Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert

We're happy to be blogger hosts in Juliana Haygert's tour for her new adult paranormal romance novel, Destiny Gift.
There's a generous giveaway at the bottom of this post!

by Juliana Haygert
Series: Everlast, #1
Publication: April 9, 2013
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use...and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


It took me a while to get into Destiny Gift. In fact, there were a few times in the first half of the book that I seriously considered putting it down for good. Eventually, though, it did begin to grab me, and I'm glad I finished it. I'll even admit that when my Kindle hit 100%, I was a tad disappointed that the story was over—and I mean that as a good thing. This wasn't a cliffhanger. It was more like a complete volume of a larger set of volumes. Some threads of the plot were concluded, but bigger issues remained. I may pick up the next book just to see how it all turns out.

Let's talk about things I disliked:

As I said above, the beginning was slow. Nadine is in college and has recurring dreams about a cute boy, who she suspects she might be in love with—even though he doesn't exist. She spends a good bit of time thinking about this imaginary boy. Then she meets another cute boy, a bad boy who's dark and intriguing and seems to like her. Nadine makes plans to go to a party; she goes to work; she goes to school events...You see where I'm going with this? I just wasn't interested in any of that.

The world-building was also a problem for me. Nadine's world is a mess of darkness, danger, and giant bats. Her school is enclosed with security guards around the border to keep the students safe. Only...I didn't see much of the danger. It was mostly talk and dreams and memories. I just wasn't convinced that the world had gone to crap. The one exception to this was that I experienced Nadine's being attacked by some bats—only the scene just left my wondering why the bats never followed her onto campus. Sure, there's a gate around the campus, but a gate can't keep out bats.

What I liked:

Nadine's visions aren't always about the boy she might be in love with. Sometimes, they're about gods and goddesses fighting. I guessed what this meant well before Nadine did, but I still enjoyed the journey as she figured it out. Toward the end of the book, the action really picks up with some chase scenes and torture. This was much more down my alley than going to school and work and dreaming about boys. I was intrigued.

There was solid sexual tension between Nadine and the bad boy. I liked him and wanted him and Nadine to get together.


Overall, I ended up enjoying Destiny Gift. I recommend it for paranormal romance readers, especially those who are into young adult and new adult. There weren't any sexy times here, so even though it's labeled new adult, I wouldn't suggest going into it looking for all the hot sex usually associated with that genre.


The paperback prizes will go only to U.S. winners, but all other prizes from this bundle are available internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Writing Opportunities: Scholarship to Greece, Romance Magazines, Anthologies

To all my writers! I'll be doing a monthly writing Opportunities blog post. Make sure you follow by email to catch it.


Contest ends April 30.
Winners announced on or before May 31.

*Travel expenses not included. Winners of the scholarship must finance their own travel to the island. If winners can't attend, they may gift the scholarship to someone who can.

Join literary agent, Katharine Sands at the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop from Aug. 1-7, 2013. 

Retreat Attendees receive:
  • $1,550 retreat scholarship
  • Expert instruction on all topics of publishing
  • A comprehensive critique and market recommendations for your work.
  • Accommodation at Nostos Hotel with buffet breakfast, two dinners and excursions
  • Gift hampers on arrival, filled with traditional Greek goods

Link to enter Here

Penumbra eMagazine (Sci-Fi & Fantasy)

Penumbra pays professional rates of 5 cents per word.  

Link to submit is HERE

Current Submission Calls:

  • July 2013:  Japanese Mythology

Although our editor-in-chief loves Greco-Roman mythology, learning the folklore and legends of Japan opened up a huge window for her several years back. The lore was so intricate and lovely that it naturally stirred her curiosity. With Daughter of the Empire, first book of the Empire Trilogy by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts that curiosity became an obsession.  We want to see stories that are saturated with the rich and gorgeous culture of Japan, and take that mythology into new and unexpected speculative territory.


  • August 2013: Revolution

"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos."
—Stephen Jay Gould

Revolution is one of those themes that can mean anything. An alternate history version of the Civil War. A galactic battle between humanoid and reptilian worlds. A coup in a coven of witches.  The range of stories within this topic is pretty darn close to infinite. And while you don't necessarily have to follow Stephen Jay Gould's opinion, you might want to consider Abbie Hoffman's.

"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it."


  • September 2013: The Fae

What's not to love about the Fae?  Whether you're writing about the fairies like Tinker Bell or pixies, or the Tuatha dé Danaan of older Irish legends, this is the issue to let the Fair Folk loose in your imagination. Be sure you follow the will o'the wisp into new worlds—and take the readers of Penumbra along with you on your journey down the faery paths.



Love, Lust and Zombies 
an original anthology edited by Mitzi Szereto

*trade paperback to be published by Cleis Press, 
*Publication date: Autumn 2014

Submission deadline:
May 1, 2013

Word count:
3,000 to 6,500

What I’m looking for:

Well-developed story lines and well-crafted prose told in a unique voice and containing interesting characters and settings. Stories may be set in the past, present, or future. Stories from female and male writers are welcome, as are those written from the POV of characters of any gender and containing characters of any sexual orientation.

Note that sexually explicit content is acceptable as well as a more subtle approach; however, absolutely no stock sex scenes or formulaic writing/terminology. Please refer to my previous anthologies to get an idea of the variety and style of content I look for. No excessive gore or violence. No reprints.


One-time payment in the range of USD $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology.

Send to:submissions @ mitziszereto.com


Hot Ink Anthology Call


We are looking for stories between 10,000 and 15,000 words, although exceptions may be made. 

Simultaneous submissions are allowed. 

Original short stories acquired for this program are edited by both in-house editors and freelance editors who are experts in the romance genre.

We pay $1,000 against a 25% royalty. (The royalty enters the picture with respect to downloadable versions of the work.) Although we will consider edge cases, “original” means original—not previously published. 

In your cover letter, please include the following:

  • The subgenre of your story
  • Confirmation that the story has not been previously published
  • If you are a published author, and if so, for whom you write
  • If your story is connected to a larger universe in which you already write
  • This is not required, but please feel free to include your Twitter and Facebook URLs in the cover letter.

Stories should use standard manuscript format (Our preference is 12 point, Times New Roman, double-spaced.) and be emailed as Word or RTF.  Please send it with a cover letter including the elements described above to submissions[at]heroesandheartbreakers[dot]com.

Link is HERE


Entangled Publishing

Stories should be contemporary romances with a moderate to high heat level, 10k-40k words, focused on a one night stand or fling with a ticking clock (e.g. a non-refundable plane ticket home) and complicated by a fun, light-hearted romance trope (e.g. fake marriage, enemies to lovers, boardroom romance) that pulls the characters into bed even as it threatens to tear them apart. 

Stories should end positively with at least the promise of a HFN or a HEA obvious on the distant horizon. 

Submit stories at  HERE, attention ONE NIGHT IN. 

If you would prefer to work with a particular editor, address your query letter to that person. Stories of 10k-15k words should be submitted as Flirts, and stories of 20k-40k should be submitted as Ever Afters. 

We’re open to characters of any ethnicity, race, or nationality and to stories with multi-cultural pairings and f/f, m/m, or m/f pairings.


Entranced Publishing


Special Calls
Entranced Publishing is currently calling for Winter Themed Love Stories, Romances, and Erotic Romance. Please read the guidelines below in addition to our regular guidelines prior to submitting. 

Theme: Winter and Holiday Special Editions

Description: Got a tale of love and lust set in the heart of winter or around the chaotic holiday season? We’d love to see it. The stories should be character-driven and the chemistry between the main characters should be hot enough to sizzle. 

Length: 45,000-70,000 words

Deadline for Submission is May 1, 2013.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Between the Lines: (Mostly) Unknown Facts About Micah From The Space Between

Along The Space Between release tour, we’re sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits about the book, the characters and more. Things that fall “between the lines” of the story’s prose. So here’s Micah, one of the main characters, sharing a few (sort of) unknown facts about herself.

“A completely unique story with a paranormal twist . . . the perfect blend of romance and mystery with a phenomenal plot that will keep you guessing.” 
~ Jessica, Confessions of a Bookaholic

**Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.


1. I had a crappy childhood so I escaped to books. I’ve always had a library card, one of the only things I asked for when I moved to a new foster home. I liked The Hardy Boys, then Roald Dahl. My favorites were the J.R.R. Tolkien books, though. No better escape for a foster kid than the Shire and all the adventures in Middle Earth.

2. Maybe the war of Middle Earth had something to do with my desire to join the Marines the day I turned 18. To go out and do something that matters for once. I found my own fellowship there. It didn’t last long.

3. When I got older, girls became just as good an escape as books. As much as I wanted a relationship, though, I had no idea how to work one. So they were all short-term things. Just as well since I didn’t stay in one place for long anyway.

4. I’d always wanted a dog. What boy doesn’t? Angie, my last foster mother, had a great dog, but he was hers, not mine. Sammy, though, felt like mine almost immediately. Of course, he’s not. He’s Jacey’s. But so am I.

5. I read at night and on rainy days, but otherwise, I spent as much time outside as I could. Playing ball with whatever kids would play with me, exploring the neighborhoods, hiking the woods or hills or whatever was nearby at the time. Anything to get out of the house of strangers.

6. When I met Jacey, I was literally lost. Freshly out of the Marines with no home, no career, no plans ahead of me. I was good at the handyman stuff and kind of wanted to build my own home—something no one could take away from me—but hadn’t figured it all out yet. Then everything got real weird, real fast.

7. My favorite things:
Ginger, my truck
Cold beer
Clean clothes
A soft pillow at the end of the day
Jacey’s lips

Thank you, Micah! I’m impressed you shared even this much. Lovely readers, you get to know him a lot better—the real Micah—in The Space Between, the first part of The Book of Phoenix.

About the Author:

Author Website   Soul Savers Series Website

          Facebook                  Twitter

Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance/contemporary fantasy, with the first four books, Promise, Purpose, Devotion and Power available now and the next book coming in June 2013. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 160,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.

Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:

Monday, April 22, 2013

ECHO Book Tour Kick-Off + Int'l Giveaway


hosted by
Xpresso Book Tours &
Good Choice Reading Blog Tours

Today is the kick-off for the virtual tour featuring my novel Echo, a young adult science fiction adventure. Click on the above image to see the Goodreads page.

Over the next three weeks, Echo will be featured on 50-70 different blogs. Each tour stop will feature a guest blog post written by me, review (not written by me), interview, excerpt, teaser, character highlight, or character interview. It should be a lot of fun, with lots of information being revealed about Echo and its characters.

There will be two big giveaways, offering bookstore gift cards, paperbacks, and ebook copies of the book. Plus, some blogs may hold their own mini-giveaways for one ebook each.

You can find links to this week's tour stops here. These will be mostly reviews. Sometime during the next week, I'll update this post to link to the remaining tour stops. Those will be mostly non-review posts. I intend to visit each blog, so feel free to ask me questions in post comments throughout the tour.

Here's the first of the two big giveaways. It's international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wildfire Gospel Cover Reveal and Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I'm not even going to lie to you. Writing the third book was fun!! It's probably my favorite one out of the series so far, because the characters' powers have evolved and. . .I'm continuing to grow as a writer. 

Writing has become a second skin for me now, and walking through the Santeria Habitat is like visiting home.

Check out the cover, blurb, and enter the giveaway to win a $30 Amazon Gift Card!

Book 3 of Santeria Habitat Series

Book 2 of Santeria Habitat Series

   Lanore's TO-DO LIST         
#1- Set Dante on fire until he’s nothing but smoke and ash.

#2- Find Nona and Mother Earth, tie them to a tree, and create the biggest bonfire Santeria has ever seen.

#3- Find out if there is anybody higher in Mother Earth's psychotic chain of command.

#4- Burn anybody else to a crisp if they get in my fucking way.

Lanore destroys her old beliefs of nonviolence. Flames of revenge now fuel her movements forward. Too many of her loved ones have died, and she's done shedding tears. Sadly, she can't boil Dante's blood just yet. He has the resources to help her and Zulu. Discovering Mother Earth's whereabouts is proving more difficult than expected. She's not what they thought she was. She's something more.

Meanwhile, Lanore's father is missing. Normally, that wouldn't trigger stress, but whispers are spreading around the habitat like a wildfire. A Demon with feline eyes and fire-spotted cheetah skin appeared at the Masquerade Ball right after MeShack was killed. Lanore hopes her father will have some answers.

Is this Demon only a coincidence? Is Lanore just grasping at a last bit of hope that somehow MeShack is alive, or should she face the truth of his death? 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

F*** My Eyes, Then My Mind. April

I've been checking out the Amazon Romance Best Sellers' list, wondering why books get to the top, and even more important, why I buy these books. 

Here's my five things for this month on why particular books. . .possibly hit the list!

Note: I'll be doing this monthly because I'm addicted to covers.

1-Men who don't know how to button their shirts!

#1 on Amazon Best Sellers 

While I have no complaints whatsoever, I wonder. . .do they know how to put their shirts on, or are they simply taunting us?

#2 on Amazon Best Sellers

NOTE: I read "Real." It's pretty good if I must say so myself. 

#59 on Amazon Best Sellers

In all fairness, this seems to be a hooded vest combination. . .granted. . .where and when does one wear something like this? 

Is he considering going to the park for a little sword play, pauses at the coat rack, and thinks, "Hmmm. It looks like it might rain. I'm going to throw on my hooded sleeveless vest. That way, I can get my muscles wet, but keep my hair in tact."

2- Kiss me laying down!


I love how lots of the covers have the models' mouths parted. I'm just hoping their breath is okay so the other model doesn't have to endure rugged halitosis.


Apparently, if you can get two hot models laying down on a bed and kissing, you just might get the attention of readers. 

However, this never happens in my. My husband and I have four kids. We tend to have to sneak around to get kisses and any other delicious moments in.

If my sex life was a book cover, it would be a couple hiding in a closet, desperately trying to put certain things and particular places. 

The title would be, "Hurry the Kids are Watching My Little Pony!"



3- Why wear a shirt when I have muscles to keep me warm?

Hey. . .I won't lie. 

If I see a few well placed abs on a cover, then I may auto buy it. 



I'm not perfect! Don't judge me!

I could do this all day so I only picked a few hunks!


4- Crack isn't Wack after all!

There wasn't a whole lot of yummy bottoms. I'm more mentioning this so that we can see some trending of muscle butts. Let's make it happen people!

#36 This is just enough crack without overwhelming us.

I'm actually not sure if this is a woman's butt or man's or even what is happening in this picture. I don't really even know what this book is about just from looking at it. Perhaps, this is a western.  *shrugs

5- The Anti-Person Movement still goes STRONG!

I would say that for me, Fifty Shades of Grey started the movement. I'm sure I'm either right or wrong, but this is part my blog so. . .I'll just say I'M RIGHT, bitches!

I must say that just like the muscular man on a cover, if I see some weirdly abstract image for an erotic romance, I usually auto-buy.


Well because it usually means, to me, that this is so freakin hot we can't even put a cover of what it represents, baby!

We're just going to put stuff that doesn't make true sense or have any real connection with the book, in order to signal to you and other sick in the head 50 shades fans that, "Yes! This is for you, crazies!"

OKAY! I'm done for this month!

I just love me some book covers and relish in drooling over the best sellers' list! 

I'll see you all next month. However, what are some of you're absolutely favorite covers right now?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

March Book of the Month: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Our March book of the month was Written in Red, by Anne Bishop. It's the middle of April now. And just for the record, the reason it took me so long to post this is that Kenya couldn't be bothered to do her reading. Not that I'm throwing her under the bus or anything—but this is entirely her fault.

You can read more about our book of the month feature here.

by Anne Bishop

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Alicia: So what did you think of Written in Red?

Kenya: It started off interesting but slow.

Alicia: I agree. It still intrigued me because of the differences between humans and the Others. But action junkies (like you) might have trouble with it.

Kenya: First of all, you don't start off with "A Brief History of the World." Are you fucking kidding me?

Alicia: Oh yeah, I skipped right over that.

Kenya: I was disappointed that she just info-dumped a whole chapter

Alicia: That was crap and so typical of why I usually skip over prologues.

Kenya: It is cheating. Slowly build the world. And once I got through all the history, I was pretty much bored. I also hated the different POVs.

Alicia: But sometimes multi-POV works for you. Why didn't it work here?

Kenya: Take George R.R. Martin. He picks a few characters and sticks with them the whole ride. The reader isn't shocked or surprised. Plus, Martin does it in a certain rhythm. By a quarter of the book, the reader knows to expect a switch at each chapter. I felt like this book was dipping in and out of different heads.

Alicia: I did find the switches in Written in Red to be unpredictable at times.

Kenya: With no format. And ASS.

Alicia: What does ass have to do with anything?

Kenya: Anne Bishop wrote this book with her ass.

Alicia: You just wanted to use the word ass.

Kenya: She stuck a pen in her anus and just wiggled out a novel.

Alicia: Oh gods. I'm going to pretend I didn't just read that.

Kenya: She writes good books. I read her fantasy series long ago. Something about hot demons, Satan, and this really powerful witch. Those books rocked. And they switched POV but in a practical way. Chapter to chapter.

Alicia: So here's how I feel about Written in Red: it's a concept book. The Others are feral and animalistic and they contrast with the humans. Each group of the Others has characteristics of its animal counterpart. The Wolves like to play and chase—and they eat meat, including humans. The Hawks eat mice. The crows like shiny things and like to play with pencils and sticks. That was really entertaining at times. But for a lot of people, it's not going to be enough. There really wasn't much going on except for exploration of these difference beings.

Kenya: Okay that was cool. But I couldn't figure out a set plot, besides "there is something mysterious going on."

Alicia: My main issue with it wasn't how slow it was, since I was entertained anyway. My main issue was that there was quite a bit of telling, instead of showing. Some entire scenes were made up of Simon or Meg just thinking about stuff that happened. That's cheating! Show, don't tell.

Kenya: *makes a ghost noise

Alicia: Okay, it took me a second to get that. You’re booing. :P

Kenya: Yes. Like I said she wrote it with her ass.

Alicia: I'm still ignoring that. Okay, so any favorite lines? Or awful lines?

Kenya: Oh yeah. It's a scene so be patient, but not a long scene.

Alicia: You are taking too long to type it. For the record, I already typed out my quote, and all I have to do is paste it in the chat window. But I also read the entire book, so we know which one of us is the slacker here.

Kenya: "Do you know the joke about what happened to the dinosaurs?” Burke asked as Monty opened the office door. "No, sir." Burke didn't smile. "The Others is what happened to the dinosaurs."
That's my favorite scene.

Alicia: Yeah, that was a good one. Okay, so mine is part of a letter written to the Others' advice columnist. The letter-writer is an Other who took home a human guy, and they were getting frisky. And the Other writing the letter for advice says, "I got a little excited when he began to play push-away after I nipped him and, well, I ended up biting him on the thigh. It wasn't a big bite—didn't even need stitching--and despite what he claimed, it really wasn't all that close to his chew toy."

Kenya: Huh? What's his chew toy? His penis?

Alicia: Are seriously telling me you don't understand a penis joke when you see it? You disappoint me.

Kenya: Chew toy. Ewww. Ur sick.

Alicia: Dude, it’s not like I wrote it. And I guess I should also mention that Wolf pups sometimes use animal penises as chew toys.

Kenya: Lmao! Wtf, that is so insane. I'm eating over here, dude!
Go on timeout!

Alicia: Well, you should have been giving me your full attention, instead of eating.

Kenya: I'm gonna need you to not talk to me for a few minutes.

Alicia: Sure. But first give me your rating for the book please. I give it four stars. How many stars for you?

Kenya: Two.