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{Blog Tour} Guest Post by Tied author Laney McMann

Published September 25, 2013 by LS Murphy

I’m going to chop this list in two. 5 reasons why I write fantasy/paranormal and 5 reasons why I read it.

Why I read Fantasy and Paranormal:

5. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s always interesting to have a different perspective—to try to understand how someone else thinks. Fantasy and paranormal stories allow readers to see into other’s imagination.

4. Making friends (or not). For me, the character’s in great stories can become friends—family, even. I know these character’s. I want to live in their worlds. Who didn’t want to fight alongside Harry Potter against Voldemort, or help Bilbo Baggins climb that mountain? Who didn’t want to scream with Katniss Everdeen? We readers love our character’s.

3. Exploring other worlds. This to me is a double reading/writing reason. How awesome is it to wander around in a world someone created from sheer imagination? Too cool.

2. Getting a glimpse into the workings of other writer’s heads. That one sounds a little weird probably. But it’s fascinating to see how other author’s imaginations work. Especially if I love their books. As a reader and writer, I believe we have a few geniuses in the writing community, and it’s an honor to be among them.

1. Most important reason: transportation. Good stories have the ability to take me off the couch, out of the car, away from my surroundings, and sit me in the middle of someone else’s world—someone else’s problems. Their life. Nothing is better than that. 😉

Why I write Fantasy and Paranormal:

  1. Flow, speed, movement. Although I sometimes try to slow it down, my writing style seems to have a quickness to it. A rapidity. I like to read stories that move. And for me, young adult fantasy and paranormal stories want that speed. It’s a natural fit.

4. Creative expression, of course. Writing is an outlet. A way of seeing the crazy images and dreams rattling around inside my head on paper and then sharing them.

3. Exploring other worlds. Like number 3 above, except on the writing end. I get to create my own worlds to wander through. Amazing.

  1. The ability to let my ideas and imagination go uncontained. I can’t think of another genre that allows so much creative freedom. (Well, maybe sci-fi. 😉 Maybe.)
  2. Because it’s in me. Other writer’s hear this all the time, and I’ve given this answer several times, too. Why do I write fantasy? Why paranormal? Why YA? The answer is always the same: Because it’s in me. It’s what comes out when I sit down at my laptop to write. And I’m really thankful for that.

 

Thank you, Linda, for hosting me. 😉

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure you check out Tied everyone. It’s sure to rock your boat. 🙂

About TIED:

Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

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About Laney: 

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.

By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.

LINKS:

You can find my occasional ramblings on Twitter.

Book updates on my author page at goodreads.

My Facebook Profile for inspiration and randomness.

Updates on The Fire Born Novels at my Facebook Author Page

My interests on Pinterest.

And I’m now on Tumblr ,too.

You can also contact me by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION!!!

One signed paperback copy of TIED, 2 E-book copies of TIED, and 2 signed TIED bookmarks

Giveaway Rafflecopter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YmFhMGJjZGZkZmJkZTZmZTQxNTg1MDA2MzUwOTBiOjE=/

 

{Blog Tour} Guest Post by J.A. Belfield

Published August 15, 2013 by LS Murphy

I’m thrilled to have the illustrious, multi-talented J.A. Belfield on my blog! I love the Holloway Pack series, so I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Caged blog tour. In Caged, Belfield does something interesting. She takes her long running series and changed POV. It’s a risk, and one that most definitely paid off. I asked her to share her thoughts on this.

Here they are:

Switching POV in a series isn’t really that different to switching when you write a new novel unrelated to any others. I mean, you have to figure out who your character is, all the same. Get to know them. Work out their whims and wants and traits, and what will make them tick or cry.

Right?

Except switching POV in a series comes with one major bonus—as well as one important drawback.

The bonus is this: if your character has already appeared in previous books as a lesser personality, then you’ve already got to know him a little bit. You’ve seen his personality. You understand how he might, from an outsider’s perspective, react to certain situations. You’ve witnessed the building of his relationship with those around him, and with whom he prefers to interact.

It’s a win, right? You already know this dude on the outside, which should give you a pretty decent basis from which to build.

However, as much as this is an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage, if not treated with the utmost care.

Because if a certain character behaves in a certain way in earlier books, or has a relationship with a certain someone, drives a certain car, has a certain hobby, prefers a certain food … yep, you’ve got it. You can’t deviate from that. Not if you want it to be consistent and, thus, believable. And certainly not without a major catalyst of some kind.

So, the trick is, if you’re planning to write a series, especially if you’re planning to switch up the main character for different books, think ahead. Ask yourself: Would they do this? Is this them? Is this who I want them to become? In essence, don’t treat these side characters as insubstantial. Because you never know just how it might affect your story—or their story—later down the line.

P.S. I always find giving the main character for the next book a greater role in the preceding book helps me to understand them better, too, as well as gives me the chance to weave in traits that might have been previously hidden. That way, those little details won’t seem so out of the blue, and each book will then transition more smoothly from one character to the next. It’s an introduction, of sorts—for yourself as a writer, and for your readers. You should all try it—it’s fun. 🙂

About Caged: If the meek can become deadly, the strongest can be weak.

For Ethan Holloway, his mission to find a missing werewolf should be simple. Crack a few heads, bust a few chops and the solution always reveals itself. Always.

Not this time.

Ethan’s reputation precedes him, and because it does, someone is ready. Waiting. Unbeknownst to Ethan, he’s about to go down. Hard. Against a foe he never suspected and in a world he never imagined could be real.

What awaits Ethan is a fight not only for his reputation, but also his pack, his female, and his life. If he survives, damage control will become priority number one.

If he survives.

Because even Ethan’s not sure he’s strong enough to take on an entire race all by himself.

Especially one hell bent on exposing who and what he is in the name of sport.

Read an excerpt here.

To learn more about J.A. Belfied, visit her online at http://www.jabelfield.com

{Blog Tour} – Interview with J.A. Belfield

Published April 7, 2013 by LS Murphy

Guys, I’m thrilled to have the always wonderful, always witty J.A. Belfield on my blog today. If you haven’t read any of the Holloway Pack books, I highly recommend you stop everything and go do so now…. It’s okay…. We can wait…. *crickets* Okay? Everybody back? Good. 🙂

About J.A. Belfield: One day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination, as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy

Now onto the INTERVIEW!

What made you decide to become a writer?

I’m a writer? Dude, that’s awesome. 😉

Nah, just kidding. It pretty much boils down to the fact that I daydreamed and nightdreamed aaaaaaaaaallllllll the while (what can I say, I was a bored housewife), and one particular daydream just would not leave me alone. A few days later, it was still bugging me, and that’s when I began entertaining the idea of writing it down and making it into a story. It became my first novel.

What inspired you to write about werewolves?

My dreams. I have real funky and off-the-wall dreams. Sometimes they involve werewolves, and I found them fascinating whilst terrifying yet appealable and sexy all at the same time. So my head was—is—happy to venture deeper into what might make them tick and how they’d deal with being members of the ‘real world’.

If tomorrow you woke up and found out that you were turned into werewolf, what would your reaction be?

First reaction: OMG! This is freaking awesome!

Second reaction: F***! This is really gonna hurt.

Which character from the Holloway Pack do you relate to the most? Why?

The pack member who’s spent the most time inside my head is Sean, so I know him on a whole other level than I do the other pack members. However, due to gender and *getting* the female psych a lot more than I do the male, I’d have to say Jem. Because I can be as irritating and tough and as foolishly rash as she’s known to be. But I also value my friends and know how to love.

Okay, fess up. Which Holloway Pack werewolf is most like Mr. B.?

Dayam, what kind of a question is THIS?! I don’t know if I can compare, seeing as one’s 100% real and the others are 100% made up, but if you’re gonna force me to choose, I’d have to say Sean. A lot of how Sean feels toward Jem, as well as the decisions he makes because he believes they’re the best even though they drive her nuts, remind me a lot of what I ‘feel’ from Mr B. That a good enough answer?

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Alrighty then. Make sure ya’ll check out Belfield’s latest Holloway Pack tail (get it?) Resonance!

Guilt is a heavy burden for the one carrying it.

Jem Stonehouse is no exception to this rule.

What if she’d acted sooner? What if she’d fully recognised the threat? What if she hadn’t allowed the male pack members to head into the witches’ ambush?

For one, youngest pack member Josh Larsen wouldn’t be trapped in the sleep of the dead.

Now, Jem is convinced it’s her job to bring him back to life no matter what it takes— learning more about her heritage, risking pack exposure, or travelling to places she couldn’t have imagined possible.

Even if the journey endangers her soul.

 

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{Blog Tour} Aimee Laine’s Guest Post

Published March 20, 2013 by LS Murphy

Guys!!!! AIMEE LAINE! TAKING OVER MY BLOG!!!!!!!!

I love Aimee, if you didn’t already figure that out. 🙂 Not only is she a great writer, she’s an amazing person. 

About Aimee: Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she’s produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA.

With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there’s absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn’t need a calculator to add two numbers, either … but she does.

Take it away, Aimee!

Silent Echoes is a “Games of Zeus” novel but it’s not a traditional mythological conundrum. No, as the author, I’ve taken quite the liberties in creating a situation Zeus could have use to mess with we puny humans.

So, to have a little fun as Silent Echoes releases this month, my host here at L.S. Murphy’s blog has challenged me to create a Game of Zeus out of Baseball!

How could Zeus use Baseball upon two unsuspecting humans? How could he manipulate a seemingly innocuous game into a maniacal, devious relationship conflict? Oh, let me count the ways … or rather, let me show you.

Baseball

Not that you don’t know what baseball is, but if you’re not 100% sure of the rules … here is some detail from Wikipedia:

Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a 90-foot diamond. Players on the batting team take turns hitting against the pitcher of the fielding team, which tries to prevent runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the batting team can stop at any of the bases and later advance via a teammate’s hit or other means. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team records three outs. One turn at bat for each team constitutes an inning and nine innings make up a professional game. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.

Before we get to the ultimate Baseball Romance … let me tell you a little about Silent Echoes. 

For years, Ian Sands has enjoyed his life as a bachelor, taking advantage of singlehood and exploring his own definition of passion—whoever she may be. Blonde. Brunette. Tall. Short. Hot. Not. Five months ago, all that changed. 

Ian’s been celibate, frustrated and desperately seeking answers to why one woman, who doesn’t play by girls’ rules, haunts his every waking moment. 

As a renovations specialist, Taylor Marsh lives, works and breathes construction—a profession her southern belle of a mother would rather Taylor not touch. The same goes for Ian; Mama Marsh would never approve of him. 

Like Ian, though, each time he and Taylor draw near, something compels her to get closer. 

Something else tells her to run away. 

Fast. 

As much as their histories suggest they shouldn’t be together, neither Taylor nor Ian can deny the pull, and the two succumb, indulging in a relationship that brings pleasure to body, mind and soul. 

Doing so, though, also ushers in a series of events both should have foreseen as well as one final outcome neither expected.

And now …

Baseball
One might think this would be an easy game of Zeus. I mean, it’s baseball … the game where sexual innuendo comes in the form of the ‘bases’!
So, I have to admit, in fact, I think baseball is a perfect Game of Zeus!
You see, three strikes and you’re out? Oh yeah, that’s prime game material. Let’s take a situation where she’s at bat. She’s got three chances to move on to 1st base. If she doesn’t, she has to return to home. If she does make it to first base, someone else has to propel her to the second.
So not only does she have to rely on herself, she has to rely on others to get her from batting at home plate to scoring at home plate.
Let’s say that scoring is ‘the win’ … meaning if she can get all the way around the bases,  she’ll get her guy. So now she has to bat, get to first, have at least one other person help her get to 2nd, 3rd and home and/or it’ll take up to five other people. That’s a whole team of people just to get her guy.
No so bad if your team is rooting for you and wants you to reach your goal.
But … in a Zeus story? That team is going to fall apart or turn on our illustrious ball player. The whole there’s no ‘i’ in team thing is going to be full of i’s or eyes. And at each round of a base, one of them is going to jump in and try to force the strike or the out or the end.
So from home around to home, how’s she going to get her guy? Well, in the seventh inning, everyone’s going to stand up and sing:

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.”

And somewhere, in there, is hidden the answer to all her problems.

And there you have it. What do you think? Is Baseball a possible Game of Zeus?

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{Blog Tour} Guest Post: Meagre Advice on Writing a Series by J.A. Belfield

Published December 14, 2012 by LS Murphy

I am so THRILLED to have J.A. Belfield stop by to discuss writing a series today. Her Holloway Pack series is one of my favorites. Seriously, I’m in love with all the boys in the pack. 🙂 Without further adieu, the most excellent J.A. Belfield:

When Linda asked me for a post on ‘how to write a series’ I almost snorted out my coffee.

Because the truth is, I never for one minute expected The Holloway Pack to be a series when I first wrote Darkness & Light.

Yep, I reached the end, wrapped up all the loose ends, and thought I’d finished.

Until a week later when I realised I was pining for more Sean and Jem.

After being shouted at strongly encouraged by ‘Him Indoors’ to write something else because my moping about was driving him nuts, I knuckled down to plan and came up with the idea for Blue Moon.

Again, I thought this one would be another standalone novel. Another Jem and Sean tale, yes—but one that would end wrapped up with a nice big bow.

Yeah, right. O_o

You see, my ridiculous naivety was there before I headed back to write the prequels so I could study Jem & Sean’s history. It was also before I had the idea for and started to write Holloway pack 3. At the time, my head was pretty rebellious about the third book in the series. Because the ideas for it were there, driving me nuts inside my head, but I held off for a year. Thankfully, holding off came with positive results—because my head decided (*ting* Cue ‘lightbulb moment’) to switch up the narrator to someone completely new.

Ethan Holloway.

This dude was a major pain in the butt to write.

However, stress and additional grey hairs aside, I was almost halfway in when I realised that I could, in fact, write a story for each of the Holloway Pack males.

*Ting* Cue another lightbulb moment.

Because the instant I quit fighting it, the ideas began to flood in. And within weeks I had loose concepts for each of their tales—and within days after that, I had a strong idea of what the conflict would be in each book, and how each preceding book could lead into that.

So where’s the advice in all of this, you ask?

Okay, the best I can give you is this:

  • Don’t force it. Not every story is meant to be bigger than a singular novel. If the ideas aren’t flowing for future stories, step away. But remember, even if they’re not there to begin, doesn’t mean they won’t be later—which leads me to …
  • Don’t fight the muse. He usually knows what he’s doing even when you think he’s an idiot. If he’s trying to pop new ideas in your head, don’t discount them just because you hadn’t intended for your novel to turn into a series. I also find that what some folk refer to as writers block is often a bad case of me not having listened to my muse. Trust me: as much as I hate to admit it, the dude knows his stuff. Which leads me to …
  • Once you’ve realised your story should be turned into a series, you have to have some kind of plan. Just a real rough, loose plan will do. After all, you don’t want your head stuck in book number 6 whilst you’re trying to work on book number three, right? BUT, that doesn’t mean you can’t jot ideas down. Have a document ready for each loosely planned title. Make any notes in there, as they come to you, but then shut the document down so it doesn’t interfere with the novel of the moment. Aaaaannnnnd (and this is possibly the most useful trick I’ve performed) if you know them, write your openings. If possible, a novel should have the conflict identified within the first scene. So what you waiting for? Get it written. And your head will instantly know the destination of the preceding title before you even start writing.

And that’s about it, folks. Yeah, I never claimed to be that helpful, ya know? 😉

About Blue MoonSomeone is watching the Holloway pack, and this time, the female isn’t the target.

Life with a group of seven male werewolves worries Jem Stonehouse not one bit. She is engaged to the Alpha’s son Sean Holloway after all. So what has Jem’s territorial instincts on high alert?

The pack’s latest addition. Both of them.

None of the men think there’s a problem with the new girlfriends. Jem’s intuition tells her otherwise—that and a nagging suspicion the new females aren’t there to partake.

Jem believes they’ve joined in to take.

The question is … What?

As the eve of the blue moon draws ever closer, Jem’s running out of time to find the answer and outwit a thief of the worst possible kind.

A woman who believes she can’t lose.

About J.A. Belfield: One day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

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{Blog Tour} 5 Questions with author Jessica Sorensen

Published November 30, 2012 by LS Murphy

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family

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Now on to the FIVE QUESTIONS

1. What was the spark of inspiration for your novel?

I knew I wanted to try writing a New Adult Romance novel, so I started thinking of ideas and writing down notes. When I put together all the notes I was able to get an idea of how I wanted the characters and the storyline. But the story really didn’t develop until I sat down to write it. That’s when everything came together.

2. Which character(s) most resemble you?

Hmm… that’s a tough one. I’d say the one character that I might be similar to is Ella, for a few different reasons, one being that I love cars as much as she does.

3. If you could travel anywhere at any time, where and when would you go?

Can I pick everywhere? There are just too many options 🙂

4. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

My biggest advice to aspiring authors is to never give up, no matter how hard things get.

5. Finally, Gossip Girl or Vampire Diaries?

Vampire Diaries hands down. I’m a huge Damon fan.

 

Available now at     Amazon     Barnes & Noble 

 

{Blog Tour} Guest Post by Lisa Mondello

Published November 26, 2012 by LS Murphy

I’m thrilled to welcome Lisa Mondello today. Her novella All I Want for Christmas is You is the perfect read during the busy holiday season. Take it away, Lisa.

To Home Bake or to Buy Home Baked 

The holidays are a busy time for everyone.  Even someone like me, a full-time writer, finds it hard to fit all the To-Do list items into a single day…or even week.  For some reason, I always have a deadline during the holidays.  I’m either writing a new book that has to be done, doing promo, revising a book, or going through line edits.  That leisurely afternoon or two that I always long for during the holidays somehow manages to escape me.  What?  You too?  It doesn’t surprise me.

Okay, confession time.  When you’re massively busy, are you ever tempted to cut corners by…<gasp> buying store-bought baked goods instead of making them yourself?  Everyone needs to cut time corners.  And while I love to bake during the holidays, sometimes it’s just not possible to get up to my elbows in cake batter and cookie dough.

We all have our favorite recipes we love during the holidays.  I can buy almost anything homemade at a bakery and it will be fabulous.  But there is one thing I will never buy home baked is Italian cookies.  Not only will my brother-in-law not allow me into the house for the holidays with store-bought ICs, they just wouldn’t taste right.  I have yet to find a bakery that can make my nonnie’s homemade Italian cookie recipe the way she could.  It’s the same recipe I have been using for my entire adult life.

Believe me, I’ve tried to find a bakery that could make wonderful Italian cookies.  Even the bakery in the North End of Boston doesn’t quite make them the same.  They never taste the same!  So without exception, Italian cookies will always be made from scratch using my nonnie’s recipe. I will carve out the time for it no matter what kind of deadline I have.

What about you?  Do you home bake or buy home baked?  What is your absolute must have home baked food?

About All I Want for Christmas is You

Sometimes fate needs a little hand…

Santa Claus is going to have a rough season… Lauren Alexander is raising her daughter alone. Abandoned by her family for her decision to keep her daughter Kristen, she has done a pretty good job for the last six years. Or she thought she had. That’s why she is crushed when little Kristen gives up her wish for a toy or goodie and instead asks Santa for a present for her mother. She wants Santa to bring a Daddy. Delivering Daddies isn’t Santa’s bag.

But this Santa has a plan…

Kyle Preston knows what it is like to be abandoned too. Luckily he found the support of loving adoptive parents and has turned himself into one of the most successful Real Estate developers in town.

Building a house is easy. Building someone’s trust is a whole other story. But with a little helping hand, a little Christmas magic can make all the difference in the world.

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About the Author:

Lisa Mondello (a.k.a. LA Mondello) has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen.  Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You, was the winner of the Golden Quill contest for Best First Book and to date has had over 400,000 downloads worldwide.

She is currently the author of 14 novels under the name Lisa Mondello and LA Mondello. You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com

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