Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I feel like this blog post would best be described in a combination of Minion and RDJ gifs.

When I first published Illumine in 2012, there wasn't enough feel-related pictures or quotes to show how excited I was to dive head-first into the tricky waters of indie publishing. I had waited so long to share this story to the world, that I ended up growing pretty impatient and, well, shooting myself in the foot with the first things readers see when they check out a book.

The cover.

How was Illumine's original cover? Good, right?

To be perfectly honest, the original cover really, truly, stank. It was cute... for an 8-year-old learning an above-average program similar to MS Paint. But I still wasn't quite ready to go cover artist hunting, so I kept the cover, only to later run into the problem of the second cover not matching the first. As an indie author, branding early means ALL THE THINGS. It's like if Apple didn't brand with an apple, but a pear, and still called themselves Apple. Can you say 'hello confusion'?

I went back to the drawing board, only this time with a few more tricks under my belt, errr, up my sleeve. Hours of screaming matches at the computer, music that never fit my mood, and I-lost-count how many microwave burritos and coffee later, the second and current cover to Illumine was finished. It matched the second book, the third cover that I had been silently prepping between writing the first two books, and the novella I had drafted.

This cover was better, right?

Well, sort of. It was good, definitely a step up, but nothing a crowd of wild minions would go ape-nuts over. That's probably when the epiphany struck me right over the head. Illumine would forever be one of those books, one of those series, that I simply could not un-attach myself from. As a result, I couldn't create a cover worthy of describing the tale inside its flap. 

So I went cover artist hunting, and contacted one woman who's name was whispered in alleyways, traded like gold in a tight market, a woman who's work reached so far and wide you can see her work on shelves in B&N. (Ahhh, the dream spot.) 

Who? Regina Wamba, aka miracle worker of Mae I Design. 

We talked, and within seconds of Facebook messages, I knew she was the one. Deposit down, time booked, and some emails later, and I got the cover of my dreams in my inbox. 

Want to know how a minion would react upon seeing the new cover? 

And inside I'm like- 

That's not even the best part. Best part? The entire series is getting a re-vamp of super shiny, smoldering, oh-my-goddess covers

When will you get to see them? Uber soon. How soon? Well, how about as soon as we get some sign-ups on this awesome series cover reveal sheet right here? Then you'll see them everywhere! 

Illumine's massive, explode-all-over-the-place cover reveal is set for December 6th, 2013!

Want to take part in the cover reveal and see it before everyone else?
Here's how:

You must be signed up by 9:00PM EST on December 3rd, 2013 in order to join the cover reveal!

And now, we wait for December 6th!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Twitter tipped me off this morning that The Sirenic Codex has a cover war going on between 3-week winner Undertow and A Shard of Ice! Make sure to head over and vote for which one you think deserves the crown. 

Will Undertow hold the title for the fourth week in a row, or will A Shard of Ice freeze out the competition? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

How's this for a Monday surprise? JA Huss' I Am Just Junco series got a facelift, and she's having a massive punch-pack of a reveal! Plus, a giveaway to boot.

I Am Just Junco by JA Huss
NA Epic SF/Dystopian
Books: Clutch, Fledge, Flight, Range, Magpie Bridge, Return

Picture yourself standing at the edge of a dock.

Now picture being lost in your own head, utterly unsure of yourself, surrounded by people who want to use you, take you away, or simply kill you.

This is Junco Coot, aged 19, year 2152, daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. Assassin, semi-famous athlete, and on the run.

In front of you is your future...

A future filled with secrets so heinous and truths so outrageous, it will push you past the edge of sanity.

…and behind you is a life of lies.

Lies that will rip apart the threads of reality barely holding you together.

Congratulations, soldier. Your life is over, but your mission has only just begun.

Welcome to my twisted, messed-up life. No one’s getting out alive, so we might as well kick some ass on the way down.

I Am Just Junco is a dark, epic SF/fantasy that spans five full-length novels and one novella. It is NOT young adult.

The final book in the series, RETURN, will be released on December 2, 2013!

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Author Links:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I wish this was a happy, giddy, ridiculously funny blog post. You know, the kind that you share to your friends and snicker over the subtle innuendoes or nod in approval at the brave message woven into the text. But it's not. 

My name is Alivia, and I'm a terrified writer.

There comes a time in your life when things get... hard. I use the term hard lightly, because I know there are plenty of others in this world that have it really hard. When I say hard, what I mean to say is that something has changed, something large enough that made me scramble into the nearest dark corner and hide. I'm sure you've all noticed the lack of posts, both on here, Facebook, Twitter, some of the Goodreads groups I circle. 

I'm getting sweaty and shaky just trying to type this mess out in a way to make you all understand what I'm trying to say, probably without actually saying it. Never in my life have I been good with confrontations, be it to other people, or myself in a private room. So the thought of owning up to this has me wanting to sprint to the bathroom and lean over the tub in case I heave dinner back up.

Guys, I'm terrified. If fear was ever a tangible thing like, it's definitely here with me. It's a black pit you can't claw out of no matter how deep you sink your fingers into the sides. It's a choker someone strapped too tight, and you can't so much as gasp out for help as you grasp at the air before you. It's as if someone took my heart and decided it would make a lovely tennis ball, and right now they're playing with it on the local courts, beating it back and forth, laughing. 

When I first started writing, I used to think those blog posts from authors talking about pressure and fear of failure were silly things. Why would someone who crafted such beautiful prose worry about not being good enough? They had legions of fans clamoring at their doors, enraptured by the very words they feared weren't good enough. Yet, the author panics, and anxiety and fear creeps from the shadows to strike. It all sinks downhill from there. 

But right now, that's exactly where I am. The idea that people are reading what I've written, are waiting for stories I'm still writing or waiting to publish, it leaves my stomach in knots like no other. Some days, I honestly would rather run to the dentist and have them do work than think about the idea that someone in the world is reading the words I poured onto pages, crafting tales of characters that feel as real to me as my own family. 

Every morning I wake up, the first thought that hits me is, "Do I write? Do I bring myself one step closer to letting another read these characters?" My gut rebels, and I feel sick. My heart beats a million miles a minute until the head rush kicks in, and I go weak all over. 

So for a while there, I stepped back. Stopped visiting my Facebook, stopped popping on Twitter to chat, vanished from my inbox because one more email would send me over the edge. I numbed out with music and sleep, cover design and food, an ungodly amount of coffee and some really bad fights with friends. But it never stopped the flow of words in my head, the images of characters waiting patiently for me to find my footing in this chaotic mess in my head. They waited until I gave the green light today, and like oxygen to a flame, they roared to life in an overwhelming rush. Essallie and Kayden are fighting in battles, Emily and Ben are scrambling for safety, and Lilix and Kyle are finding themselves all over again in the first brush of love. 

I think that's the best thing about this job- some people write for the idea of publication, big contracts, and movie deals. Me? I write because I need to create. It's a passion, a core piece of me so deeply rooted in that if I wasn't writing, I'd go freaking insane. No matter how many times I walk away, or 'take a break' from the madness that comes from writing, it always waits for me to return. Because writing is the darkness to my light, the insanity to my sane. It's like vanilla ice cream to chocolate-peanut butter candy pieces; separate they taste good, but together they make a heavenly treat. 

So to recap, yes. I admit it, I'm an overwhelmed, terrified, somewhat unhinged storyteller. But I'm here, and no matter how hard some days are, I'm never going to quit. I'm here to stay, and one day I'll get to all the emails lingering in my box, and the items I need to mail out or gift online. If you're patient with me, I'd appreciate it endlessly, as would Kayden and Essallie, or Emily and Ben. 


Friday, July 26, 2013

Author Highlight

As some of you may know, I'm part of a tightly knit pack of authors who run the group Indie Inked. Think of it like a giant brain trust; we bounce ideas off each other, share experiences, help with connections, the works. It's like having both the best tips of the indie publishing market available, and a family that totally gets you when you tell them your characters kept you up until 6AM talking about Cheese-Its and Mountain Dew.

I can never repay my pseudo-family for all the love and support they've offered me, but I can sure show them off like a bombshell on my blog! Today, that gal is the ever-enchanting Alexia Purdy, author of countless works, and a multi-tasker unlike anything I've ever seen. (I secretly wonder if she's some kind of octopus-hybrid with twenty arms, that's the only way I can logically explain how she manages to do all these things.)

Alexia currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada- Sin City! She loves to spend every free moment writing, or playing with her four rambunctious kids. Writing has always been her dream and she has been writing ever since she can remember. She love's creating paranormal fantasy and poetry and loves to read and devour books daily. Alexia also enjoys watching movies, dancing, singing loudly in the car and Italian food.

You can follow Alexia Purdy and grab all her books at:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Today is going to be one monster of a blog post! I've got a post for Keeper of the Black Stones about Jason, in honor of PT McHugh's blog tour, plus the title reveal for the second book to the series! You ready for this?
First, Keeper, one of the few books of 2013 that has my heart:

 Awkward in his own skin, shy around girls and worried about anything and everything, Jason Evans is just like a million other teenage boys in high school, with one very large exception: he has been given a gift that allows him to jump through time. A set of stones has fallen into his lap that gives him access to any place - and any time - that he chooses. But along with that gift comes the responsibility of stopping the man who is using those very stones to travel through time and change history for his own purposes. A man who is now holding Jason's grandfather hostage, and threatening the world's very existence. Jumping through time with his best friend and body guard, Jason must enter the world of Medieval England, learn its customs, navigate unimaginable danger, and help Henry VII win the Battle of Bosworth, in the name of finding his grandfather, rescuing a beautiful girl from the clutches of a corrupt church, and destroying the one man who pledges to turn history inside out.

And now, the guest post I'm happy to share! Here's 10 things we didn't know about Jason, the main character from Keeper of the Black Stones, until now...

Ten things we didn’t know about Jason …
  1. Favorite Movie(s): The Lord of the Rings trilogy, of course. He’s read the books, but the movies were better.He loves the fantastical world and the fact that there are elves and dwarves. He loves the fact that the hero wins, and gets the girl. He loves the hobbits, who are the best kind of buddies – people who travel anywhere together, and never fail to take care of their friends. Most of all, though, he loves the history of the world, and wonders if it might have actually happened. If so, could he use the stones to get there? Would he survive the trip? Could he take his friends? 
  2. Favorite Book: Catcher in the Rye, though he’d be hard pressed to tell you exactly why. There’s just something about it that feels familiar.
  3. He was given an IQ test when he turned eleven, and his score was 143, which he’s heard is pretty high. He doesn’t take that too seriously, though, because he doesn’t think it means much. Certainly nothing to do with the real world, which now consists of jumping through time and outsmarting bad guys while surviving random medieval torture devices.
  4. Jason’s never kissed a girl. Not that he really wants to. He thinks girls are fine, really, but he can think of a lot of things he’d rather be doing than trying to get one to like him. Movies, golf, finding out where Dresden is hiding … the only girls he’s met that he’s even slightly interested in (other than for looking at) are Tatiana and Katherine. He finds them both incredibly confusing and a LOT smarter than him, which doesn’t happen often. He also knows that Tatiana could kick his butt, and though his male ego finds this shocking, he also finds it somehow fascinating. (He does, of course, let Paul think that he’s interested in Cristina, from school. It gives Paul something to tease him about.)
  5. Jason was diagnosed with insomnia after his parents died. He doesn’t know if there’s any connection, but he does know that he has to do certain things to get to sleep: have his pillow lined up exactly with the top right corner of his bed, have his slippers where his feet can reach them, have either the lamp on his desk OR the light in the bathroom turned on, and be wearing one of two sets of pajamas. If he goes to sleep without these things, he’s prone to terrible dreams about things he doesn’t want to remember.
  6. He carries a picture in his wallet that shows him at six years old, on a bike path with his dad. They used to ride their bikes for hours, making up stories to tell each other, and then race home to tell his mother. She was the judge, and whoever had the best story won one of her famous chocolate chip cookies.
  7. He’s allergic to cats, despite his affection for Milo.
  8. He fell off his bike when he was ten, and got his foot caught in the tracks. Then he heard the train coming, and realized he was going to be one of those kids – like the one in Fried Green Tomatoes, which Paul made him watch – who died by getting stuck in the train tracks. He’d seen the train coming, and thought he was a goner, but Doc had appeared at the last moment to save him. He still doesn’t know where Doc came from or how he knew Jason’s life was in danger, but he has nightmares about that day, and the scars to prove it.
  9. He didn’t take his first steps until he was two and a half. His mother was afraid he’d never walk. But once he did, she couldn’t keep him still.
  10. His favorite hobby is fishing with Paul on a Saturday afternoon. His dad taught him, and he still uses the fishing pole his dad gave him for his tenth birthday. He likes to think that his dad is connected to the pole, which makes him feel like Mr. Evans is there fishing too. Which brings him to his fondest wish – somehow seeing his dad one more time.

Okay, you've had Keeper flashed around like a pretty, shiny new penny, and now I'm pleased to be part of the title reveal for book two in the Stone Ends Series. It has been announced that the second novel will be titled:

A Rebel's Stone

My brain is working, trying to see if I can guess anything off the title alone. I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Oh, want a little bit more? How about a sneak? Enjoy!

Have you ever had a dream so real that when you woke up, for one brief moment, you weren’t sure where your imagination stopped and reality began? Where you forgot who you were and how you got there, and had trouble remembering even your own name? 

I only ask, really, because that’s been happening to me a lot lately. 
I realize this sounds crazy, but it’s not too hard to imagine when you think about what I’ve seen over the past few weeks. God, has it only been that long?

I guess I should probably start at the beginning, for this to make any sense at all. Months ago, John Fleming, an old friend of my grandfather’s, introduced him to an archeological discovery. A large stone, which looked more like a kitchen counter than the find of the millennium. His son had found it on an archaeological dig, and taken it to Dartmouth College to unravel its secret. 

Fleming showed the stone to my grandfather – Doc to me – because he was a mathematician. See, the stone had hundreds of symbols engraved on its surface, and Fleming thought he’d be able to read them. In the end, of course, he did a lot more than that. He deciphered their meaning, yes. And then he listened to their instructions. Turned out the stone wasn’t just a dusty old relic carved out of granite by an ancient civilization. Or rather, it was, but it was also something a lot more. A portal, capable of doing the impossible. Capable of transporting someone back in time, into the very history of our books and stories. And it wasn’t the only one.

Allowing that journey, of course, means allowing us access to that history, and the people that made it. And that, my friends, is the crux of the problem. 

My grandfather recognized immediately how dangerous the stone was. He knew that going back in time would endanger history, and the fate of the world itself. Unfortunately, Nicholas Fleming, John’s son, looked past the danger and saw the fame and fortune that such a discovery would bring. Unwilling to listen to my grandfather’s warning, Nicholas armed himself with a weapon and his twenty-first-century knowledge, climbed onto the stone, and went merrily back to Old England, to reappear some five hundred years before I was born.    

My grandfather, with his ability to read the stones, identified Nicholas’ destination and went after him. His plan was to bring the man home, to safety, but that goal was quickly overshadowed by what Nicholas was doing. Because within days of finding him, Doc realized that Nicholas’ ambition had gone far beyond money and glory. He had decided to reshape history to his liking, starting with the War of the Roses. And in changing history – for reasons that still escape us – he was putting the entire world in danger. He had to be stopped. 

You might be asking yourself how I got involved in all of this. Devine intervention, coincidence, bad luck? Well, that’s the million-dollar question that keeps me up at night. And I still don’t have a good answer. Not one that would make sense to anyone other than myself. The simple truth is that I also have the ability to read the stones. And I can do it better than my grandfather. I can travel back in time, yes, but I can also do more. Somehow, and I know how crazy this sounds, I can talk to the stones. Learn from them. Use them as the tools they actually are. And it’s all with one goal in mind: to preserve our past. To maintain history and, with it, the thread of time, and the world around us.

How do we do that? I have no idea. But I can say with a bit of pride that we’ve already started. Doc and I, with the help of my friends, Tatiana, Paul, and Katherine, and my recently acquired body guard Reis, defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth, despite Fleming taking his side, and thus helped to close the door on the Dark Ages. We stopped Nicholas Fleming from throwing the world off balance by changing the outcome of that one important war. So we’ve already started our fight for history and the world.
Unfortunately, Nicholas Fleming, now known as Dresden, escaped. Doc believes that Dresden has no true relationship with the stones, and therefore can’t predict their line of travel. Based on that, he thinks that Dresden’s last trip on the stones must have ended up at the bottom of the English Channel, or atop Mount Everest under several feet of snow. He doesn’t believe that Dresden survived his escape. He thinks that we’re safe, now that Dresden has disappeared. 

But I know differently. I know what I saw when Dresden escaped, and the stone he was on made sure I understood. In reality, Dresden was sent to Germany in the year of 1939, right when the Nazis were coming to power. He didn’t know where he was going, but I’m sure he made it there safely. And I have to find him. No matter how much Doc tries to convince me otherwise, the stones don’t lie. Dresden is still out there, somewhere. And I have to find him and stop him, before he does anything else to damage history.
Because the world won’t be safe until I do.

Jason Evans
Keeper of the Black Stones

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hey, another hop, yay! I seem to be ignoring my blog lately, I'm sorry. No, seriously, I'm sorry. Pretty sure my body is in survival mode right now as I hyperventilate my way to Unwanted's release at the end of the month, so it keeps cutting off anything that isn't immediately in front of my face. 

Like my blog. Ahem.

So here's the sad part: I don't have any crazy excerpts or reveals right now for you guys. Bummer, I know, but please hold the torches and pitchforks, please. I do, however, have a signed and limited edition print of Illumine in hardback to give away to one lucky peep in the US. And if the hardback doesn't get you jumping, maybe one of the other giveaways on the Authors Blog Hop will! 

So do your thing; share this blog post around with your friends, make sure you enter, and keep those fingers and toes crossed!

About Illumine:

Every action comes with a price.
Let the flames begin.

For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she's like every other normal girl in High School. 

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine. 

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they've begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.

Want it in ebook?

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Late last night, I had a moment of heart-stopping nervousness. Today, my brother graduates from High School. It's a day of caps and gowns, of celebrations with valedictorian speeches, diplomas and certificates. Tomorrow, the start of a new chapter will mark his life. 

Originally, I wrote this down (thought it out in my head) for him, and had planned on putting it in his graduation card. But I realized what I had to say to him could be said to many others, not just grad students. It's something I wish had been said to me when I graduated in 2009, thrilled I managed to pass yet terrified of what was yet to come. Anyone who feels stuck, lost in the middle, or unsure of their footing in life, this is for you. Print it out if you must, write it down and tack it on a wall, or read it and move on. Either way, I'm glad you took a minute to read it.


There are only a few things you need in life. Happiness is one of them. 

By now, you know pretty well how the story of my High School nightmare went. The transcripts of my grades, hidden somewhere in this house, would show you a different side of things. Yes, I failed classes. Failed them miserably. Yes, I took Summer School, and Dad paid a whopping $150 for it, $135 of which I still need to pay back. But this isn't a lecture about trying not to fail school, or to not bite off more than you can chew. This is a message about finding happiness in the gray areas. I'm living proof that if you dream it hard enough, and you never quit no matter how much it hurts, that you can achieve anything.

In High School, junior year, I failed English. 

You already know that, but I feel the need to repeat it. Maybe you're asking, "Why? You're an author, you've won awards, made countless friends and fans along the way. How did you do that if you failed English?" 

I'll tell you why; because I was lost. I was not happy. Junior year of High School is one of those pivotal moments when people like to shove their thoughts down your throat. You'll be pressured into career ideas you don't care for, harassed by everyone who thinks college is the only way to get anything done, snubbed for the idea of taking an alternate route. Junior year is 'The Year'; you either make it, or break in half trying. 

Ten dollars says you know what happened to me. 

I broke. All around me, things were falling to pieces. I wasn't comfortable in my skin, and even though I had friends I didn't feel like I fit in anywhere. The same questions always came up- "What colleges did you apply to? What are you going for?" Imagine the nightmare when, shocker, I had to tell everyone I failed Junior Year, and by the skin of my teeth and Dad spotting me the cash for Summer School, I managed to still advance to Senior Year, but only if I doubled on the failed classes from Junior Year to make up those credits. 

You'd think, after that scare, I'd become a model student. Straight A's, perfect attendance, exemplary child. Not even close. 

Senior Year was just as hellish as Junior, only worse in some ways. Like Hell, the fire burned deeper than a superficial wound as I fell out of love, lost friends over trivial things, and became even more self-conscious about myself. By a miracle beyond all miracles, I graduated in 2009 with my class. I'll never forget sitting in those chairs, sobbing after I walked down the aisle to my seat, and everyone around me asking why I was crying. 

It was because I managed the impossible. It was because I graduated against all odds that said it wouldn't happen. It was the first time I had a taste of what happiness felt like, and I started on the path to where I am now. 

From 2009 to 2011, things moved up and down in wild highs and lows. I wish I could tell you that, post-graduation, I had a happy fairy-tale style ending and went off to achieve perfection. But I can't, that would be lying. Instead, I'll tell you the truth. For roughly two years, I struggled in a weekend job that stole 31 hours of my time, and carried the taste happiness from graduation in the back of my throat like a wild dream nearly forgotten. 

Somewhere in 2011, something snapped. I was tired of trying to be put into this box of what others labeled as 'okay'. I wasn't built for college, that much was obvious; I was built to write, dammit, and write I would. My declaration wasn't met with the round of applause you'd hope for, but I pushed on, and in January of 2012, Illumine made its first appearance. 

Why am I giving you a play-by-play? Not because I feel you need it, but because I need to stress something, something I wish one person had stressed to me in those critical years. You can be anything you want in life, you can get anything you want out of life, you just need to keep pushing forward and find happiness. 

Look, if anyone can say there's a happy ending along the way, it's me. I freaking bombed English, graduated with some of the crappiest grades known to mankind, and here I am living the dream. I refused to quit no matter how hard it hurt, and no matter how painful it got. And now it's your turn to do the same. 

So go off to college, or go right into the work force. Start drafting that new novel, or planning a house design. Build a website, build ten of them. Just remember to do what makes you happy, because without happiness, it's going to be an empty, dark place. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

(Well hey, look at that. I'm posting a teaser on a Tuesday! That counts for Teaser Tuesday, right?!)

Yesterday I shared the little secret I've been sitting on since Christmas-time. The glorious cover to the end of the Illumine Series. Kind of fitting it gets some time on the blog too, right? 

As of right now, Alacrity does not have a set-in-stone release date, it's definitely TBA. I'm putting this one through a series of betas and editors to make it the best of the best, while wrapping up everything in the series because this is definitely the end to it all. I do have Kayden's novella still in the works, but his story takes place long before Illumine, and the other novella highlighting on the history of Lucretia and others is also working through my brain, but that too takes place long before Illumine. So once this story ends with Alacrity, that'll be it. Don't worry, I've made sure the last book will be the biggest of them all. 

And I'm stalling. 

Here's the cover!

And because I oh-so-love you all, I might as well toss this teaser out. This is a clip from Alacrity, and was featured in the back of the Illumine Series omnibus.


Jayson was on Kayden faster than a missile to its target. His fingers wrapped expertly around Kayden’s neck, locking him in place against the frame of the entryway.

His voice was like acid hissing through skin. “What kind of sick game are you trying to play?”

“He’s not,” I sighed. Back pressed against the wall, I decided to do the one thing I had wanted to the night I learned the truth. “Playing a game.”

Jayson’s hands didn’t budge. “You’re kidding, right? Did you not hear what he said? This jackass said you were dead, Essallie, dead. And somehow you’re standing in our childhood home, in the kitchen we shared breakfast for years, very much not dead.”

Like a backhanded slap, his words stung my face, forcing me to blink. I could feel the nerve to snap back at him building on my tongue, but bit back. My brother was acting out of fear, a rope of panic and worry choking him for weeks since our last, tense phone call. All this time he probably tossed and turned, wondering if I was dead or alive, where I was, or if he’d ever see me again. To be so close like that to someone you love, only to have them torn from your world, it leaves a scar on your soul.

“Jayson,” I pled softly, reaching out and wrapping my hands around his. Little by little, I inched his fingers out of their iron-grasp around Kayden’s neck. “I’m right here. Let him go, and look at me.”

His neck twisted, head and eyes shifting over until they landed on my shoulder, chin, and finally landing on my eyes. One look into his shattered stare nearly brought me to my knees; my brother was broken, grappling with the thought of a dead sister.

“I’m right here, I promise,” I said, hoping the words would spark the charming, vibrant flame in his eyes. “I’m right here Jayson, alive and well. I promised you I’d come home.”

The exhale barely left his lips before he flung himself at me, crushing my shoulders and chest in a bear-hug that lifted me clean off the ground. He buried his face into my hair and shoulder, squeezing with the strength of a hundred. 

“It’s you, it’s really you,” he breathed, pulling back a fraction to stare at me in between strands of hair. “But not. You’re... different somehow.”

Killing demons, battling soul consumption, and learning you have a half-sister can do that to you. At least, that’s what I could have said, but I figured this sort of information dump needed a 12-step system.

Running my tongue over my teeth, I made sure to choose my words carefully. I gave him a faint, lighthearted smile. “Let’s say I’ve seen the world, and then some?”

He pulled back a little further, scrutinizing. “No, no. It’s more than sight-seeing. You’ve grown.”


“More mature,” he substituted, half-shaking his head. “But with the way you keep blabbing, I might have to eat my words.” He paused, leaning in and sniffed. A sour look crossed his face. “Yuck! How can you not smell that? What have you been doing, rolling in rotting fish?”

I closed my eyes, sinking my teeth into my lip to keep from laughing out loud. Good to know hanging with Sirens can make one smell... fishy. 

“You like fish,” I quipped.

“Uhhh, yeah, when it doesn’t smell like it’s been decaying underwater for centuries.” He pinched his nose and took a step back. “Okay, so everything is okay, for now. I’ll forgive Kayden’s slip of tongue-”

I pointedly glared at Kayden, who did his best to look apologetic.

“-after you tell me what’s really going on, Essallie.”

Silence fell over the room. Beside me, Ari shifted uncomfortably, Kayden following. Rinae and Tegen exchanged knowing glances, a mixture of pain and sorrow. And I knew exactly why. Those who knew the truth about us typically didn’t live to see a long, healthy life. The idea of being honest to Jayson in exchange for his longevity weighed heavy on my heart. Could I really condemn him like that over a few words?

Eyes on Ari, I gave him a curt nod. “Make the vow.”

“You have my word. As long as I live.”

“What,” Jayson cut in. “Is going on?”

Looking back at my brother, the weight in my chest only seemed to multiply. I hadn’t so much as formed a single word on my lips before my eyes started to water at the corners, building with each thought. 

I placed a hand on his upper arm. “Let’s go to the living room. You’re going to need a place to sit after I tell you this.”

Friday, May 10, 2013

Yes, it's finally time. I can't keep hiding this gorgeous cover and title from you all one more minute. Okay, maybe for a few more minutes. But I promise, it's only because I want to make sure everyone sees this beautiful cover and know the title to the end of the first series that started everything for me. 

So, without adding any more weird, random fluff bits, here's the sign-up sheet if you want to help reveal the cover and title. Both cover and title will be revealed on May 18th, so sign-ups are only going to be up for a few days. If you're a blogger and you sign up, please feel free to see if any of your book-blogging buddies want to help with the cover and title unveiling, it would mean the world to me. 

Want to take part in the cover reveal and see it before everyone else?
Here's how:

You must be signed up by 9:00PM EST on May 16th, 2013 in order to join the cover reveal!

And now, we wait for May 18th!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm in-between book releases right now, so I don't really have anything sparkling and new to show you all. Yet. We're slowly inching to the release of Unwanted on July 30th, and then later on the first novella to A Shard of Ice, titled An Ice Princess Heart, releases October 28th.

Sooooo while I continue to stare at my screen and slowly go blind, I figured there might as well be a little happy giveaway of some sort when my Facebook hit 1900 peeps. We're sitting pretty at 1906 now, so dun dun dun dunnnnn, crack out the burritos and sour cream, I've got goodies for you guys and gals to win!

Here's the goodie list:

(2) Two delicious swag bags with signed bookmarks of Illumine, Obumbrate, Riven, and A Shard of Ice

(1) Mini-heart pendant replica of Essallie's white heart from the Illumine Series

Ready, set, go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hey everyone! I'm not dead, I promise! (Might sort of feel like it, though.) My blog's been seeing a little neglect due to some icky medical problems at home (you know, dentists going all drill-drill on my mouth, and then some kind of sinus infection/post-op tooth infection to boot, yummy) but no more! I have a nifty little cover here to share with all of you from an author I'm slowly getting to know and hopefully become super-ninja friends with. 

I say super-ninja simply because super-unicorn friends are full at the moment, and I'm no longer filling that boat, or it might sink a-la Titanic. Hah! 

Aaaaanyway... cover time! Don't forget to post your thoughts on it in the comments! (I like comments, they fuel me better than coffee some days.)

Quoted from the lovely author, Lindsay Avalon herself:

"When Breaking the Nexus released on 12/12/12, readers fell in love with the Mythrian Realm and clamored for more. Since the follow up, Waking the Phoenix won’t be ready until sometime this summer, I knew I had to give readers a taste of Mythria.

Warrior Unleashed, a novella featuring Sha’s half brother, will be released on May 7! This novella is set entirely in the Mythrian Realm and while the hero and heroine are not Sha and Connor, I think you’ll all fall in love with this couple. Find out what happens when the sexy panther Chimerae, Achaius Rilke, must team up with feisty Gaelen Sorceri Saia Makan in this action packed novella!

Without further ado, I present the gorgeous cover designed by Blue Harvest Creative!"


Nothing is more dangerous than a warrior unleashed.

When Sentinels begin dying under mysterious circumstances, the deaths are believed to be unrelated. Only one man sees the truth: an unknown enemy is targeting the elite group of warriors and no one is safe. As a panther Chimerae, Achaius Rilke recognizes the signs of an unpredictable predator. The only person he can trust is Saia Makan, the tempestuous Sorceri who has driven him crazy for years. But when the killer has set his sights on Saia, Achaius faces the hunt of his life.

Don’t miss the first book, Breaking the Nexus, available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and in paperback! 

Catch up with Lindsay and the Mythrian Realm!