post Ron D. Voigts

Strigoi Banner 851 x 315The Town Of Glade: Once You Arrive, You Stay For Life.

The setting for Strigoi: The Blood Bond takes place in what first seems be to a quaint little town in the mountains called Glade. As Maggie thinks in the story thinks of it as “a meadow with willow trees near a lake and buttercup flowers and soft bunnies. A nice name for a town with friendly people and happy places.” Soon this ideal world becomes anything but a pretty place to live.

You can find the town deep in the Appalachian Mountains. A winding road off the main highway leads to the village. Finding the road’s entrance is not easy unless you know the secret. Once there, it is impossible to leave.

The town is a mix of architecture and styles.  Some house were built in the early 20th century, while others have been around for centuries. Some have electric, but most use oil lamps and candles.  The stores are dark, bleak shops built along a narrow stone road.

Driving in on the main road you first pass the Church of Saint Cyprian. The church was named after the Bishop of Cyprian who lived about the second century and was known as the Patron Saint of Necromancers.  The church is a stone fortress with narrow windows like a castle or fort might have and has a heavy front door.  Behind the church is a cemetery with stone markers bearing the names and dates of birth for those for buried there. No date of death though, as the Strigoi don’t die.

On the other end of the town is residence of Lord Nikola Choroleeva that is more castle than house.  Wide steps of cut rock lead to a double door with iron bars stretched across stained glass windows. Two stone swans rest on pedestals flanking the staircase, and flames flicker in bowls atop their backs.  Overgrown shrubs with jagged edges stand sentry around the building’s perimeter. Dead vines cling to its walls, never reaching sunshine. Gothic windows with black glass watch over the winding road leading to the Strigoi’s home.

The Inside is lit only by candles in sconces and elaborate chandeliers. The lord entertains his guests in a music room designed to accommodate dozens of listeners. He taps the keys of a gold harpsichord, his narrow finger moving swiftly across the ivory. The music fills the air with a tune he has composed. Closing our eyes, you can imagine men in eloquent coats with tails and women with poufy dresses dancing on the marble floor. But don’t keep them closed too long as he might surprise you and bite your neck.

The last stop on our little tour of Glade is the town pub where you can enjoy a warm ale and play darts with the patrons.  Beware! They just may be monsters.  But don’t leave yet. Have a plate of the stew. It’s the only thing on the menu.

Bon appétit!

Tour giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift Card
RaffleCopter
<a id=”rc-ba112ffc788″ class=”rafl” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc788/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js“></script>
Link to grab code
Display link

voigtStrigoi: The Blood Bond

Tales of the Strigoi

Book 1

Ron D. Voigts

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Publisher: Night Wings Publishing

ASIN: B00LQRJBZ6

Number of pages: 231

Word Count:  72,000

Cover Artist: Rachel R. Colon

Book Description:

On the verge of suicide after his wife leaves him, Alex Regal learns he has inherited property located in a small town deep within the mountains. Putting things on hold, he heads to Glade, hoping for something positive in his life. Getting there is easy but leaving proves to be impossible. A spell exists, keeping everyone captive in this hidden place.

The town of Glade is run by a Shapeshifter called the Strigoi. The creature needs to drink human blood to survive. In folklore, taking the form of a man or an animal, the Strigoi became the basis of stories about vampires or werewolves. Now Alex must discover a dark secret before he becomes the vampire’s next meal.

Book Trailer:  http://youtu.be/8wo4l7U-Xm4 

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

Maggie awoke in darkness. She blinked. Inky black filled her vision. She recalled the stag standing in the road, losing control of the car, and the accident.

She tasted salt and metal. Her lower lip felt fat. A dull pain throbbed at the side of her head. She slid her fingers across her scalp and felt a bump.

Her hand shook as she reached out and touched the steering wheel. She ran her fingers along the column and felt the keys dangling in the ignition. The engine no longer ran. Moving farther, she touched the headlight switch and turned it.

The world lit up in front of her. The car had nosed into a tree. The headlight beams didn’t travel too far, absorbed by the brush, nearby trees, and the night. The dash clock read 2:13.

By best estimate, Maggie had been knocked out for about ten hours. Hopefully only that. She didn’t feel too bad except for the pain radiating from the bump on her head.

Now came a decision. Leave the car and head down the road, or stay?

A black shadow passed in front of the car lights. If she’d blinked and she might have missed it. Possibly the night playing a trick on her eyes.

Something hit the car hard. The vehicle rocked for a second and then grew quiet. Maggie held her breath and listened. All was silent like before.

Above her, something moved on the car’s roof. First, the sound came as gentle thumps, like someone walking above her. The noise grew louder. Pounding and scratching. Maggie realized whatever had leaped atop the car meant to claw its way in.

“Stop,” she screamed.

The sound became intense, the action more violent.

She cupped her hands over her ears and screamed, “Please, stop.”

Another boom came from overhead. A silhouette passed in front of the car lights again and vanished into the darkness. Maggie wondered if it had left.

Then the shadow appeared again, she heard a crash, and the left headlight went dark. Maggie thought this could not be happening. Things didn’t happen like this in the real world. Another crash and the right light went out.

The only light in the car came from the dashboard. Whatever was outside could see her by the glow. Her fingers fumbled for the switch, twisted it, and darkness once more wrapped around her.

Her breaths came in short pants. Her heart pounded in her ears. Her eyes opened, her eyes closed—the darkness remained the same. Minutes passed without a sound. The quiet grew unnerving.

What had it been? She’d heard of bears attacking vehicles. Certainly that would explain the agility and size of whatever it had been. But did bears come out at night?

A sickening feeling overwhelmed her—she was not alone. Something still remained outside, perhaps only feet from the car. She had not heard anything for a while now. Reason said it had left, but she knew it hadn’t. Whatever was outside waited for her.

She raised her hand and touched the underside of the car’s roof. Her fingers dragged across the surface of the liner, sweeping in gentle arcs until she found the dome light. Her fingertip slipped over the rocker switch.

A cold feeling washed over her. Her imagination played with her. If she pressed the switch and lit the interior, would something be outside, waiting? Would that be the trigger to provoke it?

When she could no longer stand it, she pushed. Light flooded the inside of the car. Nothing happened. She was alone. The light soothed her and kept the darkness away. The night had no power over her.

Then it hit the windshield. Fur pressed against the glass. A patch of fog wafted from the nostrils of a black nose. Fangs glistened in the light. Two red eyes stared at her.

Maggie pushed on the steering wheel, and the sound of the horn blared.

voight authorAbout the Author:

Originally from the Midwest, Ron D. Voigts now call North Carolina home where he and his wife have a small house off the Neuse River. Ron’s writing credits include the Penelope Mystery Series for middle-grade readers and the dark mystery thriller, Claws of the Griffin.  His reading taste is eclectic and depends if the first sentence captures his interest. When not writing and reading, he enjoys watching gritty movies, cooking gourmet food, and playing games on his PC.

http://rondvoigts.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @RonDVoigts

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRonDVoigts

https://www.goodreads.com/RonDVoigts

 

 

Words that Bind by Ash Krafton

Words that Bind Banner TOUR 851 x 315Tour giveaway
Choice of print copy or ebook, book-inspired hand-crafted keychain, author swag-open to US Shipping
Rafflecopter
<a id=”rc-ba112ffc801″ class=”rafl” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc801/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js“></script>
Link to grab code
Display link

bookWords That Bind

Ash Krafton

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: Oct. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62830-560-9

ISBN: 978-1-62830-561-6

Number of pages: 314

Word Count: 75000

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Book Description:

Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.

Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.

Available at Amazon and Wild Rose Publishing 

Short Excerpt: 

“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”

“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”

“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”

He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.

Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.

He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”

His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”

She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.

retro smallerAbout the Author:

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of a three-book urban fantasy series The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press).

An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her latest project, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition; it is also available through Wild Rose Press as an October 2014 release.

Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.

In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton is also a staff blogger for the Query Tracker Blog.

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Goodreads Authorgraph Pinterest

 

 

 

News

Dear Friends, Family & Fans,

It’s time to make an announcement. You all know I’m an author (clearly.) I have been self-published and traditionally published. I’ve published both as Kim Mullican and for the last few family members that don’t know (unlikely since my family loves to talk,) I publish erotic content as Anita Cox. I haven’t really kept it a secret but since I tend not to enjoy talking about myself, there is a slight chance some of you did not know. I digress.

The publishing world is ever-changing. There has been so much news and drama about the business, it’s become white noise for some. There are a few publishers behaving badly. I’m not referring to any one publisher, but authors talk. I can tell you, there are a lot of unhappy authors out there. There are a ton of complaints, most of which I’m not going to spend time talking about. But I did listen. I did take note. For fans…some of your authors aren’t getting paid, getting paid on time or getting accurate reporting of the books they have sold. There has been abuse that would just make you shake your damned head.

I fumed on this for awhile. It’s been over a year of private conversations with my colleagues, mostly as Anita Cox, about these issues. I’ve chatted with some really fantastic writers  who are, or have considered, running away and never writing another word. I just…I couldn’t watch it happen.

So instead of sitting here pissed off, I decided to do something about it. I found a private investor who isn’t in the publishing business (and he wishes to remain anonymous.) I assembled a small but dedicated team and I formed Syn Publishing, LLC.  (You can find out everything we at Syn stand for by visiting the website.)

My small, but dedicated team, has agreed to work for peanuts until Syn is off the ground. Syn has received offers from editors and cover artists to donate their time and talent because they have also grown fed up with what’s going on and they want to help. They can see that our desire is to give authors a higher royalty split, to earn the money that the house receives and to support their authors, to advance their careers and to have a mutually beneficial relationship. Because Syn has policies in place to spend a portion of its share of royalties advertising for our authors. Why? Because when they grow, we grow. Because we plan on tending to our garden, so it can be as fruitful as possible.

I spent a ton of time in the service industry. I had no idea that the skills I learned while carting around hot plates, wiping up spills, taking customer complaints etc. would serve me in this business. It may have been, ahem, decades ago, but I learned then that happy employees / partners, create happy customers. Treating people with simple human decency and respect seems like it should be common sense. Alas, common sense isn’t so common anymore.

This long blog post serves as a warning to those that know me. This industry is brutal. Someone will try to smear me eventually. Someone will say that my time as Vice President of a trucking company doesn’t qualify me to run a house. (Which is why I have people to cover the areas where I’m weak.) I’m sure they’ll dig up whatever they can. Quite frankly, I hope they do. You haven’t really made it until someone tries to take you out. I took a proactive step in this situation. I contacted some of the bloggers (even some not so pleasant ones) and sent them the contract and an offer to give them any information they’d like. Syn IS totally transparent. So I must be as well.

So dear friends and family, tighten your bootstraps. This is going to be one hell of a ride.

synweb copy

Interview with JoAnna Grace

Please welcome JoAnna Grace, author of Divine Judgment.

Kim Mullican: Welcome JoAnna.  Tell us why you enjoy writing romance.

JoAnna: Hey Kim! Thanks so much for having me! Why romance? Why not? Love is the one thing most of us search for from childhood. I tell people all the time that I’m a total sap. I adore a good love story, be it films or books or real life. One of my favorite things to ask people is how they met their special someone. I get some of the best stories- and a few weird ones.

Kim Mullican: Do you write in any subgenre?

JOANNA: My main concentration is paranormal but I have published a sweet contemporary called The Roles We Play. I have a couple different contemporary series in the works. My daughters are begging me to write a children’s book so they can show it off to their friends. (They can’t do that with my current works!) One of the greatest things about indie publishing is the abundance of options. I don’t have to fit a mold.

KM: What is the heat level (if any) of your books?

JOANNA: My writing style tends to be sexy, but not erotic. I like my readers to blush a bit! Ryse and Dante, the heroes of Divine Judgment, are definitely sigh-worthy. It’s a double romance book because both men are seeking their women in different ways.

KM: Tell us about you.  Do you have any passions other than writing?

JOANNA: I love to sing. It takes a healthy amount of alcohol to get me to sing in public, but crank up the radio, pop open a wine bottle and you might just get lucky;) I love to go camping. I get renewed traveling and being outdoors, riding ATVs, jet skis, and the occasional hunting trip.

Kim Mullican: Could you tell us the most interesting/different childhood experience that you had?

JOANNA: I feel like I should be on the couch for this question. “Well, doctor…” My childhood was full of imaginary friends. Even as a kid I made up stories about talking animals, unicorns, and hidden passages in castles. I’ve always lived in the country and one of my favorite things to do was to play in the clover patches. They would get so tall that my brothers and I could make paths and “rooms” through the pastures of clover. It was pretty cool. Just proves I’ve always nurtured fantasies in my head.

Kim Mullican: You had a very interesting relative/person who strongly influenced you? Who was that and why was he/she so important?

JOANNA: I don’t believe in chance encounters. I’m a big believer that there is purpose in all things- good or bad. So while I can’t say that one specific person has influenced me, I can say that I’ve been abundantly blessed with both positive and negative influences. I look for lessons in every friendship, in every conversation, and in every experience. There are people who have pinged by bat-crap-crazy-ometer and I keep my distance! Then there are those who are fountains of wisdom and truth and these are the people who I surround myself with. I find inspiration everywhere I can.

(And I have a slight problem with authority, so if you tell me I can’t do something, I will try to prove you wrong!)

Kim Mullican: I know that you have very unique hobby. Please tell us about it.

JOANNA: There’s a possibility I was an architect in another life. I love to design houses and buildings. My favorite part of being a real estate agent was getting to see the design and structure of the houses I showed. I could spend hours looking at floor plans, interior design pictures on Pinterest, and sketching out the homes of my characters. I’m big about having the homes of my characters match their personalities. Yes, I realize this puts me into a whole new level of nerd…but I’m cool with that.

Kim Mullican: There was a place from your past that you’ll always remember. How do the memories of it influence your life/writing?

JOANNA: Lake Catherine near Hot Springs. We used to take trips up there all the time and that place holds precious memories for me. Not only that, but it’s beautiful. It’s the setting of one of my novels, a contemporary that is waiting for my attention.

Are most of your works available or do you have what a drawer or closet of “not quite there” work? Do you think any of those old projects will see the light of day?

JOANNA: I wasted a lot of time in my twenties trying to find a “more sensible and stable career”, as my mom put it. But I always wrote. I would come home from my j.o.b.s (it really is a four letter word) and to relax and unwind, I’d write. So I have years and years worth of novels that will all eventually be polished and published. Last time I did inventory I have over thirty novels at various stages. Some are completed and waiting their turn, some are five page outlines of books that will one day get my full attention. So, yeah, I’m in this for the long haul!

Kim Mullican: What is your writing “system” like, and how has it evolved over the course of your career?

JOANNA: My writing style consists of grand chaos. LOL. Usually my mornings consist of brainless tasks like cleaning house and Facebook because I’m SO not a morning person. As soon as I put my toddler down for naptime, it’s balls-to-the-walls work! I have a treadmill desk so I can walk and write at the same time. My afternoons are usually kid/husband-centric so I pick back up writing after bedtime.

I’m a very visual person, so I like to have pictures of my characters, their homes, their vehicles, various settings or other important props. These pictures are usually in front of me while I write. There’s usually a scent associated with my stories. Avery’s scent was from body wash I fell in love with. So when I get stumped writing her, I often showered and sniffed the body wash until my brain kicks it. It’s weird, but it works and I always smell spectacular. I also have a 4’X6’ dry-erase board in my office so that I can visualize timelines, and plotting points. Color-coded sticky notes and colored pens are my friends.

I usually plot as I go, because if I have too much structure before I write, the characters feel stifled. I made the mistake of trying to plot every single scene of Divine Judgment before I wrote it and it took me a long time to realize that system kills my creativity. Now, my characters get a starting point and an ending point. Everything else in between is organic and dictated by the characters. In other words, I listen to the voices in my head.

Kim Mullican: Do you have beta readers in your family or circle of friends, or do you trust your own instincts before you publish your works?

JOANNA: I have four betas, they get to see my hot mess drafts. One is my mother, one is my best friend, one is an avid reader and fan, and one is a grammatical Nazi. All of these people can be brutally honest with me (and have been). I know that if they say something sucks or something works, it’s because they want the story to be a success. I trust them explicitly. Other writers make great critique partners; I have a couple. But I’ve learned to be careful about listening to people who would change my story lines because that’s not how they would write it. To which I reply, “Of course it’s not, that’s what makes it mine!”

Kim Mullican: Do you think of yourself as a particular type of writer and how do you think that influences the decisions you make about your stories/novels?

JOANNA: I’m a very character centered writer. Most of my novels start with a person and I build the world around them. It makes me watch people more. I love to figure out why people do things and react certain ways. I did theatre for a short time and I use some of my acting skills to get inside my character’s heads and become them while I write. It’s easy for me to tap into their emotions.

Kim Mullican: What is your most recent book/story release? And could you tell us about it? (please don’t give away the ending J)

JOANNA: Divine Judgment is the third installment of The Divine Chronicles and it’s the tale of two heroes. Ryse, our main hero, is on a mission to recover Avery’s spirit and be reunited with her again. He departs from his home on Earth, and goes to the gods in the Heavens. Along with the other leaders of the Olympian race, he gets the opportunity to see the gods and interact with them. He also gets to see their wrath. It’s eye opening for him.

Dante, our secondary hero, remains in the Haven on Earth and is watching over Avery’s body. The gods send down the Oracle Lysandra to assist him. Lysandra is over a thousand years old and has to adjust to being around men and modern technology. Their story is one of forbidden attraction and kind flirtations. (My heart aches just thinking about it, so sweet!)

Kim Mullican: What led you to tell this particular story? (try to explain how you related to a character or place—again, don’t give away your ending).

JOANNA: The previous book! LOL. Divine Destiny ends on a heck of a cliffhanger and I think my readers would have strung me up and beat me like a rug had I not given them more of Ryse and Avery. I could write about them all day. Ryse makes me giddy! Dante and Lysandra’s story was a surprise to me, honestly. I had a lot of the characters competing for page time in Divine Judgment but those two spoke the loudest. I didn’t intend on Dante stepping up like he did, but that’s one thing I love about allowing myself to be a conduit for the characters. If I listen, they will speak. I’m very pleased with their story. I adore them. And they’re going to be instrumental players in the next installment. 

Kim Mullican: Which part of your story was the most difficult to write? Why?

JOANNA: Oh, that’s easy- the execution. I wrote a lot of scenes in various points of view and seeing things from Charles’s or Dyna’s perspective was so hard because I’m a parent and a wife. Dealing with their struggles often brought tears to my eyes. There’s one scene where Dyna is speaking about being a widow and examining my own fears of such a fate was difficult. I hope that deep emotion is conveyed to the reader because it broke my heart to go there mentally.

Kim Mullican: If one of your works made it all the way to Hollywood, what kind of a monster would be in the film? And which actor or actress would you have battling it.

JOANNA: The gods and demons would be fuuuun to cast and create! I’m thinking a combo of the creatures from Spawn meets Thor…Ah, Chris Hemsworth as Dante…Oh! Sorry, got lost in that fantasy. Holy smokes, that’s hot!(wipes drool)

Kim Mullican: If you had an unlimited advertising budget, how would you “get the word out” about your latest release?

JOANNA: Ryse, Dante, Hayden, Brenden and Yankee shirtless on billboards all over the world. It might cause a few wrecks, possibly a pile up or two, but it would totally get your attention. Better than the ads for Magic Mike! Yes, I’m thinking shirtless Thracians…this could be huge.

Kim Mullican: If any one of the monsters/places/characters could come to life/be real in our world right now, which one would you choose and why?

JOANNA: Ryse, Dante, Hayden, Brenden and Yankee shirtless…Wait, this sounds familiar… No, I really love, love, love masculine, strong, slightly dangerous men with a hidden chivalrous side. Thracians coming to life would be swoon-worthy. I could handle battling demons if I had Thracians to depend on.

Kim Mullican: Though we have every expectation that you will live well past 125 years, when you finally find rest, what would you like your tombstone/obituary to say?

JOANNA: Tombstone: “If you can read this, you’re standing on my boobs.”

Kim Mullican: If your next birthday party were going to have a theme based on one of your books, what would it be.

JOANNA: Olympians! Come dressed as your favorite Greek god, Thracian or Divine heroine! If I were skinny, I’d totally rock the outfit Avery wears to the execution. “Hello, my name is sexy, set you on fire goddess…”

Kim Mullican: If you were to be stuck on an island, which character from one of your books would you want to have with you? Why?

JOANNA: Ryse…sweet baby Jesus…please let it be Ryse. I could find nirvana on an island with a man who wields the powers of the gods in every way. Clothing optional. (wink wink)

Thanks for hosting me today Kim! It’s been a blast. Now that I have a few new dreams implanted in my head, I think I’ll go take a cold shower.

 

DivineJudgmentFinalCoverDivine Judgment

The Divine Chronicles

Book 3

JoAnna Grace

Genre: Paranormal romance

ISBN: 978-1-940460-11-6, ASIN: B00N5UAN72

Number of pages: 271

Word Count: 85500

Cover Artist: jleeann.com

Book Description:

One warrior fights for the love of his life, while another warrior finds his.

The gods have summoned…

Thracian Master, Ryse Castille, and Deities around the world travel to the Heavens and face their creators. It’s time for a murderer to come to justice and Ryse will have a front row seat at the trial. The Heavens have a few unexpected surprises for him; he prays one of them will be a reunion with his beloved Avery’s spirit. He’ll stop at nothing to bring her home safely and see his father’s killer brought to justice—if the gods don’t destroy the Olympian race first. Their fate rests on his shoulders.

While the Master is away…

Elite Apprentice, Dante, has a monumental responsibility in Ryse’s absence. He must watch over the widowed queen and Avery’s comatose body until her spirit is returned. In the wake of the king’s death, the gods send Lysandra, an Oracle, to earth to guide them through the troubling times. Weighed down by the constant disapproval of his father, Dante finds solace in her admiring eyes. Their unexpected affections are cultivated amidst the secrecy and constant threat of exposure. Both Oracle and Elite are bound by their oaths—the very things that might wrench them apart. 

Two Warriors. Two Quests. One Final Judgment.

Available at Amazon and ARe

7173373About the Author:

JoAnna Grace lives in a world of alpha males and strong females where true love conquers all—at least in her mind!

From the time she started holding a crayon she began to create magical worlds. Her first book was a series of pictures about a puppy princess. The story changed each time she told it, but there was always a happy ending! Her first written story was about girls who changed into tigers.

Now those stories have become a bit more complex!

JoAnna’s tales are spun at her home in East Texas where she lives with her husband, three kids, and a couple dogs. When not hiding behind the computer screen you can find her camping, boating, and shopping.

Sign up for her newsletter to receive information about new releases, events, and giveaways! www.authorjoannagrace.com

JoAnna loves to hear from readers and fans!

You can find her at the following places:

www.authorjoannagrace.com

www.Twitter.com/JoAnnaGrace4ya

https://www.facebook.com/JoAnnaGraceAuthor