31 August 2012

Review: Drasmyr

Hello, hello! Today, I'm posting of a review of Drasmyr, by Matthew D Ryan, as part of the Goddess Fish tour he's booked. Without further ado, let's go!


We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.


There’s a woman in chain mail standing across the room from me; her sword is leveled at my chest. I can smell the enchantment on the blade, it’s a strong one; maybe even strong enough to cause me harm. Still, I’m not too concerned; it’s at least a ten foot lunge and I know I move faster than she does. Indeed, she’s the one who is looking worried. My display of strength and the death of her comrade have shaken her resolve.

She’s got a pretty face, flushed with excitement but strong and in control. It is her neck that really draws me, though, so soft and inviting, filled with the warm blood I desire. The curve of her flesh glistens, waiting for a well-placed gentle kiss.

She’s breathing rapidly now, her breath coming in shallow gasps. Her trek up through the castle has sapped much of her strength. And the fear she feels is naked in her eyes. Now, she’s getting ready to pounce, just a little too much tension in her stance, her eyes just a little too focused. She couldn’t give me more warning if she were to ask my permission first.

She moves in with remarkable speed, her blade striking out like a serpent’s tongue. Even winded, she still manages to cut my cape, then prances away with her back toward the wall, ready for anything. Anything, except me.


Drasmyr is an enchanting read.

My eyes were riveted to the page with the lyrical words of the author. Mr. Ryan has a way of writing that draws a reader in. His descriptions left a vivid image in my head of mages and vampires, long forgotten castles, and warriors battling.

A fire has erupted in the halls of the mages, and one man is missing. The new guild master, Recegon, hires bounty hunter Coragan of Esperia to find out the cause of the fire. Coragan is a complicated man. He has long since given up working for nobles and is hesitant to take the job. But with the prodding of his two friends, he reluctantly agrees.

I won't delve too deep into the plot. Suffice to say, this book had me hooked from the opening line. Though I don't often read stories involving sorcery and mages, this is one I'm glad I picked up. The characters are fleshed out very well, and give us something to root for, and even Drasmyr has his own appeal. I recommend this one.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He also has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once and he has a cat named Confucius.

Author’s Twitter Handle: @MatthewDRyan1

The book is available on Smashwords and elsewhere for no cost.

23 August 2012

Blog Hop: Janelle's Time

Welcome, welcome, welcome! Today, I'm hosting a blog stop for Janelle's Time by Dayna Leigh Cheser. This is an excerpt to follow the previous excerpts you've read. Enjoy!


Janelle’s Time is the story of the great love between a New Hampshire farmer’s daughter and the younger son of an English Duke.

From her father’s death to the birth of twin daughters, Janelle makes it difficult for Richard to keep her safe.

Unaware of Janelle’s maternal-line powers, the couple time-travel to 14th century England, where they meet Richard’s ancestors - and discover some startling truths about his aristocratic family.

Logan Conor, the Scots Duke of Muileach, crashes Richard and Janelle’s wedding, bent on revenge, but finds his own true love instead.

On their wedding trip, a madman attempts to kidnap Janelle - twice.

Later, Richard unknowingly betrays Janelle who strands him in England. Richard finally arrives home, but fate separates them again – and he misses the birth of his son. Will they ever make a life together?

Filled with unexpected twists and turns, their love story spans two continents, and hundreds of years. But, can their love survive their very different backgrounds and the endless obstacles life throws at them?


(Richard’s) thoughts were running wild. This isn’t possible. It’s a trick or a dream. Yes, that’s it, we’re still in the meadow, and we’ve fallen asleep. What else could it be?
Was he dreaming? If he was, it was a remarkably realistic dream. Richard closed his eyes and shook his head violently, willing the scene before him away, but all the time, knowing it wasn’t going anywhere. Try as he might to convince himself it was a dream he knew it wasn’t.
When he opened his eyes, the medieval castle was still there. He sighed, accepting this new reality.
“I know this is difficult to believe but, in addition to what the boy said, which is rather compelling, that castle closely resembles descriptions I’ve read about the early Devonwood. In addition, some low hills to the south could be the ones near Englewood, my sister’s estate.” He pointed in the general direction, beyond the keep.
“Also, we’ve been traveling down a shallow valley since coming back onto the road. There’s a valley northwest of Melton Mowbray known as Vale of Belvoir. Devonwood is there … on a hill … overlooking a river.” He pointed first to the castle, then to where a flowing stream gurgled in the trees to the west of the road. “That stream is in the right place for the Scalford River, which runs through Devonwood.” 
Earlier that day, while on a ride, Richard and Janelle became acquainted. Janelle learned of Richard’s passion for history; he loved searching for and studying old things.
As they headed back to the LeDuc Farm, a noise that spooked their horses waylaid them.  
Now, they found themselves in a strange place, and they were looking at an inhabited medieval castle, complete with guards and weapons.

Richard denied the possibility, not believing in time travel, but the facts remain, the castle before them resembled what he knew of Devonwood’s past. The local terrain further convinced him of the possibility.
Then, with sudden acceptance, he’s telling Janelle he believes this is his Devonwood and offering proof of that decision. 

He wants to go inside, to see the castle as it was then, and to meet the people – his ancestors – who lived there.

Janelle isn’t so sure, but decides they need to seek safe shelter for the night.
Will they be safe? Will these people hold them against their will – or worse? The option is they’ll have to spend the night in the open, with no protection from the cold or from the dangers of the forest.

They go inside.

About The Author:
Writing ‘runs in the family.’ My mother is a multi-published non-fiction author, and my two brothers make a living writing, one as a newspaperman, the other as a copywriter. My sister edits her church newsletter.

My father was a school teacher/reading specialist (later an elementary school principal) when I was little. During story-time one night when I was about four years old, I stopped him and asked how he said the same thing every time he read that story to me. That night, he started teaching me to read. It began a life-long love affair between books and me – for that, I am grateful.

In junior high, I wrote short stories to entertain classmates. In high school, one English assignment was to write my autobiography. In the teacher-specified chapter entitled ‘Future Plans,’ being a published writer topped the list.

After a college professor told me I ‘couldn’t write my way out of a paper bag,’ I stopped writing for many years. Then, in the late 1970s, I wrote an article for “World Radio News” (San Diego, CA) about our amateur radio club providing communications for a March of Dimes Walkathon. The ‘WRN’ editor used my article word-for-word.

In early 2002, between jobs and wanting to write, I sought a third-shift position and used the ‘free time’ to write what became ‘Janelle’s Time.’ When it was complete, I shelved it. In 2009, the WIP came off the shelf. By August 2011, it was ready – at last - for submission.

In 2009, I started a Twitter account, @Writers_Cafe. I feel as if I’ve earned a degree in ‘book publishing’ since then! You can learn so much from over 14,000 followers. 

I penned an article about @RileyCarney, a Colorado teen, and very prolific YA fantasy author, who heads her own non-profit literacy project. Never officially published, countless people have seen it, thanks to Twitter retweets and some carefully chosen email inboxes.

On New Year’s Day, 2010, I went ‘live’ with my blog. It has evolved into a combination of chronicling my writing journey and hopefully helpful posts on publishing industry topics.

In the fall of 2011, I added ‘DIY Interviews’ to my blog (see the left column of my blog for details on doing your own interview). Several authors have submitted ‘interviews’ to date.

Janelle’s Time is Book 1 of my TIME Series. Book 2, ‘Moria’s Time’ was my NaNoWriMo project for 2011. I reached 51,000 words on November 26! Now, I have to finish that book, and three more in the series: ‘Adelle’s Time,’ ‘Logan’s Time,’ and ‘Clarissa’s Time.’

Moving into 2012, I’m very excited about the release of ‘Janelle’s Time.’ It’s the culmination of a life-long dream – and is only the beginning of my retirement career. I’m working on “Moria’s Time,” book 2 of the Time Series.
My husband, Pete, and I have been married over forty-three years – no children. We lived in Massachusetts for thirteen years, and then moved to New Hampshire for eleven years. In 1992, we moved to Florida.

Find me on Twitter and Facebook:
Author Dayna Leigh Cheser

19 August 2012

Dark Man's Son Blog Hop!

Welcome to Sunday! Today, I'm featuring a novel called The Dark Man's Son by Meg Whitlock. Enjoy!


She claimed the muggers were demons, but of course Jason didn’t believe her. At first.

When a mysterious woman appears in a dirty alley to rescue Jason Latimer from a pair of muggers, he tries to write her off as a garden variety lunatic. But he can’t shake the memory of her intense green eyes that seemed to flash gold, or the glowing sword she’d worn on her hip.

She calls herself Alex (no last name) like she’d made it up on the spot, and she offers Jason her protection. From what, she can’t or won’t say. He refuses, and that night he dreams of a dark man with the same offer. His black eyes flash blood and garnet, and he smells of burning things. Jason refuses him, too.

A chance meeting brings Alex and Jason together again, and she tells him of the Guardians: two immortal beings created near the beginning of time with the express purpose of fighting for mortal-kind’s soul. She is Light, and the man from Jason’s dream is Dark. Jason must choose, because Lucifer, for reasons purely his own, has unleashed the armies of Hell to hunt Jason down.

But there are things about Jason that not even he knows, and he’ll face hard truths and bitter choices as he struggles to find his place in a world redefined. Will he rise to the challenge, or, when the time comes, will he falter?

From Renaissance Florence to the French Revolution, from World War II to the modern streets of New Orleans, The Dark Man’s Son is a riveting journey filled with unforgettable characters, wry humor, dark twists, and a touch of romance.

Jason Latimer was a logical man. He lived in a concrete world with concrete parameters. The sun rose in the east, set in the west, and in between the two (on either side) demons did not walk. Crazy ninja chicks did not show up with swords (but wait: he must’ve imagined the sword after all, because he hadn’t seen it again after that first shaky glimpse) and wild stories to rescue you from muggers. Muggers, to address that point, did not have strange, distorted faces and voices that sucked all the air from the room.

Jason splashed cold water on his face and scrubbed at his cheeks with long-fingered hands. He stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. A stranger stared back at him through familiar midnight blue eyes. Dark stubble dusted his jaw. His nose was badly swollen. He made a note to get his unruly hair cut; when it started to go curly at the back and sides it was time.

Deciding he’d put the inevitable off long enough, he grabbed his nose and pushed it back in place with a painful click. He let out a long stream of obscenities as he applied the bandage, and, still cursing, pressed a bag of frozen peas (his grandfather, apparently, believed in being prepared: the freezer had been full of them) against his face.

He worked around the bag to pat his skin dry with one of his grandfather’s thick towels. His belly rumbled, but he ignored it: Thai suddenly didn’t sound as appetizing as it had hours ago, before he’d left his grandfather’s ridiculous Baroque nightmare of a brownstone and stumbled out onto the street and into an actual nightmare.

That wasn’t fair, Jason thought with a shake of his head. The old man’s place wasn’t that bad. It was just…ornate. And kinda creepy. If there was a single surface free of a grinning gargoyle or an extra, overwrought curlicue, Jason hadn’t been able to find it. Even the towels were over the top.

Jason absently rubbed the tattoo on his upper arm as he considered the bedroom he’d claimed for the duration of his stay here. It was the least histrionic of the brownstone’s six, but it was still way too much for Jason’s taste. The master suite had been out of the question: he wasn’t sure how his grandfather had been able to sleep a wink in there. It would’ve given Bram Stoker the willies.

He frowned and shook his head again. All these musings on his deceased grandfather’s choice of decor were really just avoidance. The last thing he wanted to think about was the weird mugging and the even weirder woman who’d come to his rescue…a rescue he hadn’t needed, he still stubbornly insisted.

With an impatient, oft-repeated gesture, he brushed a lock of black hair off his forehead and tried to clear his mind with a few deep, careful breaths. His swollen nose made it painful. He discarded the peas, centered himself, and began the soothing motions of his nightly Tai Chi routine.

He gave it up as no good after only ten minutes. He couldn’t hold the forms; he couldn’t get his breathing right; and his mind simply refused to focus. With a grumbled curse, he stripped out of his workout clothes and tugged on the shorts and t-shirt he wore as pajamas. He grabbed his laptop and the peas off the table and climbed up into the high bed. It was time for some serious Googling, he thought.

First things first: what could the vast reaches of the internet tell him about Guardians, and what exactly did they have to do with Jameson O’Connor, his mysterious and recently-deceased grandfather?


He turned away from the door with an angry huff of breath, and she followed him inside. Closed the door behind them. “The library’s through here,” he grumbled. “Do you really know anything about old books, or was this whole thing just some weird set-up?”

She followed him down the short hall and lingered in the library’s doorway to get a good look at the room. “That would be an elaborate plan, even for me,” she said, her eyes trained on the sprawling shelves. “No, the bookstore you called is mine, and I’m the one who does all the appraisals. When I saw your name in the appointment book…well, I figured it was just a funny little twist of fate.”

“Fate has a pretty messed up sense of humor.”

Her gaze moved to rest on him for the first time since they’d come into the library. “Yes. But she’s also a stubborn bitch, and arguing with her is futile. So here I am.”

He crossed his arms over his broad chest and leaned back against the desk. Dark blue eyes narrowed as he watched her set the briefcase on the table and begin to unpack its contents. “Your brother says hi.”

She froze, though only for a moment. “Does he?” she said. He sensed the strain in her voice as she struggled to sound casual; her hands trembled; she wouldn’t meet his eyes. “And how did you two get on?”

Jason gave a lazy shrug. “Not so well, actually. He’s sorta pushy.”

She snorted and seemed to relax. “Nailed it. He’s very impatient, and very ruthless. I am a bit surprised he found you so quickly, though.” She pulled on a pair of white cotton gloves and flashed him a smile. “Where would you like to begin?”

“Are you serious about this?”

“You made an appointment, Jason. You obviously have need of my services,” she said with a gesture that encompassed the neat stacks and the mess he’d already made. “I wouldn’t think our prior meeting should have any impact on a possible business relationship, should it?”

“I’m sorry, I just…this is all a bit too weird for me.” He rubbed the tattoo on his upper arm like he did when he was anxious or deep in thought. She caught the gesture, and her eyes narrowed.

“Interesting tattoo,” she said.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. I designed it myself.”

“Did you?” she murmured. “Hmm.” She took a few steps closer, and the whisper-soft feel of her gloved fingers against his skin surprised him. “What was your inspiration?”
“Um, you know, just…life? I don’t know, really. I wanted a tattoo, and I wanted something different. I sat down and started doodling, and this is what I came up with.”

“Hm,” she said again. Her expression turned quizzical, and she cocked her head to the side like a curious bird. “What do you do, Jason? When you’re not being attacked by demons or overwhelmed by an old man’s minutiae, I mean.”

He had to smile at the way she phrased it; it was the first genuine smile he could remember since hearing about his grandfather’s death. His navy eyes warmed and a dimple appeared in his left cheek; a shallower one flashed on the right. Her own mouth curved helplessly in response. “What’s so funny?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he said with a shake of his head. “Everything. I don’t know. But to answer your original question, I work with wood. I guess you could call me a carpenter.”

“Like my brother,” she said.

“That creepy guy’s a carpenter?”

She made an impatient gesture. “No, of course not. My other brother.”

Somehow his mind made the impossible leap, and shook his head again at this new madness. “You’re insane. Are you trying to tell me your brother—”

“I’m a child of the Divine,” she said in that same serene, implacable tone. “So was he. Different, of course, but the same.” She shrugged a little. “There were many before him, a few since, and there will be more. It’s just the way of things.”

He didn’t have an answer to this, but she didn’t seem to expect one. “The creature you met last night—what did he call himself?”


Her expression turned sour. “Of course he would. Luke. He employs a thousand tiny cruelties. Do me a favor: next time you see him—and there will be a next time, I’m sure of it—call him Cassius.” Her eyes seemed over-bright, and her next words were brisk. “As for carpentry, he’s incapable of creating anything. He exists only to rot and destroy.”

“He called you a bringer of nightmares.”

She wandered away and began to carefully sort through some of the books he’d culled from the deeper parts of the library. “Yes. He would. To his kind, I am a nightmare.”

Jason ran frustrated hands through his hair; scraped it back off his forehead and tugged hard. “Could you please just explain to me what you are? I’ve been trying to find some sort of clue, but it’s like no one has ever heard of you.”

“I told you last night that we keep a low profile. It’s necessary when you’ve existed…as long as we have.”

“Enough with the riddles, lady—Claire or Alex, whatever your name is! I’m tired of these mind games. I just want a straight answer.”

She cleared her throat and stroked a leather binding. “Your grandfather seems to have an extensive collection of books on demonology, mythology, and religion.”

“Yeah, I noticed that. So?”

“Some of these are quite rare. Look at this. I haven’t seen one of these in centuries.” She held up a thick book, its binding dark and cracking with age, but Jason ignored it.

“You mean…no one’s seen one of those in centuries. Like…reports and stuff haven’t mentioned it. Not you, personally.”

Her jade eyes—flashing gold, like he’d noticed last night—met his, and the expression there terrified him. “I’m a daughter of the Divine, Jason. Do you have any idea what means?”

“Obviously I don’t. Why do you think I’ve been begging you for a little clarification?”
Her mouth lifted at one corner. “You won’t believe me.”

“I already don’t believe half the stuff you say. I don’t know how much worse it could get.”

She turned away and very deliberately set the delicate old book back on the table. When she faced him again, her eyes were entirely gold, no trace of the green. Jason blinked. “Your…eyes…? What…?” A trick of the light, it had to be.

“It’s not a trick, Jason.” She took a step toward him, and he pushed away from the desk and backed up. She kept advancing; he kept retreating. She stopped and sighed. “You’ve no reason to fear me.”

“You’re joking, right? I watched you beat up a guy three times your size. I met that freak show who calls himself your brother. Now you’re standing in my grandfather’s library with color-change eyes claiming that you remember a book from centuries ago. Either one of us is seriously unhinged—”

“Or it’s all true,” she said gently.

“I was gonna say ‘or we both are’.”

She pulled the desk chair out for him. “Sit down, Jason.” She claimed one of the chairs near the fireplace and dragged it closer. “We need to have a serious talk.”

Night Owl Reviews: http://bit.ly/M9J5Su
Lady Caella: http://bit.ly/MaWnSi
Close Encounters w/ the Night Kind: http://bit.ly/LNtmOs
Rabid Reads: http://bit.ly/OG8W7W
Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews: http://bit.ly/KPT52m
Cathy Speight on Famous Five Plus: http://bit.ly/OUUO7p
Karen Bryant-Doering on FFP: http://bit.ly/NHcIx3
TeAmNeRd ReViEwS: http://bit.ly/MjXYBI

Meg Whitlock has been writing nearly all her life, and she’s glad she finally got over her laziness and wrote the book she’s been dreaming about for years. She graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a BA in Comparative Arts with an Art History specialization and an Ancient History minor…which is a mouthful no matter how you say it. She has four cats (including an invisible one), a car named Babar, and a vivid imagination.

In 2001 her one-act play, “The Shoebox,” was produced by Catawba College in Salisbury, NC and presented at the American College Theatre Festival. She was honored by Art:21 and the Mint Museum of Art for her essay “Kara Walker: Using Stereotypes to Provoke Thought,” and she’s won awards for both her fiction and non-fiction writing.

14 August 2012

Blog Tour: Shades of The Future

Welcome, welcome! Today I'm hosting a blog tour for Shades of The Future by Suzanne Lilly. Enjoy!

Welcome aboard! Tell us a little about yourself, please.

I’m a teacher and a writer who also loves cooking, swimming, hiking, biking, and hanging out with family. My life pretty much revolves around writing and teaching, although on occasion I’ve taken time off to zipline in Alaska, teach in China, and traipse around Rome. My patient and supportive husband and kids put up with my eccentricity, my odd sense of humor, and my need for long periods of solitude to write. I couldn’t do it without them.

What about your latest release?

My latest release is a Young Adult sweet contemporary called Shades of the Future. Here’s the book jacket blurb:

What would you give to see the future? Would you make your dreams come true? Would you change the things you didn’t like?

Mariah Davis loves animals, running, and her hunk of a boyfriend, Kevin Creamer. Everything looks bright for her until the day she finds a pair of sunglasses that allow her to see the future.

When she glimpses a disaster looming, she tries to avoid it but fails. She has a car accident that lands her in a wheelchair, smashing her hopes for a running scholarship to the veterinary program at Ohio State University. She pushes Kevin away, thinking he’ll want to end their relationship now that she can’t walk.

Will she ever learn to trust and love again? She could search for an answer in the sunglasses. But she’s afraid what they reveal might destroy her.

Ok, let’s get down to the fun stuff. If you were stranded on a lush tropical island, and all of your basic needs were met, what two items would you have with you? What person would be with you? Remember, you’re stuck there for an indefinite period with only each other to occupy the time.

I would carry a hammock big enough to hold my hubby, myself, and a fully loaded Kindle with a solar power panel attached.

If you could play opposite any of your lead characters, which one would it be and why?

Kevin Creamer, without a second’s hesitation. He’s a terrific guy in so many ways. Here are a few:

  • He’s talented and plays in a band called Tangynt.
  • He’s romantic. He wrote a love song for Mariah on her 18th birthday and performed it in public.
  • He loves animals. He and Mariah met volunteering at Happy Paws Pet Rescue.
  • He’s smart and motivated. He’s going to Ohio State University.
  • He’s good looking in a casual, laid back kind of way.
If you could lead any of your secondary characters, which one would it be and why?

I just love Hayley. She’s a little bit ditzy, but she’s all kinds of fun and does things on the spur of the moment. She’s also one of those friends you can call anytime and she’ll be there for you. Everyone needs a friend like Hayley.

You’re locked in a closet with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, three paperclips and a string. How do you get out?

Why would I want to get out?

Name five things you can do with a pencil.

  1. Pretend it’s a microphone as you sing. Use the eraser end for the part you speak into. You could even buy a glow in the dark eraser and sing at night. Wrap a neon necklace around the pencil as a fluorescent microphone cord for even more effect.
  2. Use it as a shoehorn for your Cinderella shoes. Who doesn’t have a few pairs of those?
  3. Pin your hair up. You can get cute pencils with designs to match your outfit. That way you look casual, even though it’s planned. Then if you need a pencil, you just take your hair down.
  4. Use it as a string holder to make rock candy. But before you do, add color to the candy. If it isn’t pretty, it won’t taste good.
  5. Get a bunch of donut magnets and stack them on a pencil, with North poles to South poles. They’ll levitate and you can amaze small children and pets.
Who’s your favorite character from your book(s)? Why? Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

My favorite character is Jester Mason. He runs the filling station in Honey Creek, and he knows everything about cars. He’s also one of those guys who will never kiss and tell. He’ll just kiss.

Where can we find you around the vast interwebs?

Suzanne Lilly Website: http://www.suzannelilly.com
TeacherWriter Blog: http://www.teacherwriter.net
Suzanne Lilly Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneLillyAuthor
Twitter: @suzannelilly http://twitter.com/suzannelilly

What about your books? Where are they being sold at?

You may purchase Shades of the Future through:


Thanks for dropping in! Any last words?

I’d like to let your readers know I’m on tour through the month of August, and I’ll be giving one commenter a free pair of designer sunglasses from Shoebuy.com. I just can’t guarantee if they’ll show you the future. You can get the schedule of blog tour stops at http://suzannelilly.com/blog-tours/. Also, 10% of the royalties from the sales of Shades of the Future will be donated to a pet rescue organization. Together, we can help find forever homes for pets.

Thank you so much for interviewing me on your blog today!

Here's an excerpt from Shades of The Future:

Mariah scooted closer to the inside of the booth to read the digital display. As she slid across the red vinyl seat, something poked into her thigh.

“Hey, somebody left a pair sunglasses here.” She picked them up, rubbing her leg where the frame had left a dent in her skin.

“Those are nice,” Hayley commented between fries.

“These aren’t random sunglasses. These are Dita Aviators.” Mariah turned them over, checking the thin metal frame to make sure she hadn’t bent it. She held them up to the overhead light. The lenses were clean and unscratched. “Plus, they’re like brand new.”

“Let me see them.” Hayley took the glasses out of her friend’s hands and started to put them on.

“Give them back,” Mariah told her. “Your hands are all greasy and cheesy. Not to mention saliva-y.”

Hayley laughed and handed the aviators back across the table to Mariah. “When I have clean hands, I’ll try them on. They’ll look good on me.”

“You think? How do they look on me?” She put them on and a warm tingle of fun washed through her veins.

About The Author:

Suzanne Lilly is a writer at night and a teacher by day, which is why she’s known online as the TeacherWriter. Her articles and stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print. She writes light romance, young adult, and middle grade novels. When not busy with words, she enjoys swimming, hiking, reading, fine arts, and cooking. She lives in California with her family and furry friends and has yet to feel an earthquake.

You can follow her on Twitter as @suzannelilly,  visit her blog at http://www.teacherwriter.net, or her author website at http://www.suzannelilly.com.

10 August 2012

Horror Hop, Day 5: Thanks!

Happy Friday!

What's the best horror novel you've ever read? Mine was Pet Cemetery. Been terrified of all cemeteries ever since. There's just something about creepy, deteriorated gravestones that screams danger. I'll never forget the time I went to Italy, Texas for my father's funeral and walked through my grandmother's backyard to take the kids to see a Civil War era graveyard situated a half mile from her home.

We were walking back, and I happened to look down when my heel hit something hard. It was a grave marker, buried in deep grass and far from the gates of the cemetery. As it turns out, the whole of my grandmother's yard is various graves.

Oh, really?

My sister has an interesting tale from that old house. When she was about thirteen, she was sleeping when a piano randomly started playing in the house. Curious, she got up and walked into the hallway. At the end of the hall was a man standing outside on a balcony in a soldier's uniform. She about had a heart attack.

What makes some of us more sensitive to these spirits than others? Some say it's just natural for certain folks to be more aware. But have you ever noticed kids see a whole hell of a lot more than adults do?

Seems that those who dream in color are more aware of things not tangible around us.

I digress. The reason I don't write ghost stories is because they creep the hell out of me. I'd never sleep while penning that. Instead, I write deranged vampires and werewolves, and serial killers. The only problem with writing serial killers is the effect it has on your mind. I had to put the dog in the basement the other night since she wouldn't stop whining, and we'd forgotten to close the blinds in the den. There's a sliding door there that leads out to a solarium. I couldn't help but think:

What if I look up and someone is standing there?

O.o With that lovely thought, I leave you. This has been a fun blog hop, and I hope y'all have enjoyed it! If you'd like to find out more about my writing, you can visit my website, which I'll be updating in the next week, or Amazon to find my books!

Thanks so much, and see you around the web!

09 August 2012

Blog Hop: Family Blood Ties

Thursday! I'm taking a hiatus from the Horror Novella blog hop to honor a previously scheduled post with CBLS promotions. Enjoy!

Vampire In Denial:


Blood doesn't just make her who she is...it also makes her what she is.

Like being a sixteen-year-old vampire isn't hard enough, Tessa's throwback human genes make her an outcast among her relatives. But try as she might, she can't get a handle on the vampire lifestyle and all the...blood.

Turning her back on the vamp world, she embraces the human teenage lifestyle--high school, peer pressure and finding a boyfriend. Jared manages to stir something in her blood. He's smart and fun and oh, so cute. But Tessa's dream of a having the perfect boyfriend turns into a nightmare when vampires attack the movie theatre and kidnap her date. 

Once again, Tessa finds herself torn between the human world and the vampire one. Will blood own out? Can she make peace with who she is as well as what?


No, Cody had some serious skills, at least according to David. It would take a lot for someone to get the drop on him.


He just didn't have much class. Turning around, Tessa watched Cody land in front of her. His graceful controlled landing made her instantly jealous. 

"There's no sign of anything unusual going on."

"No, of course not. Why would there be? It's not like they're going to advertise that they've kidnapped humans." She studied the huge stone mansion. "The captives are most likely to be downstairs." 

"Whoa. You're not going into the house. If you're determined to take this further, we go back to our parents and let them go to the council. They will determine the best course of action."

Tessa stared at him in disbelief. Everything about the night had taken on a surreal appearance. She was here, where Jared was being held, with someone who could actually help her and he wanted to go for their parents. No knight riding to the rescue here.

Then he'd been raised by the old belief that vampires don't go against vampires - without just cause. She didn't think she could come up with enough evidence to prove her case. 

She snagged his arm, willing him to listen. "We have to at least see if they are here."

"No Tessa." He shook his head, his vampire eyes glowing with terrible heat. "That's enough. This isn't a kid's game. This is vampire business."

"And who's going to believe me? No one. I'm not like you. My word doesn't mean anything to the others. If you don't see that Jared's been taken and kept as a captive yourself, you won't be able to convince them either."

He shook his head.

Fine. She'd go in alone. Turning away, she headed to the back of the house. "Go back home. I don't need you."

"What the..." He raced behind her. "Tessa stop. You can't go inside there. You're not allowed."

"And they're allowed to take humans?" She snorted. "I don't think so." The moon slid out from behind the clouds. Off to the left, a set of stairs cut down to a narrow wooden door. Probably the cellar. Perfect. She picked up her pace, reaching for the knob in seconds. She bolted though the unlocked door before Cody could drag her back out. Down a narrow hallway, she fled through another door that led to a wide open space. Empty space. Damn it. Could the prisoners have been moved already? How? There hadn't enough time for that.

"There, are you satisfied now?"

She spun around at the sound of Cody's voice. "No." She walked the perimeter of the room. At the far end, the room curved down and around. At the far end, her nostrils flared. Her weird knowing sense kicking in. Animal. Death. Fear. Pain.

This area had been used as housing for animals during the cold winter months. Horses, most likely. Ancient farm smells permeated the air. Hay. Manure. Blood.

"What's the matter?" Cody whispered.

She looked at him. "Can't you smell it?" 

"Smell what?"

"Pain. Death."

Vampire In Distress:


Note: This is Book 2 in the Family Blood Ties series and picks up exactly where Book I left off.

When Tessa rallies friends and family to find her missing date, they uncover a secret...and start a war that causes ripples in all aspects of their lives.

A vampire with throwback human genes. Sixteen-year-old Tessa finds more than just her friend in this journey...she also finds herself in need of rescue ... Imprisoned, she has to find a way to escape and reunite with her family before this war takes out those she loves.

The youngest of his ancient line. Eighteen-year-old Cody descends from flyer vampires wants Tessa back at his side where she belongs – even as he struggles with conflicting emotions about his best friend's kid sister...

A human determined to protect his people. Seventeen year-old Jared thought his life was over then he finds out that his rescuers are vampires...how can he trust them? And then he finds out the truth about Tessa...and that she's been taken, too...

Three brave souls struggle as war breaks out around them...a war that shows them no mercy.


"Do you not know others in the Council or on committees we can trust? Are all the elders untrustworthy?"

Shocked silence surrounded her.

She closed her eyes and groaned softly. The fragile egos of the elders. "I didn't mean that the way it sounded." She tried again. "I'm trying to understand why you don't trust more people."

"We have elders we trust with many issues. This problem, however...well, it divided the Council when it happened before. It's looking to do the same again, on a much larger scale."

Rubbing the back of her neck, Tessa stared at the two men. "Surely there has to be someone you trust to take control. Or you can bring in many someones. You suggested the Council, then switched to the enforcers. Why?"

"I don't know," Serus muttered, "I started thinking about the members who'd been pro blood farming decades ago."

"It is an ancient problem," she said. "Then bring in young blood. Ones who don't have the same prejudices and beliefs. My generation."

Both men snorted, and Goran said, "We're not bringing in children to do a man's job."

"Why not?" She snapped at him. "I dare you to say that to Cody, Ian, or David."

"That's different. They're men."

Even Serus winced and closed his eyes as if waiting for Tessa to strike Goran a mortal blow.

"I'll ignore that comment, thank you," Tessa said stiffly. Once again, she realized, they'd had a group of vampires together and nothing had gotten done. They'd talked themselves into circles without achieving anything. Pulling out her cell phone, she texted David, repeating her words aloud as she typed. "Who can we contact to help? Dad suggests the Council and the enforcers, and yet has admitted both are problematic."

"Who are you texting?" Serus stared down at the phone in her hand suspiciously.

She smothered a smile. "David."

"David? Why not your mother?"

"Because I figure she's your age and will have the same prejudiced suggestions you do." She shot him a wry glance. "Am I wrong?"

He grimaced. "Probably not."

The wind picked up, chilling them as she waited to hear back.

The longer she waited, the more worried she became. Finally, she looked at her father. "Do we know if our group is still safe? That the people you called in haven't overpowered our people and locked them up?"

"Don't say that. Rhia would have let us know." Serus's face took on a grim look. "I would know if she were in trouble."

The cell phone jingled, relieving Tessa's anxiety, and she hurriedly read David's text.

"He suggests we bring in the media," she said, studying the mixed feelings crossing both men's faces. "Hmm. What do you think of that idea? Or do you consider that another age old prejudice?"

Goran's snort left no doubt about his opinion. "The media can't be trusted at the best of times. This isn't going to be any different."

"Don't you know anyone who's honest? Someone from before? Who, whether you liked them or not, you respected?"

"Hell, no."

About The Author:

Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She's best known for Tuesday's Child, Hide'n Go Seek, her romantic suspense novels that was one of the final four in the Kensington Brava/Romantic Times contest this last year. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres.  To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series . All her books are available in print format as well.

To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her online with Twitter at www.twitter.com/dalemayer and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author.


Psychic Vision Series
Tuesday's Child
Hide'n Go Seek
Maddy's Floor

Single Title Romantic Suspense/Thrillers
Touched by Death – out now!

It's a Dog's Life (Romantic Comedy)

Young Adult Books
Dangerous Designs – Book I
Deadly Designs – Book 2 – out soon!
Vampire in Denial – Book I of Blood Ties
Vampire in Distress – Book 2 of Blood Ties
Gem Stone Mystery Series- out soon!
In Cassie's Corner- out soon

Non-Fiction Books
Career Essentials: The Resume
Career Essentials: The Cover Letter
Career Essentials: The Interview
Career Essentials: 3 in 1