Hey everybody! Guess what today is? That’s right, it’s release day for The Diner 2! I can’t believe it’s finally here, and at the same time, it’s felt like it’s forever coming. Probably because my book has been finished for a while. I know that all of us authors are so excited for this and can’t wait for you to read the book!
We’re also throwing a release party tonight and tomorrow in our group: The Diner, on Facebook. The author takeover schedule is posted below. You don’t want to miss it!
Looking for some paranormal reads for Halloween? Look no further. We have witches, black cats, druids, hellhounds, reapers, shifters of all sorts, fae, and a host of many other creatures you don’t want to miss! (including creatures that eat people, seriously you don’t want to miss that.)
All stories are standalones and it is not necessary to read The Diner, the first year. Although, why wouldn’t you??? Who knows how much longer it will be available…
Guess what day it is!!! That’s right. It’s release day for Dark Of The Night!!! If you love enemies to lovers, vampire romances, witches, and lots of angst and snark, then this is going to be your next favorite book. First, here’s the blurb, and then I’ll tell you a little more about this book.
Henley Stark is no angel, but she is a survivor.
Disowned by her witch coven as a teenager, Henley was driven to Amos, a vampire loan shark. There’s little Henley hasn’t done to keep a roof over her head and food in her stomach as Amos trained her for his purposes. It all comes to a head when Amos assigns Henley and Alex, her newly found mate, to a job that can only lead to death.
Going up against the greatest threat the vampires have ever known, it’s clear one or both of them will not survive the encounter. However, as Alex begins to soften toward her, Henley must decide if giving them a chance is worth the effort, especially when she’ll likely be dead soon anyway.
Can Henley find her worth and true love before the mission ultimately claims her life?
For readers who enjoy books by K.F. Breene, Heather Hildebrand, Jaymin Eve, and Karen Lynch.
Now for the fun part. If you don’t know who Melanie Gilbert is, you should. 😉 I may be biased, but she’s an amazing author…and she’s my sister. Melanie started writing a year or two after I published my first book, and I’ve loved watching her books grow and become stronger. Actually, she’s been pushing me for about a year or so to write a book with her, and I finally relented (it wasn’t on this book). I’ve enjoyed writing with her. It actually goes faster than when we write individually.
Our writing style together is quite different than most I’ve heard of. Instead of writing one point of view each, or writing 3k words at a time, we write one paragraph at a time. This works especially well at the beginning of the story. Toward the middle, our sections can grow to several paragraphs, but that’s when we know exactly what’s about to happen and it all needs to be written together. Since we’ve been doing random projects together for about a year, and our writing voices are so similar anyway, it’s hard to tell who wrote what. Even for us this is true sometimes.
At the end of last year, Melanie moved to Madison for her husband’s new job, and she actually lives quite close to me. It’s been great to go over after work and write this together in the same room. It helped planning out certain parts easier. Now, you may notice the “certain parts” for planning. For the most part, we pantsed this book. What does that mean? We had no plan on what was coming next. It was one big surprise! Some parts had to be planned because we needed a blurb and title right away (why we were short on time was a huge fiasco, but we have to say our cover designer is the awesomest!). Melanie is a plotter and I’m a panster. Part of our writing over snippets of stories before this was practice in how we could mix both of our writing styles together, and I have to say, we succeeded with Henley’s book.
Overall, this has been a great experience, and the early reviews couldn’t be more positive. More than one person sat down and read it in one sitting into the wee hours of the morning- like 2-3am. We can’t wait to see what you think! Let us know by leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Bookbub!
The day has finally come!! It’s cover reveal day for The Diner 2. I’m so excited about this. Not only did we get to create more stories in the world of the original The Diner, but we were able to add in a couple more amazing authors! Who’s ready to celebrate Halloween The Diner style? Releasing October 29th!
“Step into The Diner and enter into a world where nothing is as it seems. Enjoy a hot mug of coffee while you chat with a rakshasa as a black cat passes by. The Diner, a place where food is served with a side of supernatural. A place hidden from human sight, where you’ll discover witches and druids, salamander fae, and even raven shifter witches.Join the supernaturals in The Club, where the drinks are unusual, the hellhounds come hot, and the reapers keep a watchful eye.Step into The Diner if you dare.”
My story this year features a black cat again, but she’s accompanied by a druid healer. Nightshade has got to be one of my most favorite characters because her personality makes me laugh. It’s not the same funny as Lucky was last year, but she can hold her own making me laugh. And Joel, well he’s such a sweetheart. He really does have the biggest heart of all my characters.
The stories this year are no less amazing than last year. We’re joined by Julie Trettel and SF Benson, who are two amazing women that I adore. Our creatures this year have expanded to include hellhounds, reapers, wolf shifter, more witches, salamander fae, rakshasa, mimics, and raven shifter witches. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this year’s Diner anthology!
If you remember last year, we had a huge release party the weekend The Diner went live. Well, we’re doing it again! Check out The Diner group on Facebook to join in the fun!!
If you’re like me right now in this time with the COVID 19 virus, you don’t have any more time available to you than you had before because you’re able to work from home the same hours you did before. Or you’re a medical professional, grocery store employee, or other essential worker who don’t have the choice but to go to work to help the rest of us. However, I know many people who don’t have the ability to work from home or their places of employment have closed and have more free time than they’ve had because of it. Many authors did sales to help those in this situation to have more books to read. Good for them, but I wasn’t ready to throw mine in yet.
So, I held off, and now I have my freebie ready for those who are still looking for social isolating reads! It’s also a way to celebrate that Fourth Bunker, the next standalone in the series, has finished being written!! This book should be released this summer and more information will be given at a later time. However, I will say that this is Avery’s book and the events take place after Third House. Thus far, betas are loving it!
If you’ve read First Blood and enjoyed it, please reach out to your friends and let them know it’s free! Hopefully it can spread some good vibes during this rough time in our lives. I know I’m handling social isolation much better than so many of my friends and family, but many others are like them and this is a difficult time. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this book and it can bring some fun to your life.
Like most other college students in the United States, Koda Niklane’s dream is to join the government’s most advanced military unit: the Elite. Since the President’s great reveal of supernaturals living amongst humans, every college student is required to Interview for the Elite. Being human and unable to fight are setbacks for Koda, but she soon learns she isn’t quite as human as she’d thought, or rather, she’s not human at all.
When a purple-eyed blood drinker named Raven Cartana, a Captain in the Elite, announces publicly that she’s one of his kind, Koda refuses to believe him. As her new Elite trainer, Raven’s job is to keep Koda alive and teach her the ropes. Teaching is the easy part as Raven, Koda, and their team work to keep the streets safe from Threats. It soon becomes apparent that keeping Koda alive will be much harder than Raven had anticipated as the attacks on her become more personal.
As Koda works with Raven and the Elite, she can’t help but wonder how much of herself will remain once her maturity has finished. Will she still be Koda, or will she be something different? And is that why someone has their sights set on her?
Am I the only person who loves the trend where authors create a wolf shifter and have them called a werewolf because real werewolves are a myth but shifters are real?
I know I can’t be. In my opinion, that opens up so many more options. However, I still do love me some straight up naturally evil werewolves! So today, let’s talk about this.
The werewolf from legend/mythology is that one who changes at the full moon and can’t control that shift, and is pretty much a normal human being the rest of the time. Legend says they can be killed by a silver bullet, and that being bitten by a werewolf is all that it takes to start turning into one every full moon. They’re usually depicted as a wolf who stands more like a human on their hind legs than an actual wolf on all four, though they are versatile when chasing their prey.
Meanwhile, wolf shifters keep their true wolf form for the most part, and can secondarily in some cases choose to stand straight like a human. I’ve read where some are also prone to being killed by silver, and others were any means that would kill a regular wolf would kill them. However, in these cases they can withstand far more than a regular wolf and heal more quickly in wolf form.
A lot of these similarities and differences can be found in movies as well as books (and obviously this is the case in a book to movie adaption.) It’s always fun to see what the artists in both mediums do to portray these creatures.
When I was working on First Blood, I knew I wanted to incorporate both versions of the Werewolf, what I call the true version and shifter version. While Jackson is only a shifter, and is referred to as such, many wolf shifters use the name werewolf loosely. I guess that makes Jackson a werewolf in some circles. That left me with the real werewolves. Creating rules around their species, specifically the laws they have to abide by, was so fun. And when the werewolves got out…well that was bound to happen, lol.
Off the top of my head, some books with one of the other version that I would recommend are:
Karen Lynch: Relentless Series
Melissa Haag: Judgement of the Six Series
Melanie Gilbert: Alpha King
Julie Trettel: Westin Pack Series
Heather Hildenbrand: Dirty Blood Series
Quinn Loftis: Grey Wolf Series
Addison Carmichael: Sons of the Alpha Series
Rachel Jonas: The Lost Royals Saga
Others I have in my TBR Pile:
Bethany Wicker: Unexpected Alpha
Karina Espinosa: Shift
Olivia Wildenstein: A Pack of Blood and Lies
Leia Stone: Matefinder
I’m probably forgetting several, but off the top of my head, this is what you get! Hopefully you found this fun. More creatures to come!
Today’s snippet comes from First Christmas which is currently FREE until Dec 17th!
Move out of the way, dragon. She is ours, Drake ordered the man at my back.
“No, she is mine. If you try to harm her, I will kill you.”
My ears pricked at the sound of my mate’s deep, husky voice. I fought a shiver from the lethal edge that chilled the threat in his words. It even caused the dragons on my side of the fight to take a step back. Whoever my mate was, he was not a dragon to be taken lightly, and he hadn’t even thrown a punch or shifted yet.
You should move on, dragon. She isn’t yours. We found her first. Now, step aside. I took notice that Drake’s words were less confident.
The dragon on my left took a step closer, heading toward me, but my mate swung his head around to face him, pulling his top lip back in a feral human snarl. “My mate is not yours. Now, leave before I tear you to pieces. This is your final warning.”
Before I get into my newly regular What is it Wednesday post, I’d like to explain this weekly (or so is the hope) post. In my books, I have a lot of different creatures, and they’re so fun to work with. Some of them are real (as in popular among the general public) and others I’ve completely made up. In my most recent series, there are so many different species of creatures that even my mom told me it was difficult to know what was real and what I’d invented. Hopefully these posts will be fun and informative at the same time! And let you know what’s real and what isn’t!
So, let’s start this off with Shifters!
Lately when explaining my books to people, I’ve found that quite a large majority have no idea what a shifter is when I tell them I write shifter novels. I then have to explain it. So, for those of you who have no idea what a shifter actually is, it’s a person who can shift into something, usually an animal of some kind, but it doesn’t have to be an animal. It’s kind of like the “Animorphs” series. And though it’s rare, I have seen where it’s an animal who can shift into a human (the biggest difference is that they started off as an animal but through magic or some sort of power became human and then have the ability to shift back and forth and must learn about their human side).
All of my books have shifters of some sort in them, whether it be tigers, dragons, polar bears, gargoyles, and let’s face it, the First Blood series is loaded with them (snow leopard, gorilla, fox, wolf, raccoon, etc). Why do I love writing shifters so much? Because there’s so much you can do with them! They have greater use of their senses. They’re not quite human or animal so anything is possible (like scenting emotion or hearing heartbeats). Their bodies might even be able to withstand more than a regular human and they could be stronger.
And who doesn’t love animals??? This allows me to write an animal-like character (such as when they’re in animal form) with a human intelligence. That’s fun. At least for me. It opens up so many possibilities!
What are some of your favorite shifters? Do you have characters from books that you absolutely love who can shift between forms?
More to come on my specific shifters in weeks to come!!
For those of us in the United States, the Thanksgiving season is upon us. It’s a time to be grateful for the blessings that we have, even in the midst of hardships. Plus, who can resist all the delicious food? Or what we hope is delicious. It’s at this time of year we find out who can cook, who should be a chef, what not to do in the future, and dishes we’ll make a part of the meal as a new tradition. Last year, it took three grown adults over an hour to put together homemade stuffing even before it got baked. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but they like it. However, we all agreed that it wasn’t quite worth the time and effort we put into it. We’ll stick to Stove Top from now on.
This year I’ll be at my sister’s house again. We still haven’t talked much about a menu, but I doubt it’ll change too much from past years. Gotta have the turkey, potatoes/gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, and jellos. Oh, and rolls. Let’s not forget that. Then there’s the pies. I’m not a huge fan of pies, but there are a few that I like.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, what’s your favorite food at family functions?
But Thanksgiving isn’t just about food. It’s being thankful. I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Not everything goes as planned, but it all has a way of working out in the end. Many times, I need to learn a lesson of some kind through the trouble, and I’m evermore thankful for that. Challenges force us to grow, even when we’d rather stay as we are. I know I’ve grown this year. I also know that the more grateful that I am in life, the happier I am. Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful, but if we put in extra effort, even just to be thankful for a sunny day or that the dog puked on the hardwood instead of the carpet, we’ll find a sliver of happiness through the storms of life.
The time of Thanksgiving also allows me the opportunity to not only think about what I’m grateful for, but also what my characters are grateful for. Being an author, the characters are alive to me. Each one has a life outside of those pages and they each have a variety of things they’re thankful for in their lives. The pictures in this post are just a few examples.
What are you thankful for this year?
I’m thankful to be in a new apartment in a safer area, that I still have a job, that I can write all the fun stories, and that my car gets me from point A to point B. (One of my sisters calls it my little wind-up car because it’s so small). I’m also thankful for the little things: my dog’s companionship, that I didn’t burn the last batch of brownies, and that I actually have another brownie mix in the cupboard. #browniesarelife
As we go through life, let’s remember to be thankful all year, and not just at this time of the year. Gratitude truly does wonders for the happiness in our lives. It’s the small things that can make it possible to be happy through the storms of life.
It’s Snippet Saturday again! That week rolled by pretty quick. Today’s snippet comes from the upcoming Christmas book, Snowbound Christmas. Here we have Flint meeting some of the North Pole’s occupants! Cider is one of my new faves.
Cocoa House was on the corner of Mistletoe Lane and Christmas Crossing, and like the Bakery, it was bustling inside. A tiny elf with spiky black hair with red tips noticed us walk in and she squealed as she ran around the counter and straight for Lizzette.
“You’re back!” She threw herself into Lizzette’s arms and the two hugged one another for longer than was customary, so they had to be friends, if the excited greeting wasn’t enough to prove that. “Who’s this?”
“This is Flint, he’s the polar bear shifter we brought back with us from Alaska. He likes hugs too.” Lizzette winked at me before the elf threw herself into my arms for a tight squeeze that wasn’t nearly as long as Lizzette’s hug had been, but I didn’t expect it to be any longer considering we were strangers. “Flint, this is Cider, my best friend in Christmas Village. Actually, she’s my bestest friend in the whole of the North Pole.”
Cider stepped back and surveyed me, tapping her fingertip against bright red lips. “Polar bear, huh? I heard Santa was bringing one of them back. So, what, you’re on tour guide duty?” She arched a brow at Lizzette, who grinned and shook her head.
“No, Flint is a friend.”
I’d better end up being more than a friend by the end of this or I’d done something seriously wrong. My bear and I had taken quite a bit of time while shoveling to study our mate, and not in a friendly way. If Lizzette had noticed, she hadn’t said anything. Then again, would she have called me out if she had caught me staring?
Of course she wouldn’t. We weren’t supposed to be anything more than that publicly. This was depressing.
Cider studied me again, and I kept my gaze locked on hers until she nodded. “He’ll do. Okay, now boy, follow me.”
Turning to Lizzette, I gave her a questioning stare, but she shrugged and motioned me to follow her friend. Before I moved, I handed over our muffins, my stomach complaining about giving the food away. Then I followed Cider behind the counter, hesitating to do so until she crooked her finger at me.
“Take your coat off,” Cider ordered, and I did. She took it from me and tossed it into a back room before returning to where she’d left me and handed me a tray with four mugs of hot chocolate on it with four cookies on a center plate. “You see that table in the far corner, this goes to them. Hurry up before it grows cold.”
If you’ve followed me for any length of time on social media, it’s probable that you already know this, but I’m a Christmas fanatic. Yes, I’m one of those people who not only has their tree up (Since Nov 2) but my apartment is also fully decorated for the season. We’ll skip the argument of whether this is skipping Thanksgiving and move on to the subject of this blog post: This year’s book is up for pre-order!!
If you haven’t read any of the other books in the Collection (this is #4), that’s perfectly all right. They’re written in a way that you don’t have to read them in any order. I try to do a good job of explaining who everyone is as they enter the new books. This was the first written in a guy’s point of view, and it was interesting. I’ve written in male POV’s before, but this one was just different. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to a Christmas fanatic as the leads for the Christmas books, and Flint is not. He likes Christmas, but he’s sooooo not on the elf level of Christmas loving.
So, why a Christmas book every year? Well, it started with wanting to write a Christmas book (Cause, you know, I like Christmas), and then I realized there was so much to this world that I couldn’t NOT explore it. Then readers began requesting certain elves’ stories (Holly and Jolly) so I wrote those. I’m loving these characters and what they have to offer. Plus, these books make me happy. I love the world they throw me into and to see what happens next. While not my most successful series, I’m never going to stop writing these Christmas books. They are too much a part of who I am at heart. So, with that being said, here’s more about SNOWBOUND CHRISTMAS!
What’s worse than being friend zoned by your ultimate crush? To Flint, not much, especially now that his Alpha brother has found love for the second time. If that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, Santa wants a polar bear ambassador to join him in Christmas Village, and he’s requested Flint by name. Leaving another new home once again, and this time his pack as well, Flint’s only consolation is that he’ll know one person in Christmas Village.
Even the dragon clan in Christmas Village doesn’t know much about Lizzette. Being a private person, she only has a few close friends, and her newest one is a polar bear shifter. Once they land in Christmas Village, pounding snowstorms land with them, raging through the North Pole one after another. With Christmas already on the line, can this unlikely pair find a way to help the elves dig out while discovering the relationship neither had anticipated?