Ichabod Temperance – WIP Interview

In this week’s interview, I’m super excited to feature Ichabod Temperance and his exciting steampunk writings! Ichabod is a gem, so I’ll let him introduce himself in his own unique way:

Ichabod Temperance is a silly little fellow with absolutely no writing credentials. Speculation is that a grotesque construction accident awakened a dormant writing bug in Icky. Doctors are desperately trying to make the boy stop, but to date, he just keeps writing silly novels such as ‘A Matter of Temperance‘, ‘A World of InTemperance‘, ‘For the Love of Temperance‘, ‘A Study in Temperance‘ and his current work In progress, ‘In a Latitude of Temperance’. (Update: Latitude of Temperance is now available on Amazon.)

For a tantalizing excerpt of Ichabod’s “In a Latitude of Temperance”, click here.

Ichabod, thank you for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself besides your collection on Amazon? 

Yippee! Thanks, Maria! I am so thrilled to be invited to your lovely blog! I am a lifelong Alabama Birminghamster. I played drums in a silly punk rock band for 28 years, studied diligently in karate for 21 years, and have been heavily involved with professional wrestling for 14 years. My wrestling and karate background helped me to land a small role in an independent film as a stuntman. The film is a sweeping, no-budget, steampunk epic entitled, ‘Engines of Destiny’. My enthusiasm in the project helped my part to get upgraded. I now get to wear a 2,700 pound steampowered mechanical suit and beat up on a young Teddy Roosevelt. This experience encouraged me to look into the genre of steampunk literature. Unfortunately, most of the material I found was of a dark and morbid sensibility, whereas the movie was upbeat and charming. Following the example of one of my castmates, I wrote my own blog adventure that in turn led to writing the books.

You’re my first writer/wrestler/stuntman guest here! What are you working on right now?

I have begun pursuing themes in my books. With the current book, ‘In a Latitude of Temperance’, the theme is vampires. In it, I have madcap adventures with some of my own personal favorite vampires in history. Sixteen vampires are involved, and only one of them is not one from history. She is a personal friend of mine.

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I do not think that I write as other writers do. I will mull a topic around in my head and bounce ideas off of my lovely, gracious, and kind muse, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, until I feel ready to begin. Once the writing process is initiated, I do not eat, sleep, fornicate, or acknowledge the outside world until finished. A good pace is 4,000 to 5,000 words a day during the frenzied writing cycle.

Plotter, pantser or both?

What did you call me! Oops. I mean, I don’t know what a pantser is, but I think you refer to planning out the story as opposed to letting it unfold in an ‘organic’ manner. I guess I’m a 30% plotter, and a 70% pantser. But if you press me on it, I will deny it and say that I intended for everything to work out the way it does.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

Lord Bar’Bazaul, the ‘Mentholated Menace,’ would like to claim the title of being my arch nemesis, but ‘The Mystique from San Monique,’ Sku ‘le Bizzare, may have something to say about that! How they would dearly love me to be unable to achieve the end of my books, but so far, I have triumphed over their diabolical obstacles.

Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

All I need is a nice smooch from the beautiful Miss Persephone Plumtartt and I am good to go!

I bet that’s the best inspiration there is! Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

Tee, hee! Miss Plumtartt took a picture of me working as I finished up the first novel. Even though I am not looking at the camera, I know that in the photo, my mind is on the book. You cannot really see the little nook I am working in and do all my writing, but that is where I am and what I am doing. I felt it appropriate that this is the picture that I use as my author’s photo and it appears on the back cover of the books. My cat Kitka is looking in the camera and everyone thinks he is the author, not me! sigh. I am tempted to use that as my workspace photo, but instead, Miss Plumtartt has taken a picture of me with the beautiful Miss Bandit. This picture gives a better look at where it all happens.

Kitca and Miss Bandit are both lovely! Now your pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest. Lots of pets there already! Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

No, Ma’am, just Wiki, Miss Plumtartt’s invaluable assistance, and my own eclectic background.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I’m gonna get romantic with Miss Plumtartt! She is starting to get a little antsy…

You do that! Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

Eek! Sorry, Maria, you are moving into a field I know nothing of as I am still very much a newbie. At this time, I am self-published on Amazon only. I am learning the ropes of promotion as I go along. Your ‘5 ways new writers can drive away potential readers‘ article has been a big help, as well as getting to participate in your ‘Calling All Critiques’ event! I am very lucky to have a friend who does my cover silhouettes and another pal who does the graphics. Miss Plumtartt does all the formatting. All I do is the writing and the promotion.

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Uhb. I wish I did. I have learned, I think, that it is better to develop a few good contacts, than lots of half-hearted contacts, as far as self-promotion on Facebook is concerned. Spamming is a turn off.

Is steampunk/paranormal the genre you will brand yourself with or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

At this time, I cannot see myself doing anything but Steampunk/Paranormal. I am having too much fun! I cannot say what the future may hold, as a little over a year ago, I had never written so much as a grocery list, and now I have all these silly books! I’m a pantser as far as future plans are concerned.

Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?

Yes, Ma’am! Here is my Amazon author’s page:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Ichabod%20Temperance&search-alias=books

Thank you, Ichabod, and best of luck with your current project!

Thank you, Maria! You, your blog, and your wonderful friends have been a tremendous help to me!

Cheers!

Your pal,

~Ichabod.

Black Rook by Kelly Meade (Paranormal romance) – Review

Black Rook, Cornerstone Run Trilogy #1

By Kelly Meade

Available July 15th from Intermix

ISBN 9780698165441

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Penguin | BAM

GoodReads

My Review

Brynn plucks up courage she doesn’t have to enter a loup garou town. The charmed pendant hanging around her neck helps as it covers her Magus smell. Because if the man she intends to stop from killing her father takes a whiff of her true scent, then she’s dead meat!

But killing a handsome loup on his turf to show to her demeaning father that she’s worthy to be called his daughter and save his life, proves to be a lot more difficult than she thought. Especially when she finds out first-hand that the loup are hardly animals, as she was brought up to believe, and definitely not the villains in an impending war that could lead to their extermination.

Rook is the third son of the run’s alpha, but as a black wolf he’s entitled to take his father’s place instead of his older brother who’s been training his entire life for leadership. Falling for a Magus and mating her will instantly banish any plans to become the leader. Does she mean that much to him and, most importantly, can he trust his enemy when his world is falling apart?

Although I’ve been on a paranormal hiatus lately, and I’m not a big werewolf fan, I enjoyed this book. Not much emphasis is laid on the actual shifting and animal form of the loup, but Kelly Meade manages to seep their human form with all the loup traits that give them their distinct behavior—from natural aggressiveness, distrust, loyalty and team-spirit to the acute sense of smell and the mouth-watering physique you’d expect of a loup garou.

Their physical differences from the Magi, the ancient, tall, slim and pale creatures, led to inevitable racism that turned to hatred when the loup numbers kept increasing. Without wanting to give away too much of the plot, the element of eugenics with a military intent, creating deadly killing machines, is part of the story and that in itself held great interest. Let’s just say that vampires are thought upon as pawns, but they develop their own lethal agenda.

Initially, the story was quite slow building as a number of characters with backstories had to be introduced, but the impending clash with the conflicts, twists and culminating drama towards the end compensates. There were parts especially where the vampires were involved that had me devouring the pages! Another aspect that’s worth mentioning is that the romance takes the back seat here. It’s slow and tentative with an explosive climax (pun intended) but it’s not the main driver in this multi-faceted story.

Clashing races, preternatural skills, power struggles, an intricate plot and a love that grows strong are the elements of this promising new series.

For a hearty excerpt, read the book’s first chapter as presented in my excerpts’ blog here.

Author Bio

Raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, Freddy Krueger and “Fear Street” novels, Kelly Meade developed a love for all things paranormal at a very young age. The stealthy adolescent theft of a tattered paperback from her grandmother’s collection of Harlequins sparked an interest in romance that has continued to this day.

Black Rook is the first novel in her Cornerstone Run series, a paranormal romance trilogy from Berkley Intermix that also includes Gray Bishop and White Knight. It follows three loup garou brothers who will do anything to protect their town, their family, and the secret of their existence—and maybe fall in love in the process.

Writing as Kelly Meding, Three Days to Dead is the first book in her Dreg City urban fantasy series. The series follows Evangeline Stone, a paranormal hunter who is resurrected into the body of a stranger and has only three days to solve her own murder and stop a war between the city’s goblins and vampires. Additional books in the series, As Lie the DeadAnother Kind of Dead, and Wrong Side of Dead, are available in both digital format and mass market paperback from Bantam. Book five, Requiem for the Dead, is available digitally through all platforms.

Trance begins the story of the grown-up children of the world’s slaughtered superheroes who receive their superpowers back after a mysterious fifteen-year absence, and who now face not only a fearful public, but also a vengeful villain who wants all of them dead. Trance and Changeling are available now in both digital format and mass market paperback from Pocket Books. Tempest and Chimera are available in digital format only via Pocket Star. All four MetaWars books can also be purchased as a digital bundle.

LINKS

Website: http://www.kellymeding.com

Blog: http://chaostitan.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KellyMeding

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelly-Meding/84164375745

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kellymeding

Tumblr: http://kellymeade.tumblr.com

 

 

 

The 4 elements of a click-worthy title

golden 100

Hurrah! This is my 100th blog post, so I thought I’d apply myself a little more with a shareable post!

Back to the title of the post: I tried what I preach with it. (Okay, aiming for a pun, I almost wrote “Headlines: your head is in the line”, which would be a tad over-reaching.) Nevertheless, the point is that if the title of your post, article or even your tweet is blah no one will turn their head your way (there I go again). I might lack experience, but I always count on my instinct and empathy skills. So, in order to turn the headline “skimmer” into an actual reader of my content, I try to think beyond of a summary of what my post contains. I try to create a title that resonates and attracts.

But if we were to put that in a title how would it read?

As the excellent article on copyblogger, entitled Writing Headlines That Get Results suggests, one of The Four U’s of writing headlines is Be Useful To The Reader. Before choosing a title, think: What will the reader gain from reading it? I tried this with my “5 Ways New Writers Chase Away Potential Readers” blog post which has proved to be my most successful so far with over 1,000 views in two days and 70+ comments (okay, there’s also spam I have yet to delete–but a spam-attracting post is a successful post!). I’m not a big name. I don’t have impressive credentials. So, if so many people made it to my actual blog, they must have clicked on the title after seeing it on some of the social media platforms I use, or (most likely) through retweets by friends with a bigger following.

I hope I’ve managed to convince you that the title was definitely catchy and click-worthy. What made it so?

  • It starts with a number. 5 ways. A number always presents something concrete. That’s always appealing. But it’s also a low number. I’ve often come across headlines boasting of showing you “50 ways” to overcome an obstacle. Way too many ways for the impatient reader! Can I tell you a secret? My 5 ways article refers to a lot more than five erroneous tactics new writers tend to follow. But I rounded these up into 5 broad categories, which allowed me to use the number “5” instead of a bigger number which might have discouraged people from taking the time to read. In other words: Be succinct.
  • It brands the target audience. 5 ways new writers. New writers were indeed the majority of the readers of this post, but also experienced writers were interested, as they wanted to see if they had followed these tactics themselves when they started out. In other words: Be focused.
  • It hits the target audience were it hurts–excuse the poignancy, but “chasing away potential readers” is the one thing a new writer would want to avoid at all costs. The whole idea of self-publishing and promoting your book is to “attract” as many readers as possible. And here I am, telling you that you might be doing the exact opposite! Wouldn’t that intrigue you to see if I’m right? (Of course, the idea that I might be seen as overstepping my boundaries since I’m not published worried me, so I started the article by clarifying that I was writing from a seasoned reader’s perspective.) In other words: (Don’t be afraid to…) Be evocative.
  • It ends with a lollipop! – “potential readers”, to writers, are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We want them! We want them all! So anything that refers to them, we usually read. In other words: Be appealing. Use sensory words and newfangled terms. If you can’t come up with any, read more edgy romance. Those ladies are surely creative!(Where do you think “click-worthy” came from?) 🙂

So, that was the anatomy of my top title in terms of “clickability” based on WordPress statistics. Combine the above with the Four U’s of the copyblogger article, and see what you can come up with yourselves!

Also, I hope I gave you an idea of “repurposing content”! Until I come up with anything remotely as popular, I thought I’d bring my older post to the surface again! What!? Not everybody has read it! 😉

Read the other three U’s of writing headlines on Brian Clark’s site:

Writing Headlines That Get Results

Any further insight on how to create magnetic headlines? Use the comment form!

 

Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins (Review)

Blurb

A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire sucking the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs–not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.

My Review

When doctorate student and bride-to-be, Elle Dupree, comes home one Monday evening, the last thing she expects is to kill a vampire. She had good reason though: he sucked her fiancé dry.

The next thing Elle knows is that she’s on the fast track to become a vampire slayer. She joins a team of vampire hunters employed by her fiance’s boss who has his own dark agenda. But Elle is more worried about her ex’s agenda as it turns out he’s not entirely dead, and he drags her into a nocturnal, sickeningly alluring world of unnatural beauty and nauseating vices that can seriously mess with a human’s head … and blood pressure.

Margo Bond Collins does a great job in this action-packed urban fantasy. Her writing is lean, and nothing feels out of place. The upbeat tempo is kept throughout the book, and that helped me stomach the gory scenes because a couple of time they toyed with my limits.

In fact, that’s the element that surprised me and not in an all positive manner. The title and official blurb had prepared me for a vampiric read on the lighter side, but this one was gruesome at times. Elle turns into such a vampire hater, she even resorts to sadism. To be honest, I’m not so sure I sympathized with her aims. After all, the vampires really did not do anything they weren’t asked to do, and then she goes after them guns blazing so, naturally, they react the only way the can to defend their, well, existence. I do admit, though, that this could be subjective. Ahh, vampires: old loves die hard… (literally).

But apart from sort of rooting for the vamps instead of the heroine, I must say I enjoyed this read—especially the clever writing.

Make sure you enter the giveaway for goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

 

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

 

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Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net

Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

Be sure to add Legally Undead to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366353-legally-undead

1fe55-fabreads-blogger-banner

 

 

S. L. Saboviec – WIP Interview

SL Saboviec - Head Shot - SmallI met Samantha through our recent cross-blog critique event. Apart from a participant blogger she also coordinated the entire thing, and I was impressed both by her writing and her coordinating skills. Next logical step was to invite her over for a WIP interview through which we’ll get to know her and her work process better.

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I’m the author of the recently released fantasy novel, Guarding Angel, which came out in May.

Samantha, thank you for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself?

When I was a child, I loved reading and, when very young, decided to try my hand at writing. I wrote my way through high school, but being too practical and focused on what would give me an income instead of what I love, I decided to study my second love—science—instead of my first love—writing. When I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, I’d had enough of school and took a job at a bank as an assistant on technology projects. For ten years, I’ve worked in banking project management, but my first love remains writing. A couple years ago, I decided to vehemently, seriously, rambunctiously pursue a career in writing, and that’s how Guarding Angel came to be published.

What are you working on right now?

I have two projects underway. I’ve written and done the first revision of a dark urban fantasy novel with the working title The Exorcist’s Assistant. It’s with CP’s now, and I plan on doing another revision toward the end of summer and then querying. Tagline: A woman harassed by a demon enlists the aid of a doubting exorcist and discovers its connection to her past life and its hunger for her wife and daughter.

The second project is the sequel to Guarding Angel, called Reaping Angel. It’s the second of three books in the Fallen Redemption series. So as not to spoil too much of the first book, I’ll be vague: Angel Enael, main character of the first book, must meet the demands of Heaven’s governing Council of Seraphim for her past transgressions while struggling with interference from a now-demon love interest from her past.

Dark fantasy turning midnight black! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

Right now, I’m delighted with the pace of my writing, but for the first half of the year, I was not. I’m currently 7.5 months pregnant, and the pregnancy made it difficult for me to write for a variety of reasons. I had originally planned to have Reaping Angel written by March … then May … Then I just wanted to hide in a hole because I’d only gotten about a quarter of it done. However, this month I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been keeping up with and even exceeding my goal of 2,000 words most days. When I was writing The Exorcist’s Assistant, I found that same word count to be a good goal for both writing and revising. I work best under pressure with a daily goal and a deadline.

Plotter, pantser or both?

Both. Guarding Angel was written totally pantsy, but I had to go back and do a lot of revisions. I started Exorcist’s Assistant that way and it went nowhere. I originally didn’t want to be confined by a plot, but once I caved and tried it when I got stuck, I found that’s my method. One of the reasons I was so frustrated with myself with Reaping Angel was because the chapter-by-chapter plot was written last November. All I had to do was actually write the thing! Now that I’m underway, things change and evolve in a pantsy way. I discover new secrets, plot twists, and back story to my characters every day, while still guiding them along the general plot I’m aiming for.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

Allowing myself to believe that I’m not feeling it. What does that even mean, anyway? I find that when I go back and reread what I’ve written, it doesn’t matter if I wrote on a day where my brain was bursting with ideas or on a day when I felt like my muse had a hangover. It reads with the same voice, the same inspiration. (Which isn’t to say that everything is gold; it’s just that the good stuff and bad stuff come in equal quantities whether I was feeling it or not.) All I need to do is sit my butt in a chair and get those words out. I know I have to revise, so slogging, for me, is not a reason to stop and wait for a better moment.

Hear hear! Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

The reason I decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo was because I am a bit terrified of what’s going to happen when the baby comes, since it’s our first. I find revising easier—like shaping clay into a finished statue. If I didn’t have a draft of Reaping Angel written, when was I going to do the most difficult part—getting that clay out of the recesses of my brain and onto paper? Maybe I’ll have a ton of time and motivation when I’m on maternity leave. Or maybe I won’t feel at all like writing because the baby will need my attention constantly. I didn’t want to chance not having something.

Good thinking! Those little ones are a blessing, but they can seriously mess up with the best of your intentions! Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

I have a great setup in the basement with two big monitors and an L-shaped desk. Previous to the pregnancy, I found it inviting and inspirational, but now, it feels like a torture device because the desk chair isn’t exactly top-of-the-line. That was an impediment for awhile, so now I just fluff up half a dozen pillows on my couch and write on my tiny laptop that I originally purchased to go into my purse so I could write on the train commute. If I have an idea while sitting in front of the TV, I just pick up my laptop and plop it in. And it’s easier to get motivated to write because I don’t dread the actual sitting part anymore.

Very cozy! I love it! Now it’s pinned in my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest! Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I used Scrivener, which I love for drafting and revising. It’s more difficult once I get feedback from my editors because I have to manually make all the changes. However, I’m a perfectionist and I have to scrutinize everything before I allow it in, so it works for me. I also use dictionary.com and thesaurus.com—for inspiration. Piece of writing advice: If you didn’t already know the word, don’t use it. Your editor, if she’s worth her salt, will magically know, tsk at you, and make you cut it. And not only her—your readers will know. If you’re not comfortable with the language you use, your writing will seem awkward.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I’ve been throwing around the idea of starting a new game of Spore or the Sims 3. I am a gamer, but I haven’t played anything in quite a while. My husband and I are the ultimate nerds—we met on an MMO, Star Wars: Galaxies, in 2006. I don’t have time for MMO’s right now, but a fun one-player game is something I’ve been missing lately. Maybe I’ll even splurge on something I don’t already own.

A gamer who writes demon-infested dark fantasy and reviews horror without blinking an eye while pregnant. You’re amazing! Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I outsourced the cover design, which was a really good idea because I’ve had people tell me over and over that the cover is what really sold them on giving my book a try. I also outsourced the editing (developmental, copy editing, and proofreading). Next time, I might try to find a CP or two to trade proofreading services with, since the bulk of the problems are taken care of in the first two editing processes.

I did the book formatting and uploading myself. If you have an aptitude for computer languages, I would suggest using Guido Henkel’s Take Pride in Your eBook Formatting guide to do your own formatting. I’ll probably take less than an hour to do an entire novel now that I’ve done it twice (once for the ARC and once for the final version). I also purchased a paperback template but did the merge/format myself.

The Guarding Angel cover is indeed eye-riveting! Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Talk to people on social media rather than spamming book links. Always have something on the go (another interview or guest appearance on a blog). Set a goal for how many book review bloggers per week you’ll contact and stick to it: send out lots of review copies because reviews are how you get people’s attention on both Amazon and Goodreads. And start early—a month beforehand at least, start contacting bloggers with your ARC. Then you have a strong release if you have a handful of reviews for people to see on your release day.

Your blog is http://www.saboviec.com/reviews/. Do you follow a specific branding pattern with your posts or is it a free writing platform?

I struggled with what to blog about for months. I decided to do book reviews of speculative fiction books, since those are what I read. I believe in the idea, from a philosophical perspective, since reviews are what indie writers need to get noticed and I truly enjoy helping the community.

The toughest part is saying no. First to requests, since I can’t possibly read every book in the world. Second, to not over-rating books that I didn’t enjoy, since I pride myself on being honest. It’s tempting to just say, “Yeah, this was great,” when I sometimes fear repercussions from authors who don’t take kindly to criticism. I suspect that the only one-star review I got of Guarding Angel came from someone who was offended by a review on my blog, based on the vagueness of the review, the timing of when it went up, and how someone has been methodically down-ranking my reviews for months. Not that I begrudge less-than-stellar reviews: If that’s really how someone feels, that’s fine! I’m actually surprised I haven’t yet offended some people with the spiritual ideas presented in Guarding Angel yet.

Reviewing can be quite dodgy. Is dark fantasy the genre you will brand yourself with or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

I can’t see myself writing outside the speculative fiction genre, but I have an idea of a science fiction novel that I plan on writing after I get further along on Reaping Angel and Exorcist’s Assistant.

Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?

Kindle US: http://amzn.to/1jTRde0
Kindle Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00K6ZM372
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/guarding-angel
Nook: http://www.bn.com/w/1119467162?ean=2940149496204
Paperback (Amazon): http://amzn.to/1vjDguz
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1gby7f7

My website: http://www.saboviec.com

Thank you, Samantha, and best of luck with your Reaping Angel!

Thanks for having me on the blog!

 

Checked by Jennifer Jamelli

We all call our little fixations a case of OCD, but actually living with it? Well, Callie does, performing about a million different rituals just to be able to function and get by. Get to know Callie and her quirks in Checked, a comedic NA romance brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. This is a juicy post with a book excerpt plus sample blog posts by Jennifer Jamelli, the writer, who has received treatment for OCD herself. A very unique suggestion!

Book & Author Details:

Checked by Jennifer Jamelli
(Checked #1)
Publication date: December 17th 2013
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Checked is the first book in a new trilogy.

Callie spends countless hours staring at appliances to make sure they are really unplugged. She wastes obscene amounts of time checking for murderers in various corners of her house and entire sleepless nights performing pointless checking rituals. Then every spare minute is filled with inspecting doorknobs, chairs, floors, etc. for minuscule traces of germs. Oh, and she does all of this as she counts to three over and over again in her head. She does this every day. Without fail. Dr. Blake just doesn’t fit into her schedule. Until he does. Until Callie begins to trust him. Until she starts to need him. And want him. And . . .

Excerpt

Calista. That quiet voice pulls me around yet again.

I freeze. He’s looking at me. Sorrowful eyes…heavy…inconsolable. A tragedy in blue.

I can’t look away. I begin to feel a dull ache in my left side. {Damien Rice fills my head with “The Blower’s Daughter.”}

His eyes hold mine. They are relentless. The sharpening pain in my side weighs me down, cementing my shoes to their place on the floor. My lips part slightly as my body tries to remember to breathe.

In slow motion almost, he releases me, closing his eyes and clenching them shut. The blue eyes that open back up to me are hard, stony.

He swiftly spins his chair to grab the box of tissues on his bookshelf. Without meeting my eyes, he turns back around and holds the box out to me.

To help you out of here, he says in an almost inaudible voice. What?

Th-thank you, I stammer. I clutch my purse and take six slow steps toward his desk. Three steps at a time. One two three. One two three.

He stares past me, blankly looking at the door. I pull three white tissues from the box he’s holding and turn back to his point of focus. When I get to the silver doorknob, I quickly cover it with the three tissues spread out in my left hand.

And I’m out.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20261875-checked?ac=1

Purchase:
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AUTHOR BIO
Jennifer Jamelli has spent most of her life reading and writing; she holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English, and she is an 8th grade English teacher.

She also directs a musical production each school year. Her most recent show was Beauty and the Beast.

Jennifer lives with her husband and her four-year-old son.

She, like the main character in her debut novel, has a rather hopeless case of OCD.

Author links:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7692031.Jennifer_Jamelli
https://www.facebook.com/jamellijennifer
http://jenniferjamelli.com/
https://twitter.com/JenniferJamelli

Jennifer Jamelli Blog Posts

Blog #1

I would like to take a moment to reflect upon the power of the following:  Zoloft, various cleaning products, and a mother’s love for a child.

Last night, my son threw up everywhere – on me, all over the couch, all over a blanket, on the hallway/living room carpet, on a bathroom mat, etc.  The items listed above are what carried me through this.

To be more specific, here is what got me through this predicament:

  • ½ of a bottle of carpet/fabric cleaner
  • ¾ of a can of Lysol wipes
  • 1 ½ bottles of Febreze
  • 1 bottle of carpet refresher
  • 1 package of baby wipes
  • 2 showers for me
  • 2 showers for my son
  • Several cups of laundry detergent
  • Lots of shower gel/bath soap
  • 1 regular daily dose of Zoloft
  • Most importantly, 1 happy, healthy smile on my son’s face this morning as he told me that he was feeling better

Now, there have been some casualties.

1.) The white blanket I normally have on the couch – it was my favorite … but it had to go.

2.) Two bath poufs

The fate of a bath mat, a stuffed animal, and a few pairs of clothes has not yet been determined.

Blog #2

All right . . . now that Checked has been out for a bit and more and more people are reading it (thank you!), I am getting more and more questions.

Do you do exactly what Callie does?  How much of this is true?

Are you having some sort of relationship with one of your doctors (seriously – heard that one!!)?  No!!

Okay . . . the book is a piece of fiction.  Callie’s life experiences and relationships are not mine.  I’m not Callie.

I’m not Callie, but . . .

I do spend a lot of time doing routines (much less since I’ve been treated, though).

I do check air vents and alarm clocks and door locks and stoves and curling irons and water faucets and, well, a lot of things.

I do like things to be clean.

I do count in my head.

I often take a few baths a day.

I am afraid of some cleaning products.

I do have music constantly running in my head.

I do throw things out if I find them dirty.

I did study English in college and in grad school (and I did spend hours and hours in college reading novels and writing papers).

I do fall asleep with the television on every night (but I have ESPN on – not a cooking channel).

I do at times check for murderers before I go to bed.

I do have a really supportive family  (We don’t have Girls’ Night, though.  Perhaps we should!).

I do hate blood . . . and needles (HATE them.  I pass out during blood tests – they have to put me in a special chair in a special room with special cartoon decorations that must be intended for two-year-olds!).

Okay . . . so Callie and I have a lot in common.  Same quirks.  Similar fears.  Alike minds.

Different lives, though!  Seriously!

Blog #3

Well, it’s Wednesday night, and I’m just about ready to go to sleep.  I just went through my house a few times, worked my way through my evening rituals . . . holding my fingers under every faucet to ensure that no water was running, inspecting every air vent for any blockages, putting my hand in the oven and on the stove to make sure they weren’t on (and if you are asking yourself whether I even used the oven or stove today, the answer is no) . . . and the list goes on.  And on.  And on.  And that’s only my night routine.  Not the one I do in the morning.  Not the one I do every time I leave the house.

But we aren’t here to talk about me or my routines; we’re supposed to be talking about Callie, the main character in Checked.  And Callie is in much, MUCH worse shape than I am in right now (I’ve been under treatment for OCD for about seven years – Callie is just starting).

Callie’s routines are very structured, very complicated, and VERY long.  She vacuums, dusts, straightens, and organizes.  She checks appliances, faucets, locks – everything in her house – over and over.   Every task she does, she has to do in a specific order.  If she messes up or is interrupted, she has to start all over again.

Her life is exhausting.  And frustrating.  And overwhelming.

What makes all of this even worse?  Callie knows that what she is doing is ridiculous.  She’s also embarrassed by it.  But she can’t help it.  She has to keep doing each task, going through with each routine.  Otherwise she won’t be able to sleep, or eat, or work, or do anything at all – she’ll just drown in worries that something horrible will happen because of her negligence.

There’s much more to say about this – about Callie and her condition – but I’ll save that for future blog entries.  I also will soon tell you a little more about her obsession with Dr. Blake . . .

For now, though, I’m going to sleep.  I’m going to post this tomorrow, because I’m already in bed . . . and if I get up now to get my laptop (I’m writing in a notebook), I’ll have to start my night routine again . . .

 

The Obsidian Collection – Book Blitz

Dark-love certainly holds appeal! Yet another great collection brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. You can read the synopses, all authors’ bios, watch the trailer and read two tantalizing excerpts. If you live in the US or Canada, scroll down and enter the Giveaway for a Kindle Fire HD!

THE OBSIDIAN COLLECTION

Nine authors. Nine dark-love novellas.

The wicked have never looked so good…

SYNOPSES

Obsidian Escape by Rebel Adams
Just one look at the battered form of Whitney Geddings awakens a fierce protective instinct in Detective Jackson Ogden…but at what price?

Obsidian Liquor by Scarlett Dawn
Reporter, Elizabeth Forter, never expected one drunken challenge to leave her sexually satisfied and waking beside Daniil – the head of the Russian mafia.

Obsidian Faith by Bev Elle
Shanice Bailey’s epic faith in Trevor Kyle, the man she’s loved since they were both wards at the Baptist Children’s Home, is shaken when his sketchy foster father shows up on their honeymoon.

Obsidian Heart by Nicole Flockton
Will Erika’s holiday fling with Brandt bring him out of the shadows, or is his heart destined for darkness?

Obsidian Sky by Lara Henley
When military man, Brandon Michaels, comes home to a town he no longer recognizes, his salvation may rest in Arabella Knight, a woman who has secrets that no one knows.

Obsidian Ice by Missy Johnson
Medical intern Cam Fletcher knew becoming a surgeon would be hard work, but what he wasn’t counting on was falling for his mentor – cocky surgeon Eric Langdon.

Obsidian Jewel by Angel Lawson
Professional thieves, competitors, and occasional lovers, Maya Clarke and Malcolm Kent, must work together for the job of a lifetime and try not to kill one another while doing it.

Obsidian Desire by t.h. snyder
Can one chivalrous act change Tyler Jones, a coldhearted man, or will desire burn through his soul and change him forever?

Obsidian Beauty by Emily Walker
Out of jail and finally ready to confront the man who left her there to rot, Abigail Rivers is upset to learn Benton Sellers has moved on with no regard for the sacrifices she has made for him.

AUTHORS

Rebel Adams is writer and lover of good prose, better cigars, well-aged whiskey and fine women– and not always in that order.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave. She lives in the Midwest, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in melted cheese.

Website | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Bev Elle is the author of sweet and spicy, contemporary romance. She’s a lover of books–those already written, and those she harbors in her very active imagination. Writing is a passion she’s had for many years, but was unable to act upon. Until now. Bev Elle is the mother of three human children and two canines. She is also the lover of one husband. When Bev isn’t writing in her spare time after work, she is thinking of doing so.

Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

Nicole Flockton is an Australian living in Texas. Nicole writes sexy contemporary romances which seduce you one kiss at a time. She enjoys taking two characters and creating unique situations for them. When she’s not busy writing, she’s attempting to keep up with two active children and a busy husband.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Lara Henley is originally from Oklahoma, but has lived in several places. She began writing in 2009 when she had a dream about a little girl traveling with her grandmother. That is how Jessie Discovers Christmas was born. She then ventured into YA and adult romance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Marketing and a Masters in Administrative Leadership. She loves all things creative and aspires to have a fulltime writing career.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Missy Johnson in a small town in Central Victoria, Australia, with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who think she’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog…you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Angel Lawson lives with her family in Atlanta and has a lifelong obsession with creating fiction from reality, either with paint or words. On a typical day you can find her writing, reading, plotting her escape from the zombie apocalypse and trying to get the glitter out from under her nails. She is the author of five books, including the Wraith Series, Serial Summer, FanGirl, and Vigilant. She is the co-author of the New Adult Paranormal book, Odin’s Murder with Kira Gold.

Website | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

t.h. snyder is a 34 y/o single mom of two amazing kids. She lives in Central PA where she works full time for a local business/technical school. Writing wasn’t something she ever thought she’d be doing, but here she is. t. h. snyder started reading like a nut after Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. Since then she’s read over 300 romance and paranormal books. In June of 2013, she decided to try her go at writing. She had a vision and went with it….hence Touch Me. To date she’s published 6 books and now 2 anthologies…The Touch Series (NA Romance), Pierced Love (YA Romance), Cursed Love, Cursed #1 (Erotic Romance), My Dirty Little Valentine, and the Obsidian Collection.

Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

Emily Walker loves creating worlds and stumbling around in them. She is constantly losing her chap-stick, and has an obsession with the color pink. Currently a resident of the mountains and loving the view, she writes mostly paranormal fiction and horror. Her small family consists of her red bearded other half, a rat terrier named Rebel, and a cat named Mr. Creepy.

Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

BOOK TRAILER

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://ow.ly/yndK7
Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/yndHN
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/ynb9j
iTunes: http://ow.ly/yv14r
Kobo: http://ow.ly/ynedZ
CreateSpace: http://ow.ly/yne9b
Scribd: http://ow.ly/yv1eI
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Amazon Paperback: http://ow.ly/ynb34

 

THE OBSIDIAN COLLECTION

Excerpts

OBSIDIAN LIQUOR by Scarlett Dawn

Daniil peered at me.  His stare was a warning.  “What were you doing, Ms. Forter?”

So he did know who I was.  The jerk had probably followed me after I had bumped him.

I shrugged and went with the semi-truth.  “Getting a story.”

“What story might that be?” Stash asked, his gaze roaming me in an assessing way.  We had never met before, so this was my first up close and personal with the man.

I shrugged again.  “Brent and Cole are big news.  Anything that I can put in print that others don’t have is good business.” Sticking to the truth as much as possible was always key when caught snooping.  And I was press.  They expected it of me.

“Hear anything interesting?” Daniil asked gently.

Instinct had me taking a step back.  The man was chilling on a different level.  “Nothing I didn’t already know.”

OBSIDIAN BEAUTY by Emily Walker

The bar was pretty much what she imagined, but it had a warm feeling to it. The bartender was a middle-aged woman with an appealing smile; the kind of person you wanted to tell your troubles to and see if she could impart some wisdom on you. At least that was what Abigail was thinking as she took a seat on a bar stool.

“Let me guess, you saw an ex today and he or she was looking good?” The bartender certainly didn’t beat around the bush. Wow, talk about intuition.

“Something like that.” Abigail smiled and grabbed a menu to have something to look at instead of the woman who could read her so well.

“Honey, the food here is shit; you don’t want any of that. You like whiskey?” Abigail was shocked someone would talk about their own restaurant’s food that way, but she nodded.

“I’m Abigail. I just arrived into town today. You were right; he was looking good, and I want to kill him.” She watched the bartender pour her a shot and a second shot, which she assumed, was for herself. She was pretty, and Abigail could tell she had been a knockout when she was younger. Some lines were starting to form around her eyes, but her high blonde ponytail kept a youthful glow about her.

“Stella Moet, my husband owns Moet’s, but the cook we have is pitiful. That’s why I wouldn’t eat here until we found a better one. Slim pickings in this town, you know.” Stella set both shots in front of Abigail and winked. “One for luck and one for drunk.”

Abigail smiled as Stella went off to help some other patrons at the end of the bar. She liked how nice everyone seemed to be in South Carolina. In Florida, it was hit or miss, and up north, no one was friendly, especially when they were hustling in New York. New Yorkers could tell when someone wasn’t from New York, and they let you know it.

She was totally lost in her thoughts and didn’t notice someone had settled onto the stool beside her. Finally when her eyes met the man who appeared beside, her she couldn’t help but notice him. He was handsome and she actually thought she could feel herself being pulled into his kind, vibrant green eyes. She wanted to say something clever about staring at strangers, but when she opened her mouth, that wasn’t what came out.

“Hi there,” she said, immediately hating herself. Who says that?

“Hi yourself. I’ve not caught your eye in this place before. Are you new to town?” For a minute, she debated on telling him her real reason for being there. What the hell was wrong with her, two seconds of eye contact and she wanted to spill the beans?

“Yes, I just got in today, actually. Do you know of any hotels nearby which aren’t too crappy and take a credit card?” He raised an eyebrow, causing his eyes to crinkle a bit and she felt a little pulse go through her as he bit his lip in thought. She really needed to get it together. It had been awhile, but she was pretty sure before prison a man couldn’t affect her like this at first glance. Well, that wasn’t true. Benton had. Handsome green eyes were talking, and as usual, her thoughts were causing her to miss out.

“So, I can take you there if you want?” The stranger told her. Abigail nodded, not sure what she was agreeing to. Hoping it was an escort to a decent hotel, she signaled Stella for two more shots. The first two had gone down quite well; this time she had a drinking buddy.

“Now, deputy, don’t be turning your charm on my new friend here.” The man turned to Stella and gave her a grin. Even his teeth were perfect, staring at them it dawned on her what Stella said. He was a cop! She needed to get away from him before he found out what she was planning.

“I’m Scott,” he said, holding his hand out to her. She took it timidly, which wasn’t like her at all.

“Abigail, Abigail Rivers, I just got out of prison.” Why the hell did she say that? There was no good reason to say something like that to a cop, and especially a good-looking cop she just met. “I mean it feels like I just got out of prison.”

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