romance

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Season’s Readings: Holly and Ivy

Published December 13, 2015 by admin

NewSGBlog

And of course, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without a magical Christmas/fantasy mashup with a hint of sweet romance. Not that I’m biased or anything, ahem…

This title is a little atypical for me, but it combines a lot of elements that I love about the holidays: natural settings, family, friendships, the folklore elements of the stories I love. However, it also adds in a real-world element. Not all holidays are going to turn out perfect or even completely happy. I’ve been there, and I wanted to reflect that in this story. The romance aspect is mostly alluded to, but you do get some cute scenes that you’d probably never believe I could write. Plus you get to find out what happens when you inadvertently get a dryad with your Christmas tree…

HollyAndIvy72dpi (1)

Amazon     Barnes and Noble   Mocha Memoirs Press Store

After losing her job and her boyfriend, Holly returns to her parents’ farm. Embarrassed and hopeless, she doesn’t expect to bump into a forgotten childhood friend that wasn’t supposed to exist. Ivy is not only a dryad, but she lives in the pine trees Holly’s family grows to sell at Christmas. As the old friends reconnect, Ivy not only shares her strong oninions, but gives Holly a charm that will change both their lives. As days melt into weeks and the seasons change, Holly’s life magically turns around. Christmas not only brings surprises, but a choice for the human woman. What’s more important: stability, success, and love, or keepinga promise to an old friend?

***

She paused and took a long breath, much longer than I or any other human could possibly inhale. Before my eyes her skin became greener, infused by the crisp clean air. “You need to be in the trees, Holly. Mortals refuse to understand that they must live where things grow. Now that you’re home, let’s play!” She leapt over my head and landed effortlessly beside her home tree, staring at me expectantly.

Maybe it was being back home or maybe it was just being back in the good fresh air, but her suggestion made me giddy. It suddenly sounded like the exact prescription I needed, the one thing I’d been missing through all those frustrating years. My fragile mind and heart demanded an escape. They couldn’t take any more disappointment, any more expectations or responsibility, and they especially couldn’t take any more reality. I nodded and tucked the strange clover deep in my pocket. The breeze had dried my tears and the heavenly scent of grass and pine put the sudden urge to run in my feet. Suddenly the heavy air and the blazing sun didn’t matter so much and my anxieties were willing to take a momentary backseat to the chance to goof off for an afternoon.  “Are you sure you’ll be okay?” I hesitated, hand still at my pocket.

Ivy flashed a bold grin and stretched up on her toes; her fingers wiggled over her head, making her resemble an odd, scrawny plant. “With you here? Of course! Just remember to come look after my tree when the murderers come around the winter harvest time. You can even help me choose which tree will be my final home so you’ll know where I’ll be.” The words were no sooner out of her mouth when she tore off, dodging branches and bark as quick and swift as a deer. I groaned as I pulled myself to my feet and tumbled after her, muscles screaming at the sudden exercise. Still, I found myself laughing the entire time.

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Season’s Readings: Under the Mistletoe

Published December 12, 2015 by admin

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Today’s title is by Siobhan Kinkade. If you like Military romance with heart, you’ll love this story.

UnderTheMistletoe

Amazon   B&N

Military widow Rhea Blackmon is forced by her late husband’s best friend Sebastian to attend Fort Mitchell’s Christmas party, much against her will. All she wants is to go home and be alone but Sebastian has other plans. He has a present for her; one that she will not soon forget.

***

Rhea hated parties. Particularly parties where she was forced to stand around and watch other couples dance and be happy. She hated the happiness and the carefree attitudes. She despised the laughter and the gaiety. She couldn’t stand to see the things she would never have again.

Ever since Major Bryan Anderson appeared on her doorstep eleven months ago with that small manila envelope and his sincerest condolences, she learned to hate large gatherings. Rhea had learned to hate pretty much everything, truth be told. She hated the sun because it was bright. She hated people because they vacillated between condolences and pity. She hated laughter because it meant other people were happy, and she would never be happy again.

 

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Season’s Readings: It’s Christmas, Cupid!

Published December 11, 2015 by admin

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Along with the Mistletoe Dreams Bundle, Drea Riley has a new one out, and I know this has been anticipated, too! So if you want something to curl your stockings and melt the marshmallows in your cocoa, you should check this one out!

ItsChristmasCupid

Amazon  MMP Store

With Nick and Jessica cooling their heels in Key West the Klaus children are tasked with running Christmas. Nothing but shenanigans could come from this arrangement. Or murder if Jaq has to spend winter babysitting the son of Cupid.

Amur knew Jaq would rather kill him that speak to him. And he’d stand still and let her do it, but he’d prefer it to be  Ранняя смерть/Rannyaya smert’. Or as the French say “petite mort”. He’d willingly die a thousand times as long as it was between her thighs

***

“You are so beautiful when you smile like that.”  His deep voice washed over her…she hadn’t seen him approach her car, let alone noticed that he’d opened the back door and was tossing his bag in.

“Amur, you startled me!”

Jaq twisted around and meet his blue gaze. She was all prepared to blast him with chilly indifference, but once her eyes locked on to his, she was lost. His broad shoulders filled the back of her SUV, making it feel more like a compact economy car than a large off-road capable truck.

“Breathe,” he whispered.

Jaq blinked several times before taking a breath. Until he spoke, she hadn’t realized she wasn’t breathing. She felt her face flush, and immediately spun away from his eyes. What the hell was that about?

“Hurry up and get in,” she groused, barely waiting until he folded his large frame into the front seat before pulling away from the curb.

***

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blogs on the hop as well as the rafflecopter link to win some great prizes!

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Season’s Readings: Mistletoe Dreams

Published December 10, 2015 by admin

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One of the things Mocha Memoirs Press is offering this year is a holiday bundle – so if you like your romance on the steamy side for the cold winter, then you should definitely check this one out!

 

Mistletoe Dreams-1

Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018EP9EDQ

MMP book page link- http://www.mochamemoirspress.com/mistletoe

There’s no time like the holidays for love—whether you are rekindling an old love, finding love in strange places or just expressing a love of the ages. Follow these tales of love, laughter and holiday spirit in Mistletoe Dreams…

Winter’s Guard. . .

Five years after a broken engagement, Vicky and James have met again. Forced to work together, Vicky hopes to show James that what they had wasn’t all broken. All she wants is time to prove that their hearts hadn’t lied five years ago—they may have fallen in love during a dark moment in their lives, but that doesn’t mean they don’t belong together.

A Trick of Frost. . .

Two days before Christmas with her ex-husband, Rick, harassing her parents, Jaycee Froste needs a gift to lift her spirits. She stops in at her favorite restaurant, and it brings more than a hot meal. Jaycee finds herself seated across from one of the most annoying and handsome men she’s ever met. She would even consider letting him taste her stew, if he hadn’t stolen her reservation. With the holidays upon her, Jaycee decides the thing she needs to lift her spirits is J.C., a man who offers her so much more than she ever could have hoped.

Naughty Klauses. . .

Jessica and Nic have always loved the holidays and this year they are most definitely going to be on the naughty list. When you’ve got eternity on your side, it’s nice to living things up with a little spice. You’ll never look at Mr. and Mrs. Klaus the same way again…

Remember to check out the rest of those taking part in the hop and the Rafflecopter!

 

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Holly and Ivy

Published December 6, 2014 by admin

So I do enjoy holiday fiction. I love reading it and I might, just MIGHT have a soft spot for Christmas chick lit and romances (Shut up. It’s December stress). I also love writing holiday fiction. Now, some of this can get…fascinating, especially the pieces that are in Lost in the Shadows. Candles is a story about a makeshift family surviving the zombie apocalypse and trying to stay sane while keeping Christmas Eve traditions alive. There’s also a story about reincarnation and astral travel that may involve the little drummer boy.

Compared to those, Holly and Ivy is pretty tame and normal. I actually got the idea from a writing prompt exercise in like August, though it’s also based on one of my favorite holiday songs and probably owes a little to Hans Christian Andersen in a really backwards way. The story took hold and wouldn’t let me go, though, and soon I had something unique (for me) and special. Not only does it incorporate the holiday feel I love to read about, but it also doesn’t shy away from the fact that sometimes unfortunate things happen during the holiday season. Some people are cynical or burnt out or whatever. Sometimes you need a little kick in the pants, a little magic to help you out.

Sometimes you need a friend who’s a dryad.

When Holly’s life falls apart, she moves back with her parents and has to fight through fear and lack of motivation. When she takes a walk out to the Christmas tree farm her family owns, she’s suddenly shoved face to face with the imaginary friend that isn’t so imaginary – the dryad Ivy. While Holly’s grown up and been burned by life, Ivy remains innocent and eager to cast humans in the role of ignorant murderers. Even she is concerned about her human friend, though, and offers Holly a trinket that could change everything for the thirty-something…but it will change the dryad’s own future, as well.

***

“What do I do with it?” I asked. I told myself I was just playing along, suspending reality to make Ivy feel better. Although if that was the case then perhaps I should have really examined the fact that Ivy was real and not me suspending reality to make myself feel better.

“You hold it now until it gets to know you. You keep it safe in your possession and it shall bring you ease and grace,” the tree sprite giggled.

“And that really works?” No matter how I tried I couldn’t hide my skepticism.

She turned up her pointed nose. “How else would I have survived so well with murderers on the loose? It’s worked for a good long while.” I raised an eyebrow as a sly grin spread just a little too far across her face to make the smile look human. “Do you remember when I snuck to school with that sapling you took for show and tell?”

The next smile didn’t hurt quite as much as I traced the delicate edge of the tiny plant with the pad of a finger. The petaled head shivered and softly brushed against my calluses.  “I thought everyone was going to have a heart attack when you burst out of the thing and started singing to everyone! Mrs. Robinson finally played it off as the whole class playing a trick on her. We had to go without milk time for a week.” I’d gotten in so much trouble with my parents for lying in school and saying that I had a magic plant. Given that I was adamant that I’d been telling the truth, it was a hell of an ordeal for a six-year-old.

“’Twas so much fun!” Ivy paused mid-pirouette. It was downright disgusting that she could hold the arabesque for so long and not even wobble or suffer a leg cramp. “Though I would not want to live in such cold halls all the time.” She paused and took a long breath, much longer than I or any other human could possibly inhale. Before my eyes her skin became greener, infused by the crisp clean air. “You need to be in the trees, Holly. Mortals refuse to understand that they must live where things grow. Now that you’re home, let’s play!” She leapt over my head and landed effortlessly beside her home tree, staring at me expectantly.

Maybe it was being back home or maybe it was just being back in the good fresh air, but her suggestion made me giddy. It suddenly sounded like the exact prescription I needed, the one thing I’d been missing through all those frustrating years. My fragile mind and heart demanded an escape. They couldn’t take any more disappointment, any more expectations or responsibility, and they especially couldn’t take any more reality. I nodded and tucked the strange clover deep in my pocket. The breeze had dried my tears and the heavenly scent of grass and pine put the sudden urge to run in my feet. Suddenly the heavy air and the blazing sun didn’t matter so much and my anxieties were willing to take a momentary backseat to the chance to goof off for an afternoon.  “Are you sure you’ll be okay?” I hesitated, hand still at my pocket.

Ivy flashed a bold grin and stretched up on her toes; her fingers wiggled over her head, making her resemble an odd, scrawny plant. “With you here? Of course! Just remember to come look after my tree when the murderers come around the winter harvest time. You can even help me choose which tree will be my final home so you’ll know where I’ll be.” The words were no sooner out of her mouth when she tore off, dodging branches and bark as quick and swift as a deer. I groaned as I pulled myself to my feet and tumbled after her, muscles screaming at the sudden exercise. Still, I found myself laughing the entire time

HollyAndIvy72dpi (1)

Amazon     Barnes and Noble   Mocha Memoirs Press Store

After losing her job and her boyfriend, Holly returns to her parents’ farm. Embarrassed and hopeless, she doesn’t expect to bump into a forgotten childhood friend that wasn’t supposed to exist. Ivy is not only a dryad, but she lives in the pine trees Holly’s family grows to sell at Christmas. As the old friends reconnect, Ivy not only shares her strong oninions, but gives Holly a charm that will change both their lives. As days melt into weeks and the seasons change, Holly’s life magically turns around. Christmas not only brings surprises, but a choice for the human woman. What’s more important: stability, success, and love, or keepinga promise to an old friend?

 

Available Now: Hellsong by Alexandra Christian

Published March 26, 2014 by admin

I’m on the road today, so I’ll be sharing some titles with you for those who want to add to the collection! First up, it’s a new release by my pal Alexandra Christian!

 

hellsong_msr

 

Blurb:

Theo is a child of the storm, found wandering after the hurricane that devastated New Orleans, with no memory of her past. She’s made a quiet, contented existence for herself. But all that changes when two very different but equally compelling men come into her life.

Dantalion and Saraqael both want her body, and her soul. But there’s a much greater prize at stake. If she chooses right, she’ll find Heaven in the arms of an angel. If she chooses wrong, all Hell will be let loose on Earth.

 

 

Buy Links:

Ellora’s Cave:  http://www.ellorascave.com/hellsong.html#

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Hellsong-Alexandra-Christian-ebook/dp/B00J2XAC2C/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395160055&sr=1-3&keywords=Hellsong

 

About Alexandra:

My name is Alexandra Christian, or Lexxx if you like (yes, those three Xs are on purpose). I’m an author of mostly paranormal erotic romance and horror. In case you don’t know what that means, I write about not-so-nice girls getting it on with out-of-this-world heroes. Vampires, werewolves, selkies, angels and demons—and that’s just recently! My first novel was published two years ago and ever since, I’ve been working my sweet Southern ass off to churn out as much sin and debauchery as I can.

A while ago, I christened myself The Southern Belle from Hell and I think it’s a title that suits me well. I live in a small town in South Carolina—the same town I’ve lived in my entire life. The rich Southern culture, fried foods and a healthy dose of superstition have colored my personality and my writing style. I have an extremely tolerant husband who is the epitome of the Southern male with his buttery-thick accent, laid-back swagger and simple sweetness that makes women of all ages swoon. Of course, how we ended up together is a miraculous wonder. I’m a closeted Goth and when we go out, he looks like my chaperone, but it works! We’re kind of a Herman and Lily Munster in our neighborhood and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve published several novels, novellas and short stories so far and look forward to sharing my twisted view of reality with the masses through erotic paranormal romance and horror. I aspire to one day be a bestselling author and part-time pinup girl. Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome.

TCM Presents: The Storm Sullivan Saga Box Set

Published March 7, 2014 by admin

VioletPattersonTourBadge_450X300

We’re back with another great tour brought to you by Tomorrow Comes Media! This time it’s for The Storm Sullivan Saga boxed set!

 

It began with tragedy.
Continued with rebirth.
Faithful friends…with secrets of their own.
Intensified with an uncovered past.
How will it all END?
Storm Sullivan’s life is a mystical mine field following the death of her Aunt Trin and it only gets worse. Thrown into the battle of the ages, Storm finds herself surrounded by Immortals, Seraphs, Fairies, Vampires, Witches and a Phoenix! Can she unravel the mysteries of her family’s past in time to save them all?

For the first time ever, the Kindle Bestselling Emerald Seer Series is brought to you in one massive box set. Magic and mystery, adventure and romance converge in this series touted as “unique and imaginative.” Mystical beings from Deities to Seraphs, a Phoenix, Immortals and more, the Emerald Seer Series is a fantastical ride with several converging story lines that will keep you guessing.

 

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Ryder on the Story Print      Kindle Boxed Set

Storm Sullivan is a Seer from an ancient line forced to return home after the brutal murder of her aunt. But Storm finds she’s inherited more than just the family estate.

Ryder Cohen is an Immortal, a former enforcer commissioned to eradicate the Sullivan line and prevent the rise of the Emerald. But Ryder has come to question his mission and the reasons behind it.

Ryder On the Storm is the first in the Emerald Seer series. An urban fantasy with a supporting cast of Immortals, Seraphs, and Deities this is just the beginning of Storm’s journey.

The Emerald Seer saga continues with rebirth in LIGHT MY FIRE and intensifies with an uncovered past in LOVE HER MADLY. Still craving more Emerald Seer action? Check out WHISKEY, MYSTICS, and MEN to discover Angeline’s secrets.

***

And because I haven’t done one in nine hundred years, today is an interview day! 🙂

***

SJ:  Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

*Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

VP: I think I usually make people crazy when I answer this question because I do not outline.  I just let my characters weave their ways through my mind and write what I see.  It’s a lot like watching a movie in my head and describing it in intricate detail.  I write what I feel like writing which explains why I always have a few projects I am working on at any given time. 

While I don’t don a cape, I do occasionally slip into one of my costumes to get into the mood.  I rather enjoy wearing a full Steampunk ensemble to a coffee shop for an afternoon of writing.  People are very receptive and it creates a little extra inspiration if I am struggling with writer’s block. 

Sacrifice for writing? Does sleep count?  I have stayed up until 3 or 4am to write only to turn around and get up for work at 6am.  It happens less frequently these days because I have so much going on but if I go too long without writing I get more than a little cranky. 

 

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

* bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

VP: Planning is something I’ve had to learn since becoming a Mom because it is just something I do not enjoy.   I preferred living life as a “fly by the seat of my pants” gal and that is just not possible anymore so when it comes to my writing I play it as loose as I can without losing my story completely.  It is one aspect of my life that allows me to be as relaxed and creative as possible.  My kids are very used to me “shushing” them for a moment while I jot something down or record it in my phone or even tell it to them to help me remember it while I’m driving.  I am so grateful for their support and patience!  I get random ideas at any time so I keep something with me nearly all the time be it my phone, my tablet, my netbook or one of my journals.  It’s an obsession.  I even have a few napkins from pubs in Ireland because I was on vacation and was struck with some awesome ideas that I couldn’t let go. 

I think if my muse were personified she would look and act a whole lot like Storm, complete with the slightly foul mouth and snarky remarks.  Though, I do so like the idea of a Phoenix as my muse.  Perhaps I will amend my mental image.

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

VP: There are two stories very close to my heart but they are not complete yet.  One may never be released but the other is a film noir style that is dark and wretched but also could be quite brilliant if I can pull it off.  I am not sure that they are necessarily pieces of me as much as they are things I need to express and expel.  As for playing favorites, it is not really a habit of mine though I suppose my character would argue that I favor whomever is most vocal at a given time. 

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

VP: Fantasy.  No doubt about it.  I can turn anything into a fantasy novel and I love the idea of being able to write all of my own rules.  I can make it work.

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

VP: My biggest frustration is finding time to write followed very closely by the difficulty in getting my books in front of the right people.  I know there are downsides, there have to be but I can’t bring myself to come across as whiny or sad because I am not.  I wish I could write full time but I accept that that is a difficult road to land on.  Perhaps I will luck out someday but if not I can keep working so long as I am able to write on the side.   As for clichés that make me nuts, I really take exception to people who think you write a book and put it out there and should automatically become a bestseller with no effort at all.  I see it every day and it is just sad to me.

SJ:  If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?

VP: I would want to live with Dorian in Immortal Machinations.  The clothes alone beckon to me but adding in all the awesome devices makes it perfect for me!  Depending on the loved one I would lean toward Light My Fire.  It’s my favorite Emerald Seer Book and it is where things really start to heat up.  An enemy?  That’s tougher.  I would have to go with End of the Night because that’s when all Hell breaks loose and I could hope they get their just deserves.

 SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

VP: No, I think this is one of those industries that changes so dramatically and so frequently that it is impossible to draft and carry out a winning plan of any kind.  In the two years since I first published I’ve changed my strategy so many times I’ve lost count.  It’s all about evolving and adapting to the changes.  I write what I write and then seek out people to read my finished products.  I have a lot to learn and I know that I will continue to evolve as a writer and marketing agent.  I’m lucky that I’ve found some amazing, supportive people over the last two years and I hope that luck continues because this is one tough industry and the more trustworthy friends you can find the better off you are.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

VP: It’s not easy.  There is nothing easy about it.  If you want the longevity you’d better be prepared to put in the effort long term.  I don’t know many writers who can survive on their book royalties alone.  Most authors I know use their royalties to fund marketing efforts, book covers, editors, etc.  On top of all of that, you have to have thick skin.  People are going to shred you and they are going to shred your work.  If you cannot handle a critical review – no matter how off base it is – you should not be doing this.  I’ve said this a lot lately and I tend to see a lot of backlash but it is true nonetheless. Not everybody is going to like what you write no matter how amazing it is.  If you need proof of this, look at reviews for the chronic bestsellers and look at the classics.  I sound harsh but that’s only because there is no glamour in this industry.  Maybe if you “make it” there is some glamour but I would guess not as much as one would think.  How do you make millions of readers happy 100% of the time?  I doubt it is possible.  I would take the millions of readers though.

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

VP: This is a tough one for me because I’ve had a tough time categorizing my books.  I’ve gone with Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy but have received comments that I don’t really fit either one.  I guess I don’t think as much about genre as I should.  The only constant is that I have heavy fantasy/magical/mystical elements in almost everything I write.  I have a wild and vivid imagination so having the fantastical components in my stories gives me a freedom I would not otherwise have.  It allows me to bend natural rules and create creatures (including villains) that otherwise may never exist.  I can mold and shape the world as I would like it to be to create entirely new strengths and weaknesses and challenges for my characters to encounter.  Though my stories may have serious undertones and touch on issues that are near and dear to me, I can approach them from different angles and still convey my message.  I also like to make up words and non-fiction or dramatic stories are not accustomed to such nonsense! 

 SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

VP: Fun.  I want people to enjoy what I do as much as I do.  When I am at an event I like to put on a show – if you’ve seen me as Willy Wonka you will know what I mean.  But I also want my books to entertain.  So far I have not written anything that is overwhelming or serious simply because I wrote them for people I hoped to entertain.  Are there serious messages camouflaged in the pages of my books?  Of course.  But in the end, I am an entertainer and I simply want people to think of me that way.

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

VP: Well, I just released my Emerald Seer Box Set – in ebook and paperback as The Storm Sullivan Saga – and I’ve been slowly adding to my WattPad stories but primarily I am working on Immortal Machinations which I may have mentioned a few times already.  I’ve plucked Dorian the Vampire, his brother and a few others from the Emerald Seer Series for a Steampunk Fantasy adventure.  The first book is very light on the Steampunk aspect (it begins with Dorian’s life as a mortal during the time of Henry VIII) but you will see my take on the evolution of the awe-inspiring gadgetry of Steampunk.  The second and third books will be much heavier in the Steampunk world including the attire.  It has been a challenge to work this one out and I’ve done at least two re-writes on it but I am pleased with the direction it is going in.

 You can find out more about Violet at the following places, and be sure to check out the boxed set and the newest title in her series!

Blog: http://emeraldseer.blogspot.com

Twitter: @booksbyviolet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Violet-Patterson/292923177397400