Snippet Saturday: Sept 19

Here’s another snippet from Negative Energy, my new release!

“See, it’s not so bad sitting by me, and this time it doesn’t appear like your shadow will be glaring at me. Boyfriend?”

“Cousin,” I corrected, already knowing that he was talking about Theodore.

“Really? Because he doesn’t act like a cousin to me.”

“Protective and always in my business, that doesn’t sound like a cousin to you?”

Jackson shrugged. “Put like that, I suppose he does. Is he the one who made you jump earlier?”

“No.” Not this again. “I like Theodore. He can be a bit much sometimes, but I like him. He’d never make me jump unless he meant to tease me.”

“This other person doesn’t mean to tease, then.”

“Not usually, and the teasing isn’t the fun form either. Okay-.”

“So, a bully,” Jackson cut me off, his voice low and harsh. “You’re being bullied.”

I covered my face. “If I tell you what’s going on will you leave me alone?”

“You mean will I stop being your friend?”

“I mean cut that friend crap out. You know we can’t be friends.”

“I know we can be friends,” he stated, more persistent than ever. “Why can’t we? Because our people say we can’t?”

“Are you always this stubborn?”

Jackson snickered beside me as the teacher, Mr. Henry, called out roll. “My mother would say yes, and I’d have to agree with her.” 

“Well stop being so stubborn and leave me alone.”

mybook.to/NegativeEnergy

Snippet Saturday: Sept 12

It’s release day for Negative Energy!!! Again, this is a standalone novel. Here’s the blurb, snippet to follow:

Shannon Dart’s magic is out of control. Rather, her flaring temper causes her magic to blow up the nearest object. With ninety days to learn control, and a bully set on making that impossible, Shannon is at her wits end. That is, until a wolf shifter appears in her first hour class after his pack moves to town. There’s something about this shifter that Shannon can’t put her finger on.

With Jackson’s help, Shannon is hopeful to learn control, especially when her magic responds to him. However, the rising tension between the magical coven and the wolf pack create problems for the two friends. If Jackson is the key to unlocking Shannon’s control, can they find a way to make it work while keeping their distance, or are they bound to fail?

Snippet:

Jackson’s grin grew wider as his steel eyes returned to me, their depths pulling me in. “My one goal today was to make a friend, and I chose you.”

“You chose me?” I stared openly. “You know what I am, right?”

He tapped his nose. “I smell that too. Which makes me wonder, what creature, or what person, makes someone like you so afraid?”

I ground my teeth together and stared back at the papers on my desk. “It’s no one.”

“Fine, if you don’t want to tell me, I’ll just have to figure it out for myself.”

“Why do you care?”

“Because I chose you as my friend, and no one is going to cause the amount of fear I smelled and the spiked heart rate I heard from my new friend. Not without me stepping in.”

“First-.”

“Welcome to class everyone,” Mrs. Gulf called from the doorway as the second bell rang and she closed the door. 

She began instructing us about the packets on our desks when Jackson leaned closer. “I’m still listening. Talk low, I’ll hear it.”

I looked down at my paper like I was listening to the teacher, though I was only half aware of what she was saying. Covering my mouth so she couldn’t see my lips move, I spoke as softly as I could, not worried he’d hear me. “First, you don’t just choose a friend like that. The other person has a choice. Second, you can’t help me with my problem. No one can.”

Jackson leaned over toward me, pretending he was digging in his bag for something, likely a pencil. “We’ll see about that. And you do have a choice to be my friend, but you’ll find I’m completely irresistible.”

“And cocky.”

“Self-aware.”

mybook.to/NegativeEnergy

Travel Thursday: Iargo Springs

Up in northern Michigan is a hidden treasure! Back in July, I went home to see my family, and we took a morning and explored the gorgeousness that is Iargo Springs. If you’re heading up to the Northeastern Lower Peninsula, check it out! It’s not something you will want to miss.

There are several natural springs in the area, and some waterfalls, that feed the local pond and river. It’s also a great place (as is Lumberman’s Monument up the road) to learn about and see the evidence of the logging done in the area long ago. It’s quite an interesting history as they’d roll the logs into the river and run them downstream.

If steps aren’t your thing, you might want to stay at the top as there are over 300 stairs. Going down isn’t so bad, but coming up is more challenging. However, there are plenty of areas with benches to sit and rest and enjoy the natural view and the peace that this area provides.

From the USDA Forest Service site:

“Lying off of River Road National Scenic Byway, Iargo Springs provides a panoramic view of the Au Sable River. Used as a drinking water source since pre-settlement times, dams were constructed on the springs by early loggers before the turn of the century. The dams were useful in diverting water to the logging camps nearby. Most of Cooke Pond was dry land then.”

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recarea/?recid=18990

Snippet Saturday: Sept 5th

I haven’t done a Snippet Saturday in forever, so let’s start again! This snippet comes from next week’s release, Negative Energy. It’s a standalone in the First Blood world, and reading the original trilogy is not required to understand it. You really don’t want to miss this one.

When I turned around, I spotted a new face sitting at the desk next to my usual place. It wasn’t the shaved sides of his head with a short, spiky mohawk running down the center of his head that first caught my attention. Nor was it the wide, wolfie grin he aimed at me. Nope, it was those deep pools of steel gray eyes that made me come up short when I saw him.

“Hey.” His light, tenor voice shook me from whatever trance those eyes had put me under.

I jerked out of it. “Hi.” Ignoring him, and Theodore’s odd stare, I took my seat and opened the textbook, pretending to read it as two sets of eyes continued to be preoccupied with me.

“The name’s Jackson,” the new boy stated, extending a hand in my direction, which I caught sight of in my peripheral vision.

Turning, I met those gray eyes again and swallowed. “Shannon,” I stated without taking his hand.

The boy’s nose flared, giving him away. Wolf boy. His grin grew wider as my lips pressed into a thin line and worry crept up my spine.

“It’s nice to meet you. I mean it.” Jackson shrugged and looked to the door as a strange female entered the room. The girl took one look at him, and then us, as she strode passed Jackson and took the seat behind him. Jackson ducked his head for a second before turning his attention back to me, the grin plastered back on his face. “So, what’s interesting to do here in town?”

“Nothing,” Theodore stated, voice hard and stern, not the usual tone for my cousin.

The tone didn’t faze Jackson, who stared at me. I shook my head. “Honestly, not much. Small town.”

“I see.” The first bell rang, cutting him off. “I guess I’ll just have to find something to do then.”

He winked at me. My cheeks heated as I turned away. It didn’t help that the girl behind Jackson snorted. The flush crept down my neck and I took a deep breath to steady my emotions, already feeling my power wanting to flare. It didn’t matter the emotion. As long as it was strong, my magic would react to it.

mybook.to/NegativeEnergy

What’s been happening?

Whew, that’s a big question! It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post, and sooooo much has happened, both personally and with writing. Yesterday marked one year that I’ve been at my new apartment, and Gunney and I couldn’t be happier about that move. We’ve enjoyed sitting out on the back deck most of the summer, both writing and reading, or just eating dinner. The view is great with all of the greenery from the trees and bushes, so much so it’s hard to see the apartments and road behind them. It helps me feel like I’m less in the city. It’s also much quieter.

Because of Covid, I’m now working from home, and it’s been great! I love it, and so does Gunney since I can give him love and attention every day. However, this year’s goals of getting out and being social more are not happening, and I have to make a conscious effort to reach out to people. That’s been a tough one for some reason.

However, besides working from home, not much else has changed for me. I’m still writing like crazy (probably too much) and working on book stuff. I’ve taken up crocheting more again, making book cozies. Lots of books have been published and written, and next year is going to be awesome! I have huge plans for the First Blood world, as well as adding a new series into the mix and another sci-fi book. Yeah, because I’m not crazy to try this and never plan too much into my schedule…

So, in closing, here’s what’s upcoming for the rest of the year:

*Fourth Bunker (Released in August)

*Negative Energy (Releasing Sept 12)

*The Diner anthology ~ Black Cat’s Curse (Releases Oct 23)

*Something in the Shadows anthology ~ Whispered Summons (Releases Oct 28)

*Christmas Book (Currently unnamed, Sometime in November)

Crafting Tuesday: Glitter Ornaments

This year my mom has started crafting again more, which is something that I inherited from her. My favorite craft to work on is making Christmas ornaments. I make them out of anything I can find.

Saturday I arrived at my parents’ house for Christmas and Sunday night Mom and I were looking for something fun to do. I suggested ornaments, and she had a great idea to replicate an ornament she’d made her sister earlier. I couldn’t wait.

So, we got creative. We pulled out the clear bulbs, the glitter, and the cricut. And a few other things.

Pause on our project: my mother has so many crafting supplies. I love it, and one day I hope to have as much fun stuff as she has! I’m slowly making my way into building my crafting supplies, but it’s nowhere near all of her cool stuff she’s gathered along the way. I also need to organize mine better because she has hers all nice and organized.

Okay, back to the project.

So, we gathered up our supplies, and here’s how to do it:

Items needed: clear glass ornaments, floor polish, glitter, cricut, stick on vinyl.

Pour a little floor polish into the glass bulb and swirl it around gently until the inside is coated. Try not to make any bubbles. You won’t need that much force. Also have paper towel on hand as you’ll probably have to plug the open end with a finger, so you’ll want to clean off your finger so it doesn’t leave sticky residue on the outside of the bulb.

Next, pour glitter into the ornament. We used Dixie cups so we could make it more of a funnel shape to pour inside. You’ll need more glitter than you think you do, but do bits at a time. Empty extra glitter back into the glitter container.

Finally, choose your words, vinyl colors, and fonts for the cricut and cut out the lettering. Stick the letters onto the bulbs, and you’re done! It’s really quite simple, but a fun little craft.

We’ve created glitter ornaments before, but never placed the vinyl letters on them. They turned out wonderful. I think I may have to bring more bulbs and glitter with me the next time I visit so I can make more, but for now, four is enough. Though, you can never have enough ornaments!

Anything Goes Friday: Dec 18

Who’s looking for a Christmas book sale???? I have one just for you.

🎄🎄🎄It’s the Christmas book sale of the year!🎄🎄🎄

$.99 each for four books. Love shifters? Love Christmas? Love elves and Santa? Then these books are for you! They have it all and are great reads for readers of all ages.

sparkle bokeh of Christmas tree, Template mock up for display of your product for Christmas background, vintage toning

At the North Pole’s own Christmas Village, it’s Christmas every day and dragons pull Santa’s sleigh. So, what happens as the elves start to venture out of their Christmas wonderland? Anything can happen! Includes ice dragon, polar bear, and wolf shifters, and more elves than you can shake a candy cane at! Their antics will keep you laughing as they learn some perfect Christmas lessons…and find romance along the way.

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Collection…/dp/B08PZ7VPJF

Travel Thursday: Bronner’s

Inside one of the entrances.

It’s been a while since I posted a travel post, and this is the perfect time to throw out another awesome destination! It’s finally December, my favorite month of the year. Christmas, lights, holiday music, garland, ornaments, hot chocolate, giving, and cheer. It’s my favorite. That means it’s perfect to introduce the perfect Christmas store!

Bronners is the Christmas Wonderland that each of us needs in our lives. The store, located in Frankenmuth, Michigan, is over 2 acres big with almost any Christmas item you can think of. The ornament section is beyond unbelievable. If you can think it, they have it. Inside is nothing but Christmas, from their products to the decorations lining the walls near the ceiling. There is no way, if you love Christmas, that you can leave that store emptyhanded. Trust me.

Growing up, my family always went down with my dad’s parents at least once a year. I say down because it was about 2 hours south of where I grew up. These were trips that I’ll always remember. We’d go shopping and then go out for lunch at the Bavarian Inn or Zenders. They have awesome chicken. We also found that going mid-summer was the best time for us as the store was far less crowded than it was nearer to Christmas.

Even the grounds are decorated and lit up at night for people to drive their cars around to see it all. I haven’t been able to see this since I was in middle or high school, but it’s on my to-do list again. If you’re in the area after dark, you should check this out.

For more information, please check out the site below. Also, you can sign up for their catalogue (which of course I’ve done). And PS they’re doing Facebook live visits with Santa, so check out the website for more details on this!

https://bronners.com/

Getting Crafty: Book Cozies

Let’s get crafty!!

This week we’re talking crochet. To be more specific, let’s talk crocheted book cozies. For anyone who may not know what a book cozy is, it’s a sleeve that keeps your book safe. You slide it in and voila, safe, especially when traveling. I’ve seen some crocheted and sewn with material.

Almost a year ago, I wanted to start crocheting more again, and to make something others might like or want, so I decided to create a book cozy. Now, I’m positive there are patterns out there and they’re wonderful, but I decided to use my creativity even more and created my own pattern.

I have two sizes, one for a 6×9 book and a 5.5×8. Each one also has a fun decoration on the top. At the beginning, it was only flowers as I became familiar with the pattern. Now, I have more yarn color choices and want to create better themes and also branch out in color. I made a cozy out of pinker yarn and then added some leaves to the front. Soon I plan to attempt a sunflower.

So far, I’ve kept the pattern to myself, but perhaps some day I’ll write it up better and put it on this site for people to find. The next goal is to attempt to make up another pattern for something fun and to create another style of book cozy. I can’t help but want to make more, and they don’t take long.

If you’re interested in a custom cozy or one that I have already created, please reach out to me via my contact page. They’re $10 plus shipping. Every book lover needs a cozy!

Happy reading!

Music Monday: Dec 7

In the past, Mondays have been reserved for books and indie authors. I’m currently working to revamp the blog a little, so Monday is now switching to a Music & Books day. Why the change? Well, I was just sitting here at my desk staring at my TV playing Pandora and the song playing reminded me of one of my books. In fact, I think it was one of my books theme songs, so I thought it’d be fun to have a day to talk music and books. Either one or together.

Music plays a large role in many authors lives. Some can’t write with music on, some have to have music but with no words, and others can listen to anything. I’m in the last group, but I tend to listen to the current work’s “playlist”. Whatever songs put me instantly into the mood for that book or who make me feel what I need to for the book (this year’s Christmas book didn’t have any Christmas songs in the playlist.

With this being said, I’ll go through the different books and their playlists, but also talk music in general. I like to listen to a broad range of music (with a few exceptions). What do you like to listen to?

Snippet Saturday: Oct 24

Today’s snippet is from my book Whispered Summons in the Halloween anthology Something In The Shadows published by Midnight Tide Publishing. It releases Oct 28th and I can’t wait for you to read this story!!! I just love Cass, and maybe one day I’ll turn this novella into a full length novel.

“Iz, I made a mistake last night, but I didn’t know it.” I took a deep breath and squeezed her hands, her grip on me almost painful. “Last night, after you went to bed, I was reading through a book on demons, and I happened to murmur a spell. I didn’t think anything of it because they’re usually complex spells. Well, apparently this is one of the easiest spells, so all you have to do is recite it.”

“Meeps, what happened?”

I was avoiding the truth for as long as possible, but it was only upsetting Izzy further. Taking my hands back, I wiped my face and heaved a heavy sigh. This was it.

Meeting Izzy’s terrified face, I confessed my sin. “Last night I summoned a demon.”

Her mouth popped open. Even young Izzy knew better than to do that. It was dark magic and forbidden by our coven.

“I didn’t plan on it,” I urged, wanting my baby sister to understand what was happening. “It was a mistake. How was I supposed to know?”

“Is he going to kill us?” Izzy squeaked, her body starting to tremble with the news.

I shook my head. “No, I don’t think so. He’s not that kind of demon.”

Eyes widening further, Izzy gasped softly. “There’s more than one type of demon?”

“Apparently so, which is exactly what I was looking at last night,” I muttered. “All the spells were so incredibly complex. I just happened to pick the one that wasn’t complex to whisper.”

“What are you going to do?”

I deflated as a fist banged against the door in a solid knock that made us both squeak, and I grabbed Izzy, keeping myself between the door and her.

https://books2read.com/u/4NL5lW

Indie Monday: Oct 19

Oh my gosh I love Karen Tomlinson’s books and I can’t wait to read this series! It’s going to be epic!! This one is on my TBR pile because, well, shifters! And I love Karen. She’s one of the sweetest people ever. I’m sure it’s going to be just as great of a read as her other books, so I’m ecstatic!!

Shadow Sentinels: Beginnings (A Paranormal Wolf Shifter Romance) by [Karen Tomlinson]

Redemption must be earned…or you lose your soul forever.

Does fate like to give you the finger?

I thought killing my parents would be enough for her but no, now she has plans for my new family—and me.

All I want is to live my life quietly. You know? Find my place in this crazy world.
But as a wolf shifter, I must either become an agent at the Supernatural Bureau of Investigation, or try and fit into human society. Yeah, that’s not for me, neither is the SBI. Especially when Connor, the alpha my wolf has claimed as her mate, is their top operative.

Connor is the boy I grew up with, except now he is a tough, arrogant and gorgeous man, one who kisses me, rocks my entire world, and then leaves me hanging, not only that, but he disappears—completely.

The SBI say he’s dead.

I say powerful alpha wolf-shifters like him don’t die easily.

Turns out his disappearance is just the beginning.

Fate made it clear that life is fragile, but she also taught me that once you die there is another life. Or at least there is for me…

I will discover what happened to Connor. And no matter how many times I die, vengeance will always be mine.

Get it now.

Snippet Saturday: Oct 17

Here’s a snippet from the last book in the string of The Diner snippets that I have to spotlight (ironically it’s first in the set). This snippet is from M.S. Murray’s book, A Hold On The Stake. Less than a week left until release!

A sharp pain radiates up my entire left side. I scrunch my face up and pant through the agony until it’s bearable again.

“I think you might have a broken rib.”

“No shit I might have a broken rib. I think you pulverised my entire rib cage when you tackled me like Frank Farmer.”

“Who?” His brow furrows.

The BodyguardWhitney Houston?” He stares at me blankly. “Nevermind. Help me up.” With a loud sigh, he moves towards me. In a blink, I’m upright and slightly hunched as I begin to feel every bruise, cut and possibly broken bone. I’m pretty sure my wrist is fractured on the same side as my ribs.

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2ZWEYIy

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/33Lkjbu

Crafting Tuesday: Oct 13

Today’s craft is a new addiction for me. A few weeks ago, I was messaging a friend about crocheting, and she said she was crocheting pumpkins, and they looked so cute when she sent the picture of what they were to look like. Thankfully, the picture had the website listed, so I headed over there and searched for the pattern. I couldn’t wait to start making myself some cute pumpkins!

Just a few days after that conversation, my grandpa died on a Saturday morning. It wasn’t a surprise. We’d been waiting for it as he grew worse and worse. However, all of the waiting, sadness, and stress that goes along with it wore me out emotionally making writing nearly impossible. There just wasn’t anything left to give. But I still needed something to keep my mind busy and my creative side fresh.

So, I started to crochet. The first project was a few snowflake ornaments, and I was going to move on to another project altogether (no crocheting) when I remembered this pumpkin pattern. That was it. I was going to start making my pumpkins.

I picked out my yarn, a darker, multi-colored yarn that I was sure had enough yardage left in the skein to complete the project. Well, it did, but barely, and it made an awfully short, yet wide, pumpkin, and I find it just darling! That was Saturday’s project.

Sunday found me making yet another pumpkin because it was so much fun to create the first! This time I chose a full skein with bright fall colors rather than the dark ones. Instead of a brown stem, I gave it a dark green one. My family loved them when I texted them all pictures and my youngest sister and Mom both said they wanted one just like the light one. I instantly began the pumpkin for my sister and told Mom that she could have the light one I’d finished since there wasn’t enough yarn for another. The next day after work, I finished my younger sister’s pumpkin. It’s the one with the brown stem.

One of the reasons I love crocheting so much is that it allows me to be creative when my mind can’t handle anything else, like creating worlds. It’s great for when I’m tired, yet let’s me build something with my hands, and it’s a different avenue for my creativity to show itself.

I learned how to crochet about eleven years ago. Me and my sisters were learning together from a friend and I was terrible! Just the worst. I could’ve given up right then, and some days I wonder why I didn’t, but I not only persevered but I far surpassed my sisters in the ability to crochet, and as far as I’m aware, I’m the only one who still crochets.

Moral of the story: if at first you don’t succeed, keep practicing and you will. I practiced for hours and hours. I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. Yet, I’ve learned something new with each project, which makes each project a new adventure.

To make your own pumpkins, check out this website: https://crochetitcreations.com/pumpkin-decor-crochet-pattern/

Indie Monday: Oct 12

It’s another book that I haven’t read! I think that’s going to be the trend, but that’s okay! It’s exciting to learn of new books. This one looks like it’ll be an interesting read.

A Curse In The Dark: The Four Houses: Book 3 by [Dee J Holmes]

Mitrick Black is no hero. The vampire and gun-for-hire is old enough to know better than to take a bad contract for the wrong side. Except he did. Brutally injured, he has a single chance to survive: become a double agent for the werewolf who spared his life. But reclaiming his position at his evil employer’s side forces Mitrick to do something truly desperate: taking a human blood-servant—one whose fierce spirit makes him want to protect her at any cost.

Laine O’Callaghan is determined to reclaim her family’s heirlooms before the world sends her into an early grave with the rest of the O’Callaghans. But after chasing the thief to New Orleans, the Irishwoman’s entire tour bus is captured by vampires. Monsters are real, and they have her at their mercy. Except something tells her that the vampire who claims her is just as trapped, and she can’t deny the fire that consumes her at his every touch. Mitrick is everything she should hate, yet she finds the man beneath the fangs to be so much more than a bloodthirsty predator.

In the magic tunnels beneath New Orleans, unexpected love is their greatest strength—and their greatest weakness. When Laine’s quest for answers lands them both in the crosshairs, can they survive a curse in the dark?