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.

###

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.

###

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

Kyra_sig1

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.

#TakeAMomentMonday – Confidence

#TakeAMomentMonday – Confidence

Time for another installment of Take A Moment Monday, where the Chicks explore what is motivating us, making us think, or making us well, take a moment to be thankful for what we have. Today, I want to talk about confidence.

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Image found on Imgfave.com

You wouldn’t necessarily notice it, but I struggle with self confidence on a regular basis. I’m a good cook, a passable writer, a decent friend. All things I’ve strived for.

And, yet…

I doubt these abilities because I’m competitive. I want to be a great cook. I want to be a best seller, I want to be the friend people turn to for help, advice, or even just a smile.

So daily, I have to remind myself that on my path through life I am my only roadblock. The only thing standing in my way is my belief in myself.  So I look for confidence in the tiniest of things. Flowers, laughter, or a phrase I’ve written that makes me smile and finally believe maybe my writing is more than just a hobby. It’s what I’m meant to do.

I’m a work in progress for sure. And in the end, I will take what I learned, pull on the hard-won mantle of confidence and sally forth into the world, bold, determined and live these words of advice.Hard Won Confidence

Gemma Sig-1a

Fun Guy Friday – BatDad

We all love a guy who can laugh at himself while making others around him laugh.That’s why we’ve been trying to bring you fun features from the internet where guys just want to have fun.

Today, in case you haven’t met him, I’d like to introduce you to BatDad! This first clip is a Jen (that’s his wife) compilation and it’s a good sample of his crazy wit, and his wife’s support of it. Behind every great bat there’s an even greater, and long-suffering, woman.

And let’s talk about his kids! They are such good sports and get into the fun with him.

I love a family that has fun together.

You can get a dose of BatDad any time you want by subscribing to his videos on YouTube, following him on Facebook or Twitter. You won’t regret it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Gemma Sig-1a

#Work #Life #Balance

#Work #Life #Balance

 

Since the clock ticked over to 12:01 AM on Jan
uary 1, I’ve been mulling over the past year. What I’ve accomplished (personally and professionally), what I’ve failed at. What I did a great job of, and most importantly, what I could do better in the new year.
2016 will be a great year. I won’t have it any other way. Sure, it will be a long road, and probably mostly uphill. I’m just going to consider this steep climb as exercise (A goal for 2016, but we’ll get to that in a bit).

Italia,Trentino Alto Adige,strada per il Passo dello Stelvio

I’m Symbol Scales is made of stones of various shapesgoing to work on balancing life with work in 2016. I work from my home, so it’s tough some days to separate the two. And as a writer, many times my real life family takes a back seat to my fictional character family. To find this balance, I’m going to TRY to stop working by 4:30 in the afternoon. No WIP, no social media, no promotional work. I will schedule my days as if I left my house each morning, and then returned eight hours later. Office hours will be a priority for me.

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​I’m going to commit time to exercising every day. Even though I know I look like the picture on the right. I’m not going to let that bother me.

 

 

 

And I will add more balance by making time for friends. It’s true, time spent with girlfriends, and friends who are couples is great therapy. So when the world drags me off-center, expect to be invited to a big party. Friends, fun, food and music will be a great cure.

Awesomefriends

My word for the year will be balance. What’s yours?

Gemma Sig-1a

 

#HolidayHorror, #Life. Tell us your story

Hi all~ Kristi Rose here today and looking to hear your #HolidayHorror story. You know you’ve got one.

Who here has had a holiday that looked like it was scripted by the writers of Christmas Vacation?

I know we’ve been the Griswolds a time or two.

Courtesy of Youtube

Courtesy of Youtube

Come on, what’s your story? A Charlie Brown Christmas tree?

Courtesy of reddit

Courtesy of reddit

 

Maybe it’s something to do with family?

Courtesy of reddit

Courtesy of reddit

Tell us your story! Make sure to tag is #HolidayHorror and #Life

 

I’ll go first. In college one of my closest friend gave me a silky pajama set for Christmas. It looked very dated and well…faded in certain spots like it had been on a shelf, never touch, with light hitting it all day. I decided to exchange it for something a little more…me. Thankfully, the tags were still on it. Expecting to get a store credit, I shopped before I went to customer service. Unfortunately, that never happened. While, yes, the pajama set did come from the store it hadn’t been sold there in over four years. No, I never said anything to my ‘friend’. But I did start picking different study partners. #HolidayHorror #Life

 

 

Setbacks and Forward Thinking – Kyra Jacobs

Setbacks and Forward Thinking – Kyra Jacobs

Ah, 2015. You can’t end soon enough.

Anyone else feeling that way this year? lol

I so loved Sabine’s post last week about “This too shall pass”, a phrase that’s has helped me through some rocky times these past few months. That, and the serenity prayer.

Though, I have to admit, I like the Seinfeld version a bit better.

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Ah, but no matter which section of the roller coaster of life I’m on, I strive to look for the positives. Because really? Life’s too damned short to sit around wallowing in the “what if” ‘s  or the “coulda been” ‘s. Chuck Swindoll said once that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

In other words, it’s your life–make the most of it.

So that’s what I’m doing. Facing forward, leaving the past in the past. Being grateful for all I’ve been through, as it’s helped shape me into who I am today, and savoring every bit of good in the here and now. And how can I not, when there’s so much awesomeness on the horizon in 2016?

I have 4 books slated for release in 2016. FOUR !! That’s one more than I currently have on my backlist, and I’m freaking stoked. Three are in a new fantasy romance series from Samhain with sexy dragon-shifting men (oh, baby…) and book 2 in my Checkberry Inn sweet romance series with Entangled (book 3 is slated for early 2017).

Ideas are hitting me from every direction, and the writing momentum is on the upswing. And when it falters–which it does, so goes the writer’s life–then I’ll give my brain a few days’ rest and wait for the ideas to strike again. Play a little tennis or soccer with the kids, immerse myself in my flowerbeds. In other words, disconnect from the laptop for a short while. So far, that’s been working for me.

How about you? What do you do to shake off the funk? Great minds want to know…

Here’s to a KickAss year in 2016!

XOXO

Kyra_sig1