Friday, January 31, 2014

It's a Book Scavengerhunt!!

Juniper Grove Book Solutions
Title: The Heart of the Hunter
Author: Natalie-Nicole Bates
Published: December 2013
Publisher: Gypsy Angel Books
Word Count: 54,000
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Content Warning: Contains heavy adult situations and themes.
Recommended Age:  18+
Synopsis: After a devastating accident, Barret Atkins has accepted a quiet, solitary existence. His life is turned upside down, when he finds the badly injured Kansas Smith, left for dead in a case of mistaken identity. As Kansas begins to recover, Barret must face some deep scars of his own. When the couple begin to fall for each other, their lives spin into a revival of past hurts, jealousies, and betrayals, causing Barret to put a halt to their budding relationship. Barret’s hesitation causes his best friend-turned vicious rival, Duncan Craig, to pursue a friendship with Kansas. Where will this leave Barret? Can they all hold on long enough to escape Kansas’s attacker, and will they ever conquer their own inner demons intent on keeping them apart?

~ About the Author ~

Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.

Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her
uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.

She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her ordinary collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

Excerpt from The Heart of the Hunter by Natalie-Nicole Bates:
“So, what’s it like to be married to a rock star?”
Kansas heard this question so many times during her ten year marriage to Quinn that it now caused her head to ache. She didn’t want to talk about her ex-husband with Barret. Still, she knew a lot of people were _______ about marriage to a celebrity.
“Ex, Barret, ex. Quinn isn’t my husband any longer. But to answer your question, Barret, I’ve known Quinn since I was ten years old. When he was Sean Marshall, an ________ person, long before he ever became Quinn Michaels.”
The resentment was evident in her voice. She didn’t want him to think she lived some fairy tale existence with Quinn. In the end, Quinn was just a man with many foibles who was admired by millions _______ of a pretty face and a beautiful voice. Attributes that Quinn took full _________ of.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry. It’s just…I’ve wondered why…” he hesitated.
She knew what he was getting at. “______ not prying, Barret. If you want to know why Quinn and I are no longer married, just ask.”
“Kansas,” he touched her cheek, “you are the sweetest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, and after his ________ visit here, I can tell Quinn still loves you.”
There was such a soft look in his blue eyes, and once again, Kansas couldn’t __________ why Barret thought nothing more of her than just a surrogate little sister. Didn’t he realize how good they could be together?
“Be that as it may, Barret, Quinn and I will never again be a couple,” she said firmly. “Once a cheater, always a cheater. I __________ the articles in the weekly rags, and the chatter on the internet for a very long time. But when Lynsey Reznor came into his life, I knew I had to get out with what little dignity I still had.”
He cocked his head. “Lynsey Reznor? That name is so familiar.”
“She’s a very __________ true-crime writer from Miami. You can’t walk past a bookstore or watch the Crime Central channel without seeing her.”
Barret averted his eyes. “Oh, that Lynsey Reznor.”
“I can’t hate her too much, though. Apparently she was as ________ to my existence, as I was to hers. She dumped Quinn when she _____ out he was married.”
He shook his head. “Men like your ex-husband give all men a bad name. If we were married, you never would have to worry that I would give a woman a ______ look. I’m loyal to a fault.”
If only, she thought.
“Well, if anything came out of it, you must be pretty well financially set after your divorce.”
For a ______, she considered lying to him, pretend to be a broken little divorcee. But in an instant, she knew she wanted to keep her relationship with Barret honest.
“My financial settlement with Quinn is public knowledge. For ten years, I receive a certain percentage of his previous year’s earnings. If I remarry, all financial support ends.”
Barret let out a low whistle _____ his breath. “I guess you won’t be getting remarried anytime soon—not for the next years, at least.”
Anger sparked inside her. “Do you really think I’m that shallow? That all I’m _________ with is a never ending tap of cash?” she snapped. “Contrary to your belief, I look _______ to marrying a man who doesn’t need mass love to feed his enormous ego. I want a home in the suburbs and a garden full of children.
_______, even if I was all about the money, one of these days Quinn will fall out of favor with his fans, and the money will dry up.”
She felt the need to not mention that even if she never saw another penny from Quinn, she would never be poor.
Kansas didn’t want to talk any more about money. To her, it didn’t matter what either of them had, if they were only ________. Even though his kisses were frequent, and his touches lingered longer on her skin, it was becoming clearer to Kansas with each passing day that she was deluding herself with the belief that sheand Barret would have a _______ ever after together. Still, she would stubbornly cling to the small ____ until Barret once and for all, told her to her face that there would never be anything more between them than good friends.
Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
Grand Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card
Two Runner Ups: $5 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to Use Setting as a Character

 Setting can add loads of flavor to a story, so much so that it can often become a character in the story. You can use setting to convey feelings to the reader without writing those feelings. How does your MC feel about the events that take place within a scene?

 I want you to utilize these feelings in your writing and setting details. Is he empty? Cold? Furious? Maybe she is happy, determined, or heartbroken. How can you pull some setting details into the story to convey these feelings? Make the surroundings describe the emotions. This can be as simple as one word, one phrase, or one sentence. Or if pacing allows, you can use the setting to the full advantage and put the reader right in the middle of emotions by only the settings.

As an example, if your MC is sad, the setting around him/her can be an expression of the sadness. Maybe it can be raining, or flowers can be wilted, or the room may be dark or undecorated. On the flip side, if your MC is angry, the setting should be written in a way that anger is expressed, such as with rolling waves, a thunder storm, loud music.

These examples are very cliche, I know. Only you know your character and the circumstances in your story. You can use this to your advantage and make your setting unique and amazing.

How have you used setting as a "character" in your writing?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Tour: The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman

Title: The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman  
Author:  Carole Brown
Published:  October 21st, 2013
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Word Count:  90,000
Genre:  Women’s Fiction – Christian Suspense, Romance
Content Warning:  Contains adult subject matter such as abuse within cults
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis: How far would YOU go to avenge the murder of a daughter?
Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter from the hands of her religious group, The Children of Righteous Cain. When her husband suffers a sudden heart attack, she does nothing to help him. In her eyes someone needs to pay, and if that means all of the men in the group, then so be it.

Dayne MacFarland is sent away to college by the senior elder of the group to learn ministry. When he returns after finding salvation, determined to bring the truth to the people he’s known all his life, he rediscovers Cara and realizes the love he once felt for her is still deeply embedded within his heart.

Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings.

Can Cara overcome the feelings that have governed her most of her life? Can she learn to trust Dayne, and most of all a God whom she sees as uncaring—if he’s really there at all? Only Dayne’s prayers and love can reach Cara and show her the way to redemption, and Cara must recognize and accept God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads
About the Author:
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?


If you enjoy reading Christian fiction, you will enjoy this book. I've posted an excerpt below (I had permission. The excerpt cam in the media kit) so that you don't have to take my word the writing is wonderful. Read it for yourself. The characters are believable, with faults and weaknesses. The plot is expertly layered and full of surprises. The writing is vivid and concise. I loved the story and I hope you will too! Click the above links to purchase your own copy. 

And below, you can enter to receive several gifts. There's a give away at the bottom, so -please be sure to read all the way to the bottom of the post. This is a 5 star book, so you'll want to grab a chance to win one.  Enjoy~ 


Excerpt from The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown:

The midnight air cooled, and Dayne pressed the button to roll up both windows in his car. Cara shivered and snuggled deeper into the plush seat.
“Are you asleep?”
Dayne’s soft whisper rolled over her like a silk blanket. “No. Thinking.”
“A penny for them.”
The urge to share almost overwhelmed her. How wonderful to place some of this depressing burden on Dayne’s wide, strong shoulders. She let the wish—the weakness—drift away.
“Worrying about Abby. Wondering if she’ll be okay.”
“You’re a friend anyone would be glad to have, Cara. I see the caring, loyal, and responsible person you are, the one you show everyone.” Dayne steered around a slower-moving car. “But sometimes I’d like a glimpse of the part you keep hidden.”
The heaviness in her heart lifted, and for a moment, she envisioned herself as a carefree young person experiencing life to the full.
“I don’t know what that would be.” She closed her eyes. “I’m a foolish romantic.”
“A romantic is foolish?”
“Dreaming impossible dreams, wishing for fables, is unrealistic and foolish. I’ve always had a tendency to imagine what could be, what could happen. I suppose because I like beautiful things.” She chuckled. “See the moon and the star-studded sky? Instead of ignoring its beauty, I get the shivers. I wonder if a different world lives in another universe. A colony of people who know only goodness and peace and happiness.”
“I think this side of you is beautiful, and I love it.”
“You don’t love all sides of me?”
“I love—now you’re fishing.” He cleared his throat and his hand slid across the space between them and touched hers. “You’re beautiful.”
Cara pulled her hand from his. Too much danger for her. “Tell me about some of the things you experienced while you were gone. Were your studies hard? Did you like living in the city?”
“In some ways, but I missed the country. When I arrived home, I think I took the first deep breath I’d had in six years.”
“Did you meet many girls?”
She felt his quick glance. Felt the question hover in the air between them. What have I done? He’s not under obligation to answer my nosy questions. And what difference does it make anyhow?
“Do you mean did I date while away?”
At his words, the tension lessened. “You don’t have to answer the question. It’s none of my business.”
But I want to know.
Dayne pulled into her driveway and shut off the car. He slipped his arm on the back of the seat. “When is your meeting?”
Cara blinked but answered, “Tomorrow afternoon.”
“Want me to pick you up?”
“Thanks, but I’ll walk. It’ll give me time to reflect on how to behave while in the presence of such an august figure.” A hand flew up to cover her mouth. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to be so flip.”
“No problem. The fact is I came home carrying a bunch of my own questions.”
“Me. More questions than answers.”
“How do we find the answers, Dayne? You graduated with honors in ministry, so if you don’t know the answers, how is someone like me who’s uneducated supposed to get answers?”
He gripped her hand again as if he would never let go. She heard his long drawn intake of breath.
“What would you have done if you’d had the chance to choose something else?”
“Are you serious? I’ve never taken time to think about could-be’s and would-be’s. As I said, there’s not much sense in wishing for what will never happen.”
“But if you could have …”
“I don’t know. I’d mountain climb. Probably fly. Own my own private plane. Do rescue work.”
“What else?” His interest spurred her on. How long had it been since she’d had someone to share nonsense with?
“I’d learn to parachute and hang glide for fun and anything else to get me off the ground and into the air.”
“You crazy girl. Mind if I join you?”
Cara rested her head against the back of the seat.
His hand stirred beside her.
“I am crazy, aren’t I?”
He slipped his arm around her and tugged lightly until she gave in and rested her head on his shoulder.
“You know it’s not too late to experience your dreams.”
“What do you mean? Elder Simmons would never allow me to do that.”
A pause. Dayne stroked her hand with one finger. “Do it anyway.”
“Don’t encourage me, Dayne. Please. You don’t know—” With a sob, she straightened and flung open the door.
Dayne ran from his side of the car and grabbed her shoulders. “Cara. Cara, don’t cry. I’m doing my best to work on the elders. Trust me.” He cupped her chin, tilted it, and stared into her eyes.
She gave a shaky nod. “I do.”
With a thumb he wiped away the tears from her cheeks. “I wish—”
For me?
“What do you wish?” Cara held her breath.
He took her shoulders for a moment, his grip tight, and then let his hands drop. “Nothing. Go on.”
She moved as if in a daze toward the lighted porch. She’d barely reached the steps when Dayne’s voice stopped her again.
She stopped moving, her back still toward him.
“You asked me if I met any girls while away. I did. Several. But every time I tried to get romantic or think about girlfriends, all I could see were the beautiful blue-green eyes of someone back home. A very effective deterrent for romance.”
Was she hearing him correctly? Interpreting his words the way he meant them? Her body warmed, the frozenness melting as surely as if the sun was ridding the earth of a winter avalanche. Slowly she turned.
He lifted a hand and returned to his car.
She stared after him, depression gone.
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If the winner is in the US, they will receive the following: Copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Copy of West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, $15 Amazon Gift Card, Handmade Table Runner, Handmade Apron, and Hand decorated recipe box.
  • If the winner is INT, they will receive the following: eBook copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, eBook copy of West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, an eBook copy of Hog Insane, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

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Insecure Writer's Support Group

I've rejoined the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group, and I'm super excited to be back. I missed the post for July, but will...