And…They’re Off!

DragonsAmongThem_600x900Good morning, everyone! Kyra here with news that my fourth book, and first in a new fantasy romance series, is now available! DRAGONS AMONG THEM is book 1 in the Kingdoms of Fire and Ice trilogy (all set to release this year!) and a fun, sexy adventure akin to ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets GAME OF THRONES. And the best part? It has dragon-shifters. Mmm….dragons…

You can find the book here:

Samhain | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

As part of the release, I’ve got a giveaway going on for a $40 Amazon gift card. Be sure to swing by Bewitching Book Tours to follow along for your chance to win. And if you’re looking for a few sexy excerpts, here are today’s stops:

http://booksandtales.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/guest-post-giveaway-dragons-among-them.html

http://www.roxannerhoads.com/2016/04/spotlight-and-giveaway-dragons-among.html

I’ve also included the blurb and excerpt below. Enjoy!

Two worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all.

Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

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Excerpt:

The wedding.

Zayne shook the thought from his mind. He had come here to forget his impending doom, not wallow in self-pity.

The prince drew an arrow from the quiver on his back, nocked it to his favorite bow, then shifted away from the oak and lined up his shot on the buck. During battle, the action would have taken him but a second—two, perhaps, if he were dodging an attack. Here in the deep woods where any sudden movement would give his location away, it took several minutes. Time well spent, he knew from experience, if it resulted in fresh venison for dinner.

The deer raised its head and stared in the direction of his hunter with unseeing eyes, ears twitching as he chewed. Zayne held his stance, praying his patience would pay off. After a long moment, the great beast turned its rack in the opposite direction. A victorious smile tugged at Zayne’s lips as he squared his shoulders, took a deep breath to steady his aim—

A woman’s scream shattered the forest.

The arrow slipped from his fingers and sailed six feet over the startled buck’s head. In a flash, he drew another, but the opportunity was already lost. The deer zigzagged over brush and bramble, bounding away to seek refuge in the darkest depths of the forest, and Zayne cursed his own arrogance. He’d taken too long, been too sure of himself. And while his stomach rumbled painfully at the thought of foregoing his anticipated evening meal, he knew better than to pursue the beast. Dangers far greater than the dark awaited him in that direction, and no buck was worth the risk.

A second high-pitched scream sounded, closer this time, and commanded his attention. Whoever joined him in the woods today sounded terrified, not hurt. Lord knew he’d been through enough skirmishes to recognize the subtle differences.

Zayne slung his bow onto his back and charged forward, sacrificing stealth for speed to try to reach the woman before one pitch bled into the other. Thick underbrush snagged at his clothes and sliced his skin, but still he surged forward. It would have been easier for him to transform, faster even, but then his whereabouts would be discovered, and he was not yet ready to return and face his father. Or his betrothed.

The wall of vegetation around him thinned as he drew upon a small clearing. Zayne slowed to quiet his footsteps, then stopped altogether as the scene before him came into view. A pack of wolves milled around one side of the clearing, snapping and snarling as they pawed at their muzzles. Across from them stood the clearing’s other inhabitant: a lone peasant woman.

The source of the screams.

Her outer layers of clothing must have been ripped away during her attempted escape, as she stood quaking in scraps of clothing the likes of which Zayne had never seen before. The bizarre black-and-purple fabric failed to do much more than contain her supple bosom, rounded hips, and slim thighs. Her long, golden hair was pinned up and back and, though mussed, offered him a clear view of her delicate shoulders and creamy pale skin. But what struck him the most was her eyes—startling blue, like brilliant sapphire ice.

A ray of sun broke through the clouds and washed over her, giving the girl an angelic appearance. Never had he seen a woman more beautiful. The sight took his very breath away.

A wolf stepped free from the pack, and the air around Zayne began to swirl. He gasped, as helpless to resist the beast within as he was to draw his next breath. Never before had the transformation begun without his prompting, nor surged forward with such haste. An armor of golden scales replaced his skin, his fingers stretched into talons, and human logic gave way to animal instinct. As the growing fire within his chest sought to consume him, Zayne could comprehend but three things:

He must save her.

He must protect her.

He must have her.

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So what do you think, do dragons sound like fun to you?

Kyra_sig1

Take A Moment Monday-Journeys

Take A Moment Monday-Journeys

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Photo Courtesy of The Examiner

The past few weeks have been about two different journeys for me. One for business, one to visit family. With each journey came excitement, a sense of adventure, worry, doubt, and a serious case of nerves. Both have left me musing about what lies down the road for me in my career and my life in general. You can’t rush the journey, just sit back, hold on and hope for calm and peace to as a companion on the winding road.

Here’s what I’ve learned on my excursions: Savor the moment. Enjoy the company. Tell those you are close to what they mean to you. Seize the chance to dance with abandon, even if it’s just for thirty seconds. Spare a kind word for people you meet along the way. Walk, skip or dance as you go. There will be rocks to trip you up, and boulders to divert your path. Remember, sometimes a detour can be the best thing.

Look for the secret gate or hidden road that will lead your heart to where it belongs. But most of all, enjoy the journey. Even if it’s a wild ride.

And along the way, be good to yourself. You may need it.

As the Irish say … As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way. Happy journeys, my friends.

Gemma Sig-1a

Change Your Words, Change Your World

It’s time for Take A Moment Monday. I want to talk about words, and how even one little word can make a difference.

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Picture courtesy of Quotationsquotes.com

We’re writers, and it’s our job to evoke pictures, even entire worlds, with our words. You’ll often hear authors talking about word count, and how lofty their daily goal might be. Or lamenting that they haven’t hit that goal in a couple of days, weeks or even months. Somedays, stringing an entire sentence together can seem a bit like climbing to the top of Mt. Everest … dragging a sled loaded with boulders behind us.

I recently saw a video and knew I had to share. The message is clear. It really isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it. And I’ll keep that thought with me as a venture through this week, striving to hit my word count, but more importantly, striving to use the best words possible to achieve the goal.

 

My wish for the week is that I can pick the right words in all I say and do. It’s my wish for you as well.

Gemma Sig-1a

#TakeAMomentMonday

Sabine here. I’m taking over Chick Confidential this week. If you’re not familiar with me I’m a cross-genre kind of girl. I write kickass heroines and action packed stories. I have a Science Fiction Romance (yes, it’s a thing) series out and am working on a Paranormal/UrbanFantasy series that will be debuting this year. My stories are smoking hot, but it’s all about the HEA (happy ever after) for me. Romance is key.
It’s Take a Moment Monday so here goes.
It’s been a rough year for me and mine, but one thing’s for certain, life goes on. Those biological mini-mes you made when you were young and crazy? They need to be fed. And not just once a day either. Anywhere from two to eight times a day depending on their age, mood and possibly gender. What I wouldn’t give to have my 14yr old boy’s metabolism.
And then there’s laundry. I won laundry jackpot on that one. My kids are not sporty, which means I’m not drowning in sports gear. It wasn’t for lack of trying on my part. I forced them into tennis for years, but alas, without enforcement, they don’t go. They’re teens now. More and more their decisions are their own. As it should be. I’m still here, telling them to eat that broccoli, but they’re finding their own way.
So let’s take a moment and be grateful for what we have. That laundry I mentioned? It’s there because I have children in my life. Yeah, I make them do their own now and then, but I do most of it.
This week I want happy. I need happy. I want to smile and hopefully make you laugh. I think I’ll go with Smart is Sexy, or Science is Sexy or whatever the hell makes me smile.
Cant Control
I’ll leave you with my opening salvo. Words of wisdom that I adore and desperately need at times.
And for my first smile, I give you an ear worm. Galaleioooo
Hope everyone has a KickAss Monday!
XOXOX
Sabine red

Five-Line Friday – A Look At Tyranny

It’s Friday! Hooray! We’ve made it through another week. The Chicks hope that work didn’t defeat you this week and you have only happy events ahead of you for the weekend.

Here something a little different for all of our writer friends. We invite you to post in comments 5 lines from your Work In Progress, or from the book you are reading (be sure to attribute the work to the Author/Publisher please).

This week, we’ll keep it simple. Post the first five lines in a chapter. Let’s see what you’ve got!

I’ll start us off with the opening from my new book – Tyranny.

A violent crack of thunder reverberated against the stained glass window gracing the elaborate marble stairwell. The colorful display was meant to impress visitors as they entered the building. Right now, the only impressive thing about it was that the panels hadn’t rattled right out of the beads of lead holding them in place.

It ranked as one of the worst storm Clio Thanos had ever experienced. And she’d lived through more than a lifetime’s worth of them.

That’s it! I showed you mine, now you show me yours!

Gemma Sig-1a

Won’t You Join Us?

Pickup Lines

Want to break free of your comfort zone? The KickAss Chicks are hosting an online seminar directed toward writers at every stage of their careers. The four-hour seminar on March 2, 2016 will be led by Penny Barber, and Editor with Lyrical Press. She’ll walk us through how to write an opening scene guaranteed to make readers pick up their books. You can find more information here.
We do hope you will join us.

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Penny Barber

Course Description:

Imagine you’re at a party full of people you’ve never met. Mr. Bookman is working the crowd, going from person to person and introducing himself. He approaches you and strikes up a conversation. The first few words out of his mouth determine if you politely excuse yourself, run for the nearest exit, or are intrigued enough to engage with a possible new friend.

If Mr. Bookman, talks about the weather, meh, you may give him a few more minutes. Or you may very well excuse yourself and go see what everyone in the corner is laughing about.

***Remember you’ve never met Mr. Bookman before.***

Let’s say he stalks over and starts railing about his ex, whom you also don’t know. Is that within your comfort zone?

He reveals a lot about himself if he’s nitpicking, name-calling and making fun of the size, features, clothing, and life choices of everyone in attendance who you haven’t had time or opportunity to judge for yourself. Is this a person you want to spend a few hours with?

Mr. Bookman saunters up and shares every detail of how he woke up, showered, and ate breakfast this morning. Do you care what kind of shampoo he uses or how many swipes it took to clean his man bits?

If he stands next to you and thinks aloud, how many minutes will pass before you bolt?

What if he and Ms. Magazine corner you, and without even introducing her or himself to you, they carry on a conversation about people and places you’re unfamiliar with, and a situation you don’t have any context to understand?

Imagine Mr. Bookman looks good, introduces himself, and engages you with an interesting problem. But the longer he talks, the more his rough edges show through. He uses so many words to say anything, that by the end of each sentence, you’ve forgotten the point. Maybe he uses the wrong word often or mispronounces so many words you’re silently correcting him instead of following along. He pauses in awkward spots or has booboos you can’t stop staring at and wondering about more than what he’s saying. How long will you stay engaged if he keeps tossing out words and terms you don’t know?

Friends, relatives, critique groups, and beta readers are wonderful. Some of them can actually be trusted to say, hey, this makes no sense, your heroine is judgmental and hateful, I fell asleep in the middle of the third para, or all those em dashes are distracting me from the story. Many of them, though, are loathe to hurt your feelings or make you mad, don’t speak up when the material just isn’t their cup of tea, or maybe fear retribution when you read their stuff. Or, they simply can’t pinpoint why they aren’t enjoying the read.

Someone who reads for a living can spot flaky pick-up lines by the end of page one, and often in the first para. They may not tell you why they weren’t engaged, but they’ll know. In this workshop, I’m offering to evaluate your first 150 words. I’ll share what first impression your book’s pick up lines made on me and specific reasons if I met it at a bookstore I would pick it up or keep looking.

Without insight into why readers may or may not be picking up your book, you can’t do anything about it. If you know, maybe you can.

But remember I am one imperfect reader, with one opinion. I’m not always right, nor do I always have the perfect solution, but I may be able to point you in a direction that works for your story. And I’m not afraid you might trash my next chapter in the critique queue. *wink*

If you can’t make it the day of the workshop, feel free to post 150 words of your opening up to a week early.