Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Guest Post: Jamieson Wolf

Finding a New Voice
Jamieson Wolf

As a writer, I've received many glowing reviews, but I've never received reactions in person. 

Sure, I've written over 60 books, had many number one best sellers and amassed a legion of fans. They've all written to me and told me how much they've loved my books and my stories and I'm overwhelmed each time I receive an email or a comment on Facebook from one of them.

However, until recently, I've never been able to talk face to face to people who've read my work. I've never had a book release party (I've always wanted to) and have never read my work in public.

When I began writing the poems that are contained in Talking to the Sky, I let people read them one poem at a time. I would share them with people, foregoing my normal practice of keeping my book under wraps until it was done.

Recently, I've had several people read one of my poems and react very strongly. Usually it brings tears of release or they are moved by the beauty of the poem. I had one woman who read Beautiful As You Are who told me I had given voice to something she had no words for. Another who read a love poem I had written that said it reminded her of when she had fallen in love with her husband.

It's humbling to have moved people so much and to be able to witness their reactions as they come from the heart.

It's incredible to know that they were moved by my words. It's one thing to receive reviews or blurbs, another thing entirely to witness this reaction first hand. It's especially gratifying to me as I thought I would never be able to write again.

When I was struck with MS in January of last year, I didn't think I would be able to write again. I was bedridden for a month and when I began to get better, I was unable to write anything for months. I finally turned to writing poetry as I could only get out a few words at a time. I could piece that together into a poem.

I had no idea what I was doing with poetry and doubted that I would be able to find my voice again. However, I was writing and that was enough. More amazing than that were the reactions I received to my poems.

They were from the heart, just like the poems and, when I let people read them, they were immediate and deep. I hadn't just found my voice, I had found a new one. At first, it was just a way to write again, a way to get the words out that so badly wanted release.

I've come to realize that my poems, though short on words from what I was used to writing, are bigger in heart, in emotion, a moment in time caught on paper. The poems are inspired by real conversations I've had or moments from my own life. Rather than hide behind the power of a story, I'm out there on the page and there's nothing to hide behind.

The words were always there, waiting to be written. It took an event that changed my life to find this new voice, one that was there but was hidden inside of me. Now that I've found it and I'm having a far greater impact on other peoples lives than ever before, I know that no matter what happens I will never lose it.

I just have to keep writing, and touching people's lives, one reader and one poem at a time.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Magical May Blog Hop

One of the perks of being an author is twisting preconceived notions of good and evil. In Exterminating Angel, Lucifer plays a mentor-type role, helping Zaphkiel and the others as they search for two pentacles – one gold and the other silver – before the sun demon Sorath finds them. The Devil not only protects his friends, he sees to their welfare, giving them jobs and places to live.  

In contrast, Zaphkiel’s angelic boss Ophaniel not only usurps his position as leader of the Throne angels, he has Zaphkiel’s lover, Caliel, arrested and executed. Ophaniel covets the pentacles, and makes Zaphkiel a deal. If he brings him the pentacles, he’ll forgive and forget everything.

Zaphkiel knows he can’t trust Ophaniel, and any deal he makes with him is subject to the archangel’s whims. When he kills a young man and unwittingly unleashes Sorath upon the city, he realizes his situation is even more dire. This is all Ophaniel needs to threaten him with execution unless he finds and turns over the pentacles.

Both Ophaniel and Sorath seek power, although for different reasons. Sorath wants to destroy the universe. Ophaniel wants to be equal to the high-ranking Seraphim. Caught in the middle are two angels, one who doesn’t even know who he is.

As for the Devil, it would be too easy to make him evil. Creating a complex character who has to deal with the negative stereotyping. Yeah, that was harder

Exterminating Angel Trailer:

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Please check out the Magical May Blog Hop posts from these other Kensington/Lyrical Press authors.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Guest Post: Mysti Parker

Serenya’s Song by Mysti Parker

No one ever said love was easy...

Serenya Crowe may be a half-elf commoner, but she's no ordinary woman. With the ability to interpret dreams, and a birth defect that forces her to wear gloves, she's endured gossip and the cruelty of her husband, Sebastian, The Earl of Summerwind. All she's ever wanted is to live a quiet life and raise a family. When she meets the new stranger in town, her world and her heart, are turned upside down.

Wood-elf Jayden Ravenwing is an ex-secret agent who wants nothing more than to forget matters of the heart. He left the bustle of Leogard and his failed marriage to make a fresh start in Summerwind. He never planned to fall in love again, especially with the enchanting Serenya Crowe.

When a strange portal opens on the Crowe property, Jayden is thrown into an investigation, knowing that if he fails, Serenya and everyone in the town may die.

Together, he and Serenya must overcome an ancient evil, and their own inner demons, to save Summerwind and find the love they've always dreamed of.

Excerpt from Chapter Ten:
Serenya’s monstrous transformation begins…

Hungry. So hungry.

My stomach clenched in painful spasms. In the dark, quiet house, I pattered down the stairs on bare feet toward the kitchen, scratching at my itchy shoulders. Turning left, I crept about the familiar room and easily avoided the butter churn to the right of the pantry. Inside, nothing satisfied my nose. Dried and jarred fruits and vegetables, smoked meats, stale bread, waxed cheese wheels—nothing was fresh enough.

 I paused, listening. My senses travelled northward, to the pastures, and to the small calves born this week. Five of them, lying by their mothers under the low branches of the meridian trees. Deep breaths resonated in and out of their large lungs. My skin twitched to the rhythm of their beating hearts. My mouth watered at the thought of their blood pumping through the arteries. So hot. So fresh.

No, this can’t be real.

 I grabbed a jar of corbet fruit preserves, twisted off the top, and plunged my fingers into the gooey condiment. I scooped up a few mouthfuls, gagged, and dropped the jar. Glass and preserves splattered over the tile and onto my toes. The rhythm of those calf hearts still beat in my ears. Saliva pooled in my mouth. If I ran out to see them, I’d be satisfied. Yes, I’d see the calves, and it would all be fine.

Without thought for a cloak or shoes, I crept from the kitchen, though the sitting room, and across the foyer. I opened the front door. My nose twitched. I stepped out on the porch. The breeze carried the coppery scent of young beef and rich blood. I licked my lips and dug at the insistent itch on my shoulders. Drool dripped down my chin.

 Leaving the door wide open, I leapt over the porch rail and landed in a crouch. I sprang to my feet and started forward, picking up speed until I broke into a run. Around the house I flew, past the trimmed shrubs and under an arbor of corbet vines. The fallen orange fruit squished between my toes.

I leapt over the white board fence and ran for the pasture. My feet pounded on the ground. Hunger drove me on. Closer. They smelled so good. The mothers stirred and mooed. The young calves woke and struggled to stand. They all bolted as I reached them. I made a final leap and landed on one.

Blinded by hunger, I flipped it over and grasped its muzzle with one hand. I held the kicking front legs down with my other hand, and wrapped my legs around its hips. A deep growl vibrated in my chest. My jaws opened to the point of unhinging. I sank my teeth into its throat. It bellowed and struggled against me. I tore into its flesh, crushing its windpipe. It wheezed. I held on. The calf’s movements ceased. I released my clamped jaw. Hot, sticky blood poured from its severed jugular. I lapped at it, then applied my mouth and drank deeply until the flow slowed to a trickle.

Feed, my child, feed!

The voice came from inside my mind. I’d heard it before, in Jayden’s cabin when I had the vision of fire. But, this time, I felt no fear. I threw back my head and let loose a deafening shriek. My claws had grown back, longer than ever. They tore into the calf’s belly, spilling its entrails. I ripped out its liver and devoured it.

Someone ran in from the opposite side of the carcass and tore into the intestines. I jumped back. It appeared to be male, larger than me, with dark hair and the same claws. Patches of black scales covered his face and chest. Pale skin peeked through between them. His eyes were bright green, and had pupils with vertical slits like a reptile. He raised his bloody face. A forked tongue lashed out to lick thin lips. He grinned with a wide-open mouth, revealing razor-sharp teeth. I snarled and feigned a charge at the intruder. He growled in response and kept feasting. Lightning struck in the clouds overhead. Thunder rumbled and shook me to my senses.

With shaking fingers, I felt my own teeth. They were sharp. Bits of flesh clung to them. A petrified scream escaped my lips. I backpedaled to get to my feet again and away from this thing, from this carnage. The other being, or whatever it was, stood slowly, eyes on me like a predator gauging its prey.

It stared right at me, and a voice I’d never heard spoke inside my head. Run! He’s coming, and he’ll kill you.

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Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, came out in June 2013. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She serves as a class mentor in Writers Village University's seven week online course, F2K. Currently, she's working on her first historical romance and has two children's books in the the hands of a hard-working agent.

When she's not writing, Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

Contact Links:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Exterminating Angel Mini Blog Tour

Last Monday, my paranormal m/m angel romance Exterminating Angel released from Kensington Publishing's Lyrical Press imprint. I'd done a post earlier outlining a Tarot reading I'd done for Zaphkiel and Sean, and that I ended up using in the story.

But no blog tour. It just didn't turn out. So, being the adaptable, resourceful person I am, I asked authors if I could guest blog on their sites. In return, I offered to open my blog to them as a way of paying it forward.

Here is the tentative schedule:

May 13: On the Dark Side of Love (Mimi Sebastian)

May 13: Unwritten (Mysti Parker)

Other bloggers who've been kind enough to offer to host me are Laken Cane, Juli D. Revezzo, and Jamieson Wolf. No dates have been established, but I appreciate their willingness to open their blogs to me. And a shout out to Daisy Banks, Mimi Sebastian, Mysti Parker, and Veronica Scott, who also were kind enough to let me share their space.