Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Tour: A Slow Burning Fire by J. F. Jenkins

Ever since super star, Arial Oakley, could remember, she's been in love with her hunky co-star Bryce Valentine. The only problem: Bryce has been in a relationship with another actress for quite some time. Not wanting to be “the other woman”, Arial never pursued any of her feelings for him despite how well they connected.

When Bryce suddenly becomes single, both of their worlds are flipped upside down. To help him nurse his aching heart, Arial invites him back home to her family farm for some much needed peace and quiet from the paparazzi.

What neither of them expects is to fall in love: with the calm, with the country, with each other. But how much of it is real, and how much of it is a means to escape a broken heart?

Author Bio: 

J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis Minnesota with her husband, son, and two cats. She graduated from Bethel University in 2006 with a degree in Media Communication with minors in both writing and film. When she is not busy writing, she spends her free time playing games, reading, and spending time with her family.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Tour: Over The Rainbow by Brian Rowe Interview

YA Fantasy
Date Published: 8/6/2013

16-year-old Zippy Green never meant to fall in love with a girl, but when she does, her ultra-conservative father tries to send her to anti-gay camp. At the Kansas City airport, however, she hides inside a giant suitcase and sneaks onto an airplane headed not to the camp, but to Seattle, where her online love Mira lives. Halfway through the flight, the plane barrels out of control and crashes into the ground, knocking her unconscious.

When Zippy awakens, she finds that most of the passengers have vanished. She doesn’t know what’s happened, but she’s determined to find out. She begins a quest on foot toward Seattle, and along the way, she meets a teenager with a concussion , a homeless man with a heart condition, a child without a shred of bravery, and a terrier named Judy. Together the group discovers that more than two-thirds of the world's population has mysteriously disappeared. But that's only the beginning...

All Zippy wants is to find her Mira, but before she can she has to contend with two outside forces. The first is her homophobic father, who does everything in his power to keep her from the girl she loves. And the second is extinct creatures of all shapes and sizes, including living, breathing dinosaurs, which have replaced the missing population.


Where did you get the idea for the novel?

It was important to me to write a young adult fantasy novel with a gay protagonist. There are plenty of gay young adult "issue" books, but I wanted to write a story that would normally have a heterosexual lead, and put in a lesbian instead. I loved the idea of a girl getting away from her homophobic father by zipping herself into a suitcase and boarding a plane headed toward her one true love. I also had been wanting to write a dinosaur adventure book for a few years, and ultimately decided to blend these two ideas into the same book.

Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

I came up with the title, after many weeks of searching my brain for what I could call this thing. Once Upon a Time in Topeka was the first title, and then I was calling it Enraptured for awhile. Over the Rainbow just seemed to make the most sense, given the Wizard of Oz connection.

Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

I have been writing Young Adult fiction ever since my second book, but I've written a few different kinds of genres under the YA umbrella. My Happy Birthday to Me books are paranormal romance, my Grisly High books are teen horror, and Over the Rainbow is a gay young adult fantasy. I like to write about teenagers but keep things fresh with different kinds of genres. Right now I'm sticking to gay young adult contemporary, which is the genre for my next three books I'm in various stages on.

Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

The most exciting thing to ever happen to me was seeing my book Happy Birthday to Me on the shelf of a local Reno indie bookstore, next to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Rowe is very close to Rowling, so I like the idea that years down the road, my books and her books will be right next to each other on various shelves! (Of course there's that Rainbow Rowell, who might ruin the whole thing! Haha.)

What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

I am currently reading Rainbow Road, by Alex Sanchez, and House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubas III. I like to read young adult fiction and adult literary fiction concurrently.

What is your writing process?

I usually write in the morning, whenever possible, and write 2,000+ words a day in a first draft, and revise 8-10 pages a day when I'm working on subsequent drafts. Sometimes, when I'm really crazy, I try to work on the first draft of one project and work on a revision of another one, in the same day.

At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

I have yet to do a book signing, but I would love to write a note in each book. I sign my name for Goodreads Giveaway books, and I always accompany my name with a note of some kind. Mostly I just say how thankful I am for the support, and that I hope the reader will take a look at more of my books!

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I went to film school at Loyola Marymount University from 2003 to 2007, and held various odd jobs in the entertainment industry, like Production Assistant for a reality television show, and Casting Associate for a feature film casting director.

How do you react to a bad review?

At this point I've learned that any review is better than no review. Very few people reviewed my Grisly High trilogy, and the sales suffered because of it. I of course want a positive review every time out, but I'll take both the positive and the negative. As long as readers are talking about my work, I'm happy.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I sold my first book, Slate, on Amazon in March 2011, and to celebrate, I opened a 1998 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon I had been saving for many years, and enjoyed it with a friend of mine from L.A. It was a beautiful evening!


Brian Rowe
Brian Rowe is a writing fiend, book devotee, film fanatic, and constant dreamer. He's written nine novels, dozens of short stories, five feature-length screenplays, and hundreds of film articles and essays. His fiction has appeared in Dreamspinner Press, Mobius Magazine, and Wilde Oats Literary Journal. He is one half of the YA book blog Story Carnivores, where he reviews the latest in books and film. He is currently pursuing his MA in English at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is hard at work on his first New Adult novel, which will be released in November 2013.

Book Tour: The Sensor Series by Susan Illene Interview

Darkness Haunts
The Sensor Series 
Book One
Susan Illene

Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 1481861182
Number of pages: 387 pages
Word Count: 92,000 words

Book Description:
Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel knows better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.

Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.

Amazon      BN    Kobo

Darkness Taunts
The Sensor Series
Book Two
Susan Illene

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word count: 101,000 words (approximate)

Book Description:
Melena Sanders has managed to avoid all things inhuman for most of her life, but after coming to Fairbanks, Alaska to rescue her best friend from supernaturals she hasn’t been allowed to leave.  That is, until her long-time nemesis comes to collect a favor she owes him.  Lucas might be half angel, but he’s all bad as far as she’s concerned.

Paying him back might get her out of town for a while, but her new destination will be anything but enjoyable.  Mel’s got to help the nephilim take care of a demon possession outbreak in Juneau.  Although something like this hasn’t happened for thousands of years, Lucas is certain Melena’s rare abilities are the key to solving the problem.

With violence in the capital city growing, she’s going to have to figure out how to stop it fast before the trouble spreads to other places.  Not only that, but working closely with Lucas is changing the dynamics of their hate-hate relationship—worrying her even more than the demons.  Getting back to her captivity in Fairbanks never looked so good.

Amazon    BN   Kobo

1.     Where did you get the idea for the novel?

I’d wanted to write a book/series with a female veteran as the heroine for awhile.  Though it has since changed, at the time I hadn’t been able to find any military women as leads in urban fantasy.  The trick was coming up with a storyline that would work.  Darkness Haunts was my third attempt and the one that finally came together.  I played with so many plot ideas I can’t even remember what triggered the one for it, but I can say I’d always been fascinated with Alaska and wanted to use it for my third try.  The setting really helped fuel my imagination because there was so much to explore and there aren’t a lot of books based there.

2.     Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

I come up with all my titles, but Darkness Haunts was not the original one for the book.  The working title while I was writing it was Senses Awakened, but I dropped it later because I worried it would sound more like romance than UF.

3.     Which came first, the title or the novel? 

Definitely the novel.  I didn’t even come up with the working title until half-way through the book.  The rest of the novels for the main series have had names for them ahead of time, though.  Once I started a pattern for them, it got easier.  The only trick has been to make sure no other books have the same title.

4.     Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

To be honest, it’s every time a reader tells me they just finished my book and that they loved it so much that they turned around and read it again.  I can’t describe how flattering it is when a total stranger enjoys my writing enough that they want to experience it all over again.  It keeps me motivated.

5.     What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

The last book I read was Caged Warrior by Lindsey Piper.  I love books with strong female leads and that one grabbed my attention.

6.     What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?

It was a contemporary fantasy romance about a woman who’d died in a past life centuries ago and was reborn.  She starts having dreams about the man she’d once loved and feels she has to find out if he’s real.  She eventually meets him again in Italy (he was immortal) and goes through a journey of discovering herself and finding love with him again.  I enjoyed that story so much I wrote all 71,000 words of it in about a month, but I made so many beginner mistakes it wouldn’t be publishable without serious revisions.  It’s one of those books I’d just rather keep to myself J

7.     What is your writing process?

Usually I like to brain storm for awhile, at least a couple of weeks, and then write out the first couple of chapters to get a feel for the story.  Once I have a handle on it, I finalize the plot and then finish the rest from there.  I’m not a stickler for staying with the plan, though, and will make changes when I think something else will work better.

8.     Who are your favorite authors of all time?

Jeaniene Frost, Karen Marie Moning, and Ilona Andrews

9.     At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

I haven’t done an official book signing, but I have mailed signed copies to readers who won them through giveaways and I’ve given some to family/friends.  If they are a fan who has already read some of my work, I try to personalize it in some way.  It varies each time as to what I write depending on who they are.

10.  What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Very little scares me.  I have no significant fear of heights, closed spaces, the dark, roller coaster rides, jumping out of planes or most other things people are commonly afraid of.  The irony of this is I developed a strong fear of garbage disposals when I was fifteen after a couple of bad experiences.  Many family/friends found this rather funny.  The first time I forgot to check the disposal before running it so a knife flew out at me.  Getting smart the next time, I put my hand down to check and got electrocuted.  I gave up after that and refused to be near one while it was running to the point I’d leave the kitchen if it was turned on.  This got rather tricky when I lived alone and I’d actually go so far as to invite friends over to run it for me, lol.  It has only been recently that I’ve begun to work past that fear.

11.  How do you react to a bad review?

I don’t pay attention to them anymore, but in the beginning I’d go read the bad reviews on my favorite authors and that always made me feel better.  If the bestsellers can get them, who am I to think everyone is going to like my work?

12.  How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I slept, lol.  Publishing a novel is exhausting! (later I went out to eat with my husband)

Thanks to Alisia for having me here today on her blog.  I enjoyed the interview questions and opportunity to talk about myself and my work!

About the Author: 
Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas experience she is sure is best left for criminals. For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units). Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.

After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she's found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Tour: Scarred Love by M.S. Brannon

New Adult/Romance
Date Published: 6/6/2013

Darcie Claiborne spent several years of her young life living with a monster, always fearing what he would do next. Clasping onto her last ounce of hope, Darcie releases a scream. It’s her final attempt to live; to survive the villain of her reality. Sweeping her up in his arms, Darcie’s knight in shining armor rescues her from the hell she’s been living; from the stepfather she's feared for all those years.
Reggie Evans has been forced to grow up before he’s ready when his mother dies of an overdose, leaving him responsible to raise his younger brothers. One fateful night, Reggie jogs by an old, run down house and discovers a young girl clinging to life as she screams for help.
Three years later, Darcie is healing and always protected by the man who saved her, but now she's fighting with something she isn't prepared to face. The growing love for the man who saved her life three years ago, the same man who’s nine years older. All the while, Reggie fights to protect Darcie from the demons of her past and new ones of her present.

M.S. Brannon

M.S. Brannon was born and raised in the Midwest. She still resides there today with her wonderful husband and son. When she is not writing or reading, M.S. Brannon spends time with her family, watching movies, and discovering new music. She writes romance because she believes love and heartache is the rawest emotion one can experience.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Tour: Moon Dance by Jillian Chantal Interview & Giveaway

Olga Quinn hopes her relocation to London to work on their space shuttle program is the life changing move she needs after the loss of her co-worker in a workplace explosion.  She meets Gabriel Swicord, a fireman turned celebrity radio personality and deejay. He lost his sight while rescuing a family in the line of duty and has immersed himself in music and work since then. For a few days, Olga and Gabe burn hot for each other and then things turn cold.

Someone is murdering women who patronize the club where Gabe spins records. It appears that he's the connection to the dead women and his name and face are plastered all over the news. Things are not looking good for Olga's peaceful new life and when the killers turn kidnappers, things really begin to heat up. 
Another voice chimed in, "Am I interrupting?"

Gabe glanced toward the speaker as Mary said, "This guy is a big old meanie-head. Be warned. He'll play the song you want but he won't share a cocktail with you."

"That's perfectly fine with me." The second woman addressed Gabe. "Can I make a request?"

Mary huffed and Gabe could discern her spin on her heel and stalk away. "So, did you come over her to tell me what kind of person I am, finally?"

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

He pointed at her. "You. Last night. Spilled drink. Remember? You said I was acting a like a typical person like me. You never told me exactly what that was."

"How the hell did you know that I was the same person from last night?"

"Hey, I'm blind, not stupid." Gabe barked a laugh.

"Still, you have to admit, it's a little weird. You don't know what I look like, you've only heard my voice once and you pegged me for the woman you talked to for a few minutes one time. It's very impressive and I want to know how you do it."

"In one sentence you call me weird and in the next, you call me impressive. Which is it?"

"Weirdly impressive. So, how'd you do it? Really?"

Gabe could hear the smile in her voice. She actually seemed nicer tonight than she had the evening before. "It's a combination of voice and scent. I've learned to master putting the two together. I usually associate people with the way they smell and speak. With you, it's easier."

"Why's that?"

"Let's start with that Texas drawl."

"And go where from there? Since American and twang is a dead giveaway."

Gabe leaned out the window and rested his elbows on the ledge. "From there, we go to the combination of jasmine, sandalwood and grapefruit, which I believe is a mixture of your shampoo and the top-note of your perfume."

"Well, I've made a decision."

"And what's that?" Gabe grinned because he could tell from the tone of her voice that she was delighted with his answer.

"Between weird and impressive, my decision is impressive. Hands down."

"Thank you, ma'am." Gabe bowed his head. "But you came over her to make a request, didn't you?"

  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?

This one came to me with the following two sentences: “It’s not rocket science.”  and “If it was, I could do it.”

I don’t plot much ahead in my stories and I thought these sentences would come early in the book about a female NASA scientist learning to dance. The funny thing about not being a plotter? It doesn’t always work out the way I think it will.  I started this story with little more in mind than the heroine would be a space scientist and the hero would be a wounded former fireman.

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

I came up with the title. I usually have a playlist for each novel I write and Van Morrison’s Moon Dance was on the list for this one. As I wrote, it became clear that the name was perfect since the heroine is a scientist working on the moon shuttle and the hero’s a dancer. So, basically, I stole it from a song. It has been the title since about a third of the way through the story.

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

This one had to be contemporary romance since part of the inspiration was the movement toward tourist travel to the moon. I love the romance genre in general since we always know it’s going to work out for our hero and heroine. My day job has me dealing with a lot of unhappy people so I love being able to write a happy ending.

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

I have to say that each time I get an email from a reader who has connected with my characters or my story, I get a thrill. This is why I wanted to be published. To share my stories. When that happens and someone is touched or excited by my tales, it makes me want to dance.

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

I just finished Heather Graham’s The Night is Watching. I’m planning to pick up Lauren Willig’s latest next.

  1. What is your writing process?

To begin a book, I listen to the radio and other music. I let my mind wander and I choose at least ten songs that speak to me at that moment even if they seem unrelated. I make a CD of the songs and then listen over and over as I work at the day job. My subconscious then takes over and, with those songs, I get the idea for what story would go with them.  For example: In the Moon Dance playlist, I had two songs that really impacted the book. One was Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones and the other was Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon.

That may sound weird since these two songs have zero in common but the Stones song made me decide to make the hero blinded in a fire- the lyrics about “No colors anymore” impacted the hero very much. As to the Werewolves song, it played three roles in the story. The hero is a celebrity deejay like Wolfman Jack; there is a gang in the story named the werewolves; and the story is set in London.

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

I like to personalize it since the person is there and I can ask their name. Sometimes I use the book as inspiration on what to say such as in my book, Surfer Bride, I usually refer to the surf in some way- such as “Surf’s up” or “Ride the waves”- Or if the person tells me something interesting while chatting, I’ll add that. I once signed a book to a lady who’s son was there to get it for her and said, “To Annette, who has a wonderful son”-  I try to be flexible at signings and go with the flow.

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m a huge, huge fan of roller coasters. I could play on them all day. My favorite is the rockin’ roller coaster at Disney MGM. It’s got bright colors, rock music and full loops.

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

I usually think I’m the worst writer in the world for about a day and a half and then I dust off and start again. Intellectually, I know we don’t all have the same taste and someone will hate my work. Emotionally, it takes me a day or so to put it behind me. On the other hand, a good review can keep me going for a week or two.

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I was in complete shock. I yelled and whooped and then called the gal who was my beta reader. She and I did a dance together on the phone and then I had to get back to reality and do some work at the day job since I was there when I got the “call.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jillian Chantal lives on the gulf coast of Florida. She’s an avid traveler and enjoys using her experiences in other places as the background and inspiration for her stories. Writing Romantic Adventures with an International Flair is her favorite type of story to focus on. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at:

email: JillianChantal at


Author pages:

Jillian will be awarding a free backlist e-book to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a Grand Prize of a moon charm/crystal necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: