Monday, December 31, 2012

Witch's Nocturne Release and Happy New Year!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hello and Happy New Year!

It's great to be back in blog land after taking a break for Christmas. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

I can't think of a better way to get back to blogging than by helping spread the word about EJ Wesley's newest release, Witch's Nocturne. Congratulations to EJ! Witch's Nocturne is the second book in his Moonsongs series and I know it will be another great read.

I wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year, and I'll see you all on Wednesday for the first Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting of 2013!

Now on to Witch's Nocturne:


After receiving an ancient tribal journal from her grandfather, Jenny is sent on a mission of discovery in an attempt to unravel clues to her family's monster hunting past. The journey becomes more than academic when she is asked to confront a coven of dangerous witches who plan to cast an insidious spell on the plains of West Texas. 

Witch's Nocturne is the second of the Moonsongs Books, a series of New Adult, paranormal-horror-action novelettes--with a Texas twist--by author E.J. Wesley


My fingers tapped out an excited, tuneless rhythm on the steering wheel as I drove Beauty, my licorice black 4x4 truck, across town. Maybe the sudden change in the weather and the influx of warm, November sunshine brightened the gorgeous day and my spirits in equal measure. Or maybe, God help me, I was happy to be on my way to see Marshal again. Regardless, I couldn’t recall the last time a day held so much hope, like I’d been given a cheat code for infinite possibilities.

“How’s life?” Marshal asked, foisting himself into the cab of the truck.

He placed a brown, leather satchel between his feet on the floorboard. Marshal stared at me over the top of a pair of oversized, mirrored sunglasses. Combined with the plaid shorts, flip flops and pink polo shirt with a crocodile on it, he appeared to be beach ready. Or headed to a photo shoot for a store I wouldn’t be caught dead in.

“Fast.” I grinned and revved the engine.

He gave me a worried look, rushing to buckle his seatbelt. “You can’t afford another ticket.”

“Relax, Mr. Public Safety. I was kidding. Mostly. Where we headed?”

He patted the saddlebag between his legs. “I’ve gone through everything in here fifty times and have more questions than when I started. I wanted to go to the college library, try to learn more about your grandfather's tribe. Find some language books.” 
“So, we go to the library and learn about the tribe and the journal. Shouldn't be too hard. Texas is chock full of Native American history. I imagine there'll be lots of stuff on the Apache at a big university.”

Marshal shook his head, his spiky blond hair staying perfectly still.

“It won’t be that easy. Apache was a catchall term given to several tribes. They were nomads. Historians had a devil of a time trying to keep track of any one group—not to mention they weren't exactly friendly to outsiders. The name Apache was given to most of the warring, wandering tribes in the area.”

“Knew my cuddly personality couldn’t be all my own doing. How’ll we know which specific tribe Gramps belonged to?”

I turned onto the state highway that would lead us to Lubbock. It'd take us about an hour to get there, assuming there was no traffic. By traffic I meant some old farmer taking up both lanes of the highway with his tractor.

Marshal pulled the journal from the bag and flipped open the front cover. He held the book up, pointing to the inside corner.

“I think it's this.”

The word Navezgane had been branded into the leather.

“Cool. Wonder what it means?”

I started to make a joke about the word hopefully not translating to Squats-in-Woods or something. One glance at Marshal’s troubled face told me I was going to like the real name a lot less. 

“I looked it up online. The word means killer of monsters.


~Witch's Nocturne is available now~

Amazon     Smashwords (ePub & PDF)


~Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Book 1, is also available~

Amazon (Free to borrow for Amazon Prime members.)

(Note: These stories contain some language and content better suited for mature readers.)

~About the Author~

E.J. lives in South Texas. He likes his words and food spicy, and tries to give a little extra 'kick' to the stories he writes. He enjoys reading horror, sci-fi, YA, MG, New Adult--basically anything with words. In true Texas fashion, E.J. is very neighborly, and welcomes you to say 'howdy' at:

Goodreads     Twitter     Facebook     Blog

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WWW Wednesday and Merry Christmas!

WWW Wednesday is hosted each week by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next? 
 After the craziness of NaNo in November, I've been catching up on reading during December and have read some books by writer buddies I've met here in the blogosphere. So I thought this weekly meme would be a great chance to help spread the word about these fantastic writers and their equally fantastic books.

What are you currently reading? 

Wish: The Awakening by Laura Eno

I received a review copy of Laura's book through the Knights of the Round Table group on Goodreads. I've just started it but have no doubt I will love it.

What did you recently finish reading? 

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear by M. Pax

Locked Within by Paul Anthony Shortt

Both of these books get five stars from me! I know both have sequels in the works and that's great news as far as I'm concerned. 

What do you think you'll read next?
I've heard so many great things about this book, I can't wait to read it!  
Thanks as always to MizB for hosting this fun fest! 
This post is it for me until after Christmas, so I want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!  To help get in the Christmas spirit, I'm sharing this video from my all-time favorite Christmas show, A Charlie Brown Christmas. These dancers never fail to make me smile!


Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Astronaut or Writer? Guest Post from Lisa Regan!

Lisa Regan is here today as part of her Finding Claire Fletcher blog tour. I got to read a review copy of Claire Fletcher and, while I knew it was Lisa's debut novel, I never would have believed that while reading it. After a debut this well done, I know that I can't wait to read Lisa's next novels! So it's a treat for me to have Lisa here today and I'm honored to be part of her tour.

Welcome, Lisa!


When I was 9 or 10 I became obsessed with the movie Space Camp and all things related to astronauts. I mean totally obsessed. I watched that movie almost daily. I had books about the space shuttles and posters of the space shuttle on my wall. I thought the space shuttle was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I dug up as much information as I could on the space program and how to become an astronaut. At night, I couldn’t sleep worrying that I would be too short and too near-sighted to become an astronaut. I thought a good place to start would be actually going to space camp. My fifth grade class even collected aluminum soda cans to raise money to send me to space camp. That’s how serious I was about the whole astronaut thing. (In fact, I remember one day in particular when the giant, looming tower of cans in the back of the classroom crashed to the floor, causing quite a clatter!)

Even before my big astronaut dream developed, I had been journaling and writing poetry. And of course I was a voracious reader. My mom developed this ingenious chore system where my brothers and I could earn a seemingly unlimited amount of allowance per week based on how many chores we chose to do. There was a whole range of chores, and you could earn anything between a quarter and a dollar fifty per chore. Your weekly allowance depended entirely on you and how much work you were willing to do. The more work you did, the more money you earned, and at the end of the week, my mom totaled up how much we’d earned and paid each of us. I always picked up as many chores as I could (well I measured it in terms of how many books it would buy me—I always tried to earn enough to buy two books) but instead of putting my money away for Space Camp, I went to the local bookstore and bought as many books as I could get with my allowance that week.

So even though I truly believed that being an astronaut was the dream dearest to my heart, I was unwilling to give up my books for it. During the seemingly interminable time that I was saving up for Space Camp, I wrote countless poems about becoming an astronaut. One day, while I was writing a poem which, as I recall, was cleverly titled “On Becoming an Astronaut” I realized that I didn’t want to be an astronaut at all. I mean if I wanted to become an astronaut, wouldn’t I be boning up on math and science instead of spending all my spare time writing? The writing about becoming an astronaut was more enjoyable and fulfilling to me than the prospect of actually becoming one. So I tossed my astronaut dream out on its head and started writing stories. I was hooked.

I think the writing bug was always in me, I just didn’t realize it till that moment—that specific moment, writing that specific poem. I am not sure that that was the moment I knew I wanted to be a writer. I think it was the moment I knew I was a writer. Certainly that was the moment I gave myself permission to go all in.

After that, I wrote a lot of short stories, a lot of poetry. I kept voluminous journals.  Before I turned eighteen I had written four and a half novels. I still have them all.

Now writing is one of those things that I’ve just always done, and I know it’s one of those things that I’ll always do because no amount of rejection can take away the enjoyment it gives me or diminish how much I love doing it!

What about you?  When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?


As part of the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour (12/6/12 through 12/21/12), Lisa Regan will be giving away the following items:

$25.00 Amazon Gift Card
1 signed copy of the paperback of Finding Claire Fletcher
1 e-book version of Finding Claire Fletcher

All you have to do is visit the Finding Claire Fletcher Blog Tour & Giveaway page on Lisa’s blog which you can find here and comment on that page letting Lisa know whose blog you’ve just come from.  Each commenter will be assigned a number and then the winners will be chosen using  Winners will be announced on 12/24/12!



Newly divorced and with his career in jeopardy, Detective Connor Parks takes solace in the arms of a beautiful woman he meets at a bar. The next morning, Claire Fletcher is gone, leaving nothing behind but an address and a decade-old mystery. The address leads to the Fletcher family home where Claire’s siblings inform Connor that their fifteen-year-old sister was abducted from a city street ten years ago and is presumed dead.

During those ten years, Claire endured the cruel torture and depravity of the man who abducted her. Paralyzed by fear and too ashamed to return to her family, Claire is resigned to her life as Lynn, the identity her abductor forced upon her. Every time she attempts escape or betrays him in the smallest way, someone dies. Even now, her clandestine run-in with Connor Parks may have put his life at risk, as well as the lives of her family.

Connor is convinced that not only is Claire Fletcher alive, but that she is also the woman he met at the bar. Driven to see her again, he begins his own investigation, off the clock and without the police department's consent. He is determined to find her and unravel the mystery of her abduction and odd reemergence. But finding Claire Fletcher proves more dangerous than he anticipates. In fact, it may be deadly.


Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member Sisters In Crime. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.  Her second novel, Aberration, is due out 6/6/13.

Monday, December 17, 2012

U Got the Look Meme

I've been tagged for the U Got the Look meme a few times now and had been meaning to post about it but, as my mind seems to become more scattered each day, I kept forgetting to do it. Last week I was tagged by the wonderful Annalisa Crawford, so I decided to hurry up and do the post before I forgot yet again.

Annalisa was a fellow NaNoWriMo participant this year and decided to use her NaNo project for the meme. She suggested that those she tagged do the same, so I thought that could be a great way for me to get back to my project and start the editing and re-writing I've been putting off since NaNo ended.

If you're not familiar with this meme, the rules are to find the first mention of the word "look" in your manuscript and then post the paragraph(s) surrounding it. I didn't have to go far to find the first use of the word in my ms, as my first "look" was on the second page.

So here is my excerpt from the opening chapter of  The Ghosts of Aquinnah:

“We can’t get to you, boy,” the man yelled. “We’ll sink ourselves.”

Christopher looked down at the currents swirling around the submerged deck of the wrecked ship, and his heart sunk. It was no mystery why the rescuers couldn't come any closer. The currents could easily pick up their boat and slam it into the wreckage.

“Come to us!” The man held up a boat hook. “We’ll get you!”

Christopher knew there was nothing to do but let go and fall into the churning waters. In a way it would be a relief, as he couldn’t hold on to the rigging much longer anyway. He stared at the men in the boat and then glanced back down at the sea. Within seconds, he dropped into the waves below.

Thanks to Annalisa for tagging me! I'm terrible at picking out people to tag as I think it's impossible to choose, so I'm just going to send out a general tag to everyone who comes by here and wants to do the meme. I always love reading everyone's excerpts.

Last week was crazy here as it was the end of the semester at work and I made the terrible mistake of trying to switch to a new internet and cable service at home. At first I thought the switch went very smoothly, but I should have known that was too good to be true. After several heated phone calls, numerous attempts to hook up various wires and cables, and time wasted booting and rebooting modems that didn't work, I ended up going back to the internet I already had. It's safe to say the week was a complete fiasco.

As a result, I ended up taking an unplanned hiatus from the blogosphere and fell way behind on my blog reading, so I'm anxious to get caught up as much as possible this week.

Also, Lisa Regan will be here tomorrow as part of her blog tour for her debut novel Finding Claire Fletcher. Lisa's going to be talking about when she knew she wanted to be a writer. I'm excited to have Lisa here, and I can't recommend her book enough.

I hope everyone had a good weekend and I'm looking forward to catching up with everything I missed last week. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Busy week!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This has been one of the busiest weeks that I can ever remember in the blogosphere. There's been so much going on that it's been even harder than usual to keep up, and this is the first week I've posted every day since the A-Z Challenge in April.

With everything else going on there were a few things I wanted to post about that I didn't get to, so I thought I'd just do a wrap-up post for the end of the week and share what I missed.

First off, Kittie Howard's new book Rings of Trust was released yesterday and is now available on Amazon and Smashwords. Congratulations to Kittie! Kittie is a great writer and I've no doubt that Rings of Trust is a very powerful story. And to make it even better, between now and January 15, Kittie is donating royalties from the book to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. So this is a chance to get a fantastic book while helping a wonderful cause at the same time.

In more book release news, Johanna Garth announced that Losing Hope, the sequel to her excellent book Losing Beauty, will be released on December 17! I read Losing Beauty and really enjoyed it. It's a dark and suspenseful read, and I thought Johanna's modern take on Greek mythology was very creative and interesting. I'm looking forward to getting back to the world of Persephone Campbell. Congratulations to Johanna!

The Writers for Readers project is something I've been meaning to post about for a while now. The wonderful Julie Luek at A Thought Grows came up with the idea after reading about next week's Cheers, Cavanaugh blogfest in honor of everyone's favorite Ninja captain Alex. In recognition of what a generous and giving community the blogosphere is, Julie suggested donating to in order to help get more books to children. As someone who loved nothing more than reading and being read to as a kid, this organization is right up my alley. If you're interested, you can read the details at Julie's blog here.

Last but not least, I just learned about L.G. Keltner's Beginnings Blogfest coming up after the holidays and wanted to help spread the word. L.G. is celebrating the first anniversary of her blog by hosting a fest. It's nice to have something to look forward to during the January doldrums after the holidays, and I know this will be a great blogfest. Click here to learn the details and to sign up.

It's been fun to have such a busy week full of good news and great events here in blog land. I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Writers4Writers, Being Positive, and Finding Claire Fletcher

Today is a big day in blog land, with lots to celebrate. First off, I want to send a special congratulations to Lisa Regan on the release of her fantastic novel Finding Claire Fletcher!!! Woo-hoo, Lisa!!! If you've followed Lisa's blog, you know this has been a long time coming and Lisa has been through lots of writing highs and lows to get to this point. So I couldn't be happier for her that the dream has officially come true today! Plus, I have read Finding Claire Fletcher and it is an excellent read, I highly recommend it. Way to go, Lisa!!!

Also, today is the kick-off for the Writers4Writers Group, which is a new and easy way to support our writer friends and help spread the word about their books. This month's recipient is Nancy Thompson, author of the recently released The Mistaken. Congratulations to Nancy! If you'd like to participate in the group, click here to sign up and to get all the details.

Finally, Sharon Mayhew and Robyn Campbell are throwing a party for Be Positive Day today. It's hard to argue with a day like that, and it came at a great time for me as this has been a primarily negative week for me so far, for reasons that have nothing to do with writing. So there's no time like the present to turn that around and focus on all the positives around me instead. If you want to join in, here's the info from Sharon's page:

The lovely and enthusiastic Roybn Campbell and I decided that we all should celebrate this wonderful day by going on twitter at least once that day and saying something positive followed by #bepositive.  At the end of the #bepositive day, I hope you will friend all the people who joined in and maybe do some retweets to inspire some other people on Twitter.

I hope you will join our positiveness on twitter.

Congratulations again to Lisa and Nancy, and Happy #BePositive Day to everyone! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IWSG: Social Media Insecurities

It's time once again for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month, Livia and Tasha  are helping out as co-hosts. Thanks to all of you for hosting this great group!

I was really excited recently to learn from my publisher that my novel Polar Night is on track to come out in the first few months of 2013. In fact I shouldn't say "was" because I'm still beyond excited about it! But, being the insecure writer that I am I couldn't be excited without allowing some insecurities to break through and try to rain on my parade.

While I know this is a good problem to have since it means my book really is on its way to being released out into the world, I can't help but feel insecure about the marketing and promotion aspects of the publishing process. I know how important that is for any writer and I want to do my best to get the word out about my book.

I also know that we are fortunate to have so many options to help with promotion now thanks to social media. But that's where my insecurity really starts to come in. While I love blogging, I can't say I feel confident or secure in any other aspect of social media. I'm working on it, but to say it doesn't come naturally is an understatement. And I can't deny that sometimes social media feels totally overwhelming to me.

I know many authors use and love Twitter, and I do love to read along on Twitter and keep up with people or things that I like or that interest me. But I liken the experience to how I am in "real life." If I'm at a party or in a group of people in the real world, I'm rarely the one who is talking. I'm generally content to listen in and "lurk." But when you do that in social media, and especially on Twitter, it means you're invisible. And while that's fine if all you want to do is read along and support others, it doesn't cut it if you want to start making connections and getting the word out about your work.

My challenge for myself is to break this habit and start putting myself out there more. I've been saying I'm going to do this for months, and I have made some progress, but I know I still have a long way to go. And I'm feeling totally insecure about it! So that is my vent for this month.

Thanks as always to Alex for creating this supportive forum where we empathize with others who share our insecurities.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nightmare Collection Blog Tour with Cherie Reich

I'm really happy to be hosting my friend Cherie Reich today as part of her blog tour to promote her newest release, The Nightmare Collection. I was lucky enough to get a review copy of The Nightmare Collection and I can tell you that it's a great (and creepy!) read. Cherie is here today to talk about origin stories and, more specifically, the origin story she wrote for the monster who terrorizes the people in The Nightmare Collection.

Take it away, Cherie!


Origin Stories: Every Good Monster Has One

Thank you so much for having me today on your blog, Julie!

The monster in horror movies is mysterious and scarier for its mystery, but people want to know what made the monster a monster. We like to think something happened to them to make them what they are. We need to the explanation to understand. People have created theories about the monsters in literature and in movies ... an origin story, so to speak.

For example, Gaston Leroux wrote The Phantom of the Opera, but Susan Kay told Erik the Opera Ghost’s story from birth until the end in Phantom. Remakes of movies often try to explain why a monster is how he is, such as in the remake of Halloween. True, fans might not always like the explanation, but it’s what people need to know.

In The Nightmare Collection, I decided my monster should have an origin story. I imagined the monster as a child. I knew the creature had longevity, since he once attacked Confederate soldiers almost 150 years earlier, but it wasn’t his origin. And then I saw him in a cage, a sideshow act, a freak show in the late 1840s. A young boy, not yet a teen, getting his first taste of friendship and blood ... hate and love. How a build-up of hatred for his master and an accident culminated in destroying his last visages of humanity.

This origin story is the short story “Nightmare at the Freak Show.”

Do you like reading origin stories?


The Nightmare Collection Information

Book Description:

A legend is hungry tonight.

A child monster will get its first taste of blood in Nightmare at the Freak Show. Four friend will enter the forest on December night, but only one can survive in Once Upon a December Nightmare. Almost ten years after Cassie's December nightmare, the monster awakens to hunt again in Nightmare Ever After.

Publication Date: November 17, 2012

Cover art by Nicemonkey at Cover design by Aubrie Dionne. Bookworm logo for Surrounded by Books Publishing created by Cherie Reich.

Purchase Links for the ebook:

Purchase Links for the print book:

Author Bio:

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies. Her e-books include the horror series Nightmare, a short story collection with authors Aubrie Dionne and Lisa Rusczyk titled The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, the futuristic space fantasy novelette trilogy Gravity, and The Foxwick Chronicles, a series of fantasy stories. She is a member of Valley Writers and the Virginia Writers Club.

Author Links:

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Cherie is giving away prizes to two lucky people. The prize packages are open internationally and include: a signed copy of The Nightmare Collection, a signed copy of Gravity: The Complete Trilogy, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway