11/30/11

The Joys of Discovering a New-to-You Author: G.A. Aiken

Discovering a really good new-to-you author is like finding buried treasure in your back yard. You have to wonder why you didn’t find them sooner. Not to mention the instant case of greed you come down with. “Five books! She has five more books! There goes my Amazon allowance for the next month.” (And yes, I’m that generous with myself.)

I discovered G.A. Aiken not on Amazon as it turns out, but at my local Books-A-Million. There she was, sitting on the top shelf—well at least her books were. Lovely, no-nonsense covers with lovely half-naked men and the word DRAGON in every title. I couldn’t be more captivated. But were her books worth delving past those tempting covers? I’m happy to answer with a resounding yes!

Ms. Aiken has created a fascinating and complex world where dragons and humans co-exist—well, most of the time anyway. From Rhiannon, the white dragon queen, to mad queen Annwyl the Bloody, from Bercelak the Great to Feargus the Destroyer, all of her characters are larger than life and a joy to get to know.

And don’t get me started on her multifaceted dragon culture with its layers of social intrigue. Wars and battles abound, from major conflicts to family tussles—if you call bashing heads and tossing your sibling off the roof a tussle—which the Cadwaladr Clan does.

The other thing I have to mention is the dialogue. If you’ve sat through an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer just to listen to the rapid-fire dialogue, you’ll love these books. Never seen an episode? No problem. Trust me, you’re going to love the quips, zings, and general verbal mayhem which carry the various story lines to their wonderful and often humorous conclusions.

Without hesitation, I give each book a 5 out of 5. Oh, and for all you romance lovers, yeah, they have that, too…in abundance…frequently…as the dragons can shift to human form and waste no time taking naughty advantage of that little trait.

So thank you, Ms. Aiken, for sharing you wonderful imagination with the rest of us. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next Dragon Kin story.

8/5/11

July Blog Tour Winners!

Well, my July blog tour is over. I had lots of fun and got to meet a lot of very nice people. My thanks to everyone who visited, especially those who left a comment. The winner of my blog tour scavenger hunt is Desi, who commented on my blog on Paty Jager’s website. Desi has won a very nice prize basket full of neat goodies including a $25 Amazon gift card, signed copies of both Bloodsworn books, and much more. Congratulations, Desi!

Since my blog on Paty’s site also had the most comments, I drew an extra name for another $25 Amazon card. Congratulations to Marianne!

Thanks also to the kind ladies who hosted me during the tour. Your help in getting the word out about my new book, Bloodsworn II: Linked by Blood, is vastly appreciated. I sincerely hope to return the favor one day soon.

And to my Bloodsworn fans, keep checking here for information on a new Bloodsworn novella coming soon! Kiel Na-Turesh is a young man with a past that’s about to catch up to him. And when she does, watch out.

7/19/11

Digi Books Café Summer Hunt

Need a break from the summer heat? Hop on the computer for a digital scavenger hunt sponsored by Digi Books Cafe. 3 months; 3 hunts; 3 prizes (Kindle eReaders!) What could be easier?  Go to http://www.digibookscafe.com/ for complete details. While you're there, don't forget to check out my newest Bloodsworn book, Linked by Blood. Happy Reading--and Hunting--to all!

7/12/11

July Blog Tour Continues!

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying the wonderful month of July. (LOL) Yes, it’s hot and rainy down here in Florida, but July comes right before my birthday, so I have to love it.

Anyway, here are the next stops along my internet travels.

July 12th I’m being interviewed by Amber Kallyn at Plot Mamas: http://bit.ly/o4Kizz
July 15th (RELEASE DAY!) Amber is doing a Book Expo on Linked by Blood at: http://bit.ly/oBYGSg
July 18th I’ll be guest blogging with Allison Chambers at: http://alisonchambers.blogspot.com

Come join the fun, find out a little about my writing style and my Bloodsworn series. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at the nifty prize package at month end.

Hope to see you there.

7/3/11

Bloodsworn Places 1st in 2011 PRISM Contest

Other than having a fan tell you they like your book, there's nothing like a little public recognition to give a boost-to-your-muse. When I entered the 2011 PRISM Contest held by the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of RWA, I had no real expectations. This was my first published book. I liked it, my friends and family liked it, but would a group of perfect strangers? Then I got the call telling me I finaled! Wow, talk about exciting. To final alongside other published authors was a big deal to me--some of them multi-published. Maybe I was on the right track with this writing career after all.

Then July 1st, Friday morning came and with it an email that I never expected. Bloodsworn: Bound by Magic won FIRST PLACE in the Fantasy category. AND BEST FIRST BOOK!!! Needless to say, I was flying all day. Called my niece first, of course. She's responsible for getting me into this business in the first place, so she can darn well share the credit. Then called my sons, my brothers, and, oh, yeah, my editor. Can't forget Frances Sevilla. Wonderful woman and a great writer herself. We may not always see eye to eye on every little detail, but she definitely knows her stuff.

My only regret is not being able to make it to New York to attend The Gathering where they announced the winners. Would have been awesome to accept the recognition in person. But hey, maybe next year. Bloodsworn 2 is due out this month and there's no telling where it might take me. Here's to looking forward to new adventures!

7/1/11

July Blog Tour and Contest

Hi Everyone!  Happy July!  Come join me for a month-long tour where I talk about everything from Sexy Secondary Characters to Evil Villains to, well, who knows? Each time you visit one of my blogs and leave a comment, your name goes into a drawing for a prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, free copies of both Bloodsworn books, and more. Also, there's another $25 Amazon card which I'll give away to one lucky commentor on whichever blog site receives the most comments. So come along on my very first tour!

July 1st I'll be with Rebekkah Niles at www.juturnafaerthing.blogspot.com
July 6th I'm visiting the Wild West with romance author Patty Jager at http://patyjager.blogspot.com/
and on July 9th I'm Hunting Dragons with author Jeanne Guzman at http://romanceinflight.blogspot.com/

Stay tuned for more stops on my magical month-long tour celebrating the release of my second book: Bloodsworn II: Linked by Blood.

2/21/11

Doughnuts to Donuts--What's your favorite?

I recently saw a sign that sent me into sugary transports. A Krispy Kreme is coming to my town. Wow! Talk about anticipation!


To pass the time, I checked out doughnuts on the Internet. Did you know doughnuts were supposedly first introduced to North America by the Dutch, who called the fried dough prepared in pig fat, olykoek, or oily cake? They were a far cry from the doughnuts we Americans think of today. The pictures I’ve found remind me more of an apple fritter than anything else. Oh, and the hole in the middle? That little modification is credited to an American sea captain by the name of Hanson Crockett Gregory around 1847, though the story itself varies.

To be fair, modern doughnuts are as internationally diverse as the human population. Pick a country, and it probably has its on take on the sweet pastry. Beignet (France), vada (India), sufganyiot (Israel), Berliner (Germany), rosquilla (Spain), are just a handful. Since I’m by no means an international traveler, (I rarely get out of Florida), my doughnut choices are strictly domestic. Here are my top five favorites.

#5: The standard yeast doughnut with maple icing topped with nuts. Sometimes I snag the one with the hole in the middle, and sometimes I go for the rolled one with the hint of cinnamon. (One of my main weaknesses.)
#4: The mini doughnuts you find at fairs or flea markets. You know, the ones you can watch being cooked and get hot out of the oil, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar? Yeah, that smell draws me in every time.
#3: The Dunkin Donut blueberry cake donut with a touch of glaze. I always expect them to be heavy because they’re cake, not yeast, but they never fail to surprise me by melting in my mouth. Major comfort food!
#2: The Krispy Kreme cream filled with chocolate icing. (White cream, not Bavarian, please.) Talk about a sugar rush! I try to limit myself to two a year.
#1: And the ultimate in doughnut bliss? The no muss, no fuss, original glazed Krispy Kreme yeast doughnut—preferably hot off the assembly line. Mmmmm. There’s just something about the taste, smell, and texture that can’t be duplicated.

So, store bought or home made? Yeast or cake? Glazed, iced, or powdered? Holed or filled? Tell me, what’s your favorite doughnut/donut?