Thursday, 26 September 2013

Winner of Legend of the Timekeepers Blog Tour Giveaway…

A quick announcement to congratulate Shelly Hammond as the winner of Legend of the Timekeepers Book Blog Tour! Shelly scores an ecopy of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and Legend of the Timekeepers, and a Babel necklace with two sighed trading cards. Kudos, Shelly, and don’t forget to time travel responsibly!
Thanks to everyone who participated in my Book Blog Tour! And a special thanks to Kerry-Ann at Dilly Dally PR for putting this blog tour together for me. Cheers!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tween the Weekends: The Power of Cliques...

I think it would hard to be an adolescent in this day and age. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of hard choices and problems I faced when I was a tween back, well back in the ‘day’. We still had bullying, but not cyber-bullying. And there was no such thing as sexting, texting, or twerking. But there have always been cliques whether in elementary school or high school. In fact, even as adults, cliques are prominent in work, sports, post secondary education, clubs, and neighborhoods.
By Wikipedia’s definition, a clique is a group of “persons who interact with each other more regularly than others in the same setting.” Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups.

It’s almost tribal, this power cliques have over us—wanting to be a part of a certain group, or the ‘in’ crowd, or the top of the heap.
When you think of the word tribal your mind conjures images of group identity, group force, group willpower, and group belief patterns. Tribes have very primal connections. Shame your parents, and you’ve shamed your family. Snitch on a friend, and you’re on the blacklist for a stint or forever. Date someone who has a bad rep, and suddenly your name is all over the social media, and not in a good way. Lose the game, and you’re shunned by your teammates.

The Breakfast Club is probably one of the best movies that exemplify cliques. There’s the Jock, the Beauty Queen, the Misfit, the Rebel, and the Geek. All tribes fitting into one box. If you’ve never seen this 80s gem, take a peek at the trailer:

So how do we break the power, the dare-I-say spell that cliques can have over us?
In the first book of my MG/YA time travel series, my characters—five kids who are all from different ethnic and social backgrounds—were given a detention too, but unlike the actors in The Breakfast Club, they were made to work together to clean up a yard for a period of two weeks. Once they found the weathered stone time portal, barriers started to crumble between them, and they got to know and understand each other better. They became connected in a way they would have never imagined, and I believe that understanding each other is a good place to start breaking the bonds of cliques.

What do you think about cliques, and the power they have in our society? I’d love to read what you have to say…   

Monday, 23 September 2013

It's Harvest Time with Vonnie Hughes...

Australia is a large continent so that even though it's technically winter, in the northern areas it's still hot and produces great vegetables. Right now we have a glut of bell peppers (we call them capsicums) - green ones, yellow ones (my favorite, they're sweet), orange ones and red ones.

So here's a dead simple recipe for Bell Pepper Relish. Only makes 2½ cups, but you can double it. I made it yesterday and gave some away. It's a roaring success.

Bell Pepper Relish

1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. garlic flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Boil at medium-high until the mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally - should take about 35 minutes. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Keep refrigerated.


How about a step back in time with one of my Regency novels? I hope you enjoy this short intro.

When Alexandra Tallis sets free the attractive man her sister stupidly tried to hold captive, her actions lead not only to a love she never thought to find, but also to a horrific family secret that threatens that love.

When Alexandra Tallis discovers that her witless sister has imprisoned their father’s nemesis, Theo Crombie in their attic, she quickly frees him, fighting an unladylike impulse to keep him as her own special captive. Despite the brutal beating she receives from her father for her actions, Alexandra continues to yearn for the delicious Mr. Crombie even though she knows that nothing will ever come of her dreams.

Injured and shackled in a stranger’s attic, Theo unexpectedly discovers the woman of his dreams. But how can he pursue those dreams when her bizarre family’s complex relationships threaten the very foundation of his existence? Somehow Theo must find a way through this maze to claim his lady.

To read an excerpt from Captive, please click HERE.

Vonnie Hughes is a New Zealander living in Australia. She loves animals and jogging. Vonnie writes Regencies and romantic suspense novels along with short stories. She is presently working on a romantic suspense, working title: Innocent Hostage and a Regency novella, working title: A Tale of Two Sisters.

Her earlier book Coming Home is about a soldier and a nurse, thrown together during the Napoleonic wars, who find more danger on their return to England than they ever did on the Iberian Peninsula.

The Second Son is actually a prequel to Coming Home. A second son, filled with angst, stands to inherit a title and property through the death of a brother he has always loathed and mistrusted. A young disabled woman teaches him how to find his self-respect and how to love.

Another Regency Historical, Mr. Monfort’s Marriage, has businessman Matthew Monfort inveigled into marrying an earl’s daughter. With good reason he loathes the ton, so his new wife needn’t think she’s going to win him over, even though she’s quite delightful…and intelligent…and sweet…However Verity shows him that not all members of the ton are idle layabouts and that he can do much good with his largesse and with—shock, horror—the unexpected and embarrassing title conferred on him by Prinny.

All of Vonnie’s books are available on Amazon and Musa Publishing.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Legend of the Timekeepers Book Blog Tour with Dilly Dally PR…

Starting today, September 18th and running through to September 25th, Dilly Dally PR has scheduled a Book Blog Tour for Legend of the Timekeepers! I’ve set up a Rafflecopter below to win some great prizes including a Babel Necklace (pictured below), signed trading cards, and an ecopy each of Legend of the Timekeepers and The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis! I will announce the winners of the Rafflecoper on September 26th! Good luck and let’s get this tour started…

Here’s the Blog Tour Schedule:

September 18: Intro on Dilly Dally PR

September 19: Review: Reading A Little Bit of Everything

September 20: Excerpt/Spotlight - Word to Dreams

September 21: Guest Post/Spotlight - Reading Away the Days

September 22: Review/Spotlight - Dilly Dally Book Blog

September 23: Book Spotlight/Excerpt - Rose & Beps Blog

September 24: Author Q&A - Dilly Dally Book Blog

September 25: Review/Spotlight - The Stuff of Success
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Books, Banter & Bites on my Dock…featuring Sloane Taylor

Welcome to my virtual dock in the wilds of Muskoka, where it’s always sunny and warm no matter what time of the year it is. Please pull up one of the dock chairs, sit your butt down, and be prepared to be entertained and enlightened. Today, I’ve got busy and ballsy romance author, Sloane Taylor stopping by for a visit all the way from Indiana, USA. If you’ve never heard of this awesome author, here’s her mini bio:

Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that takes you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.
Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Studly, her mate for life, and Sloane now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from city life.

She is an avid cook. Check out “It’s Wednesday. So What’s Cooking?” with new recipes posted each week on her blog  The recipes are user friendly menus, meaning easy. Feel free to email her at to be included on the Cooking Pals list. These people receive advance notice of the new recipe.
Hi Sharon, it’s great to be here with you! The dock is terrific and the view is gorgeous. And I love your pup. He’s so friendly and swims like a fish!

Why, thank you, Sloane! Yes, my doggy can’t get enough of lake water, that’s for sure. BTW—my whole body blushed just reading your bio! You certainly know how to write great ‘mommy reads’, LOL! Please, sit down and enjoy the late afternoon sun, and help yourself to the Salmon Bruschetta and Smoked Salmon dip. I know you’re a gourmet cook, so I hope I meet your standards with these tasty appetizers. Now before we get into the thick of things, here’s a shot of Schramm vodka on ice to help you cope with any mosquito bites you acquire during our chat. Hmm—perhaps I should make that a double. Salute, Sloane, and let’s get this party started by plugging your upcoming release…
Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write PHOTO Op!?
You know, Sharon, on the entire flight up from Indiana I tried to come up with an answer and failed. Like all my books PHOTO Op! started as a silent movie that ran through my brain until I wanted to scream. The thing would not leave me alone. The only way to clear my head was to write down the scenes and expand and they became a new book. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s the truth. I’m just glad writing erases all that action from my head so I can concentrate on cooking.
Nope, that doesn’t sound crazy to me at all Sloane. After all, artists are complicated creatures. What sets PHOTO Op! apart from other books in the same genre?
Maybe the humor and sarcasm? Definitely the location. There are many romances set in Paris, but not in private clubs. Writing PHOTO Op! allowed me to bring a little history and a great deal of the beauty from a city I love to my readers.
Oh, I’d love to visit Paris someday! How long did it take for you to start and finish PHOTO Op!?
You’d think I was writing a modern day War and Peace with as long as I took. The whole process from first thought to delivering the manuscript to Musa Publishing was about five months. Sharon, I have a small problem – I’m the Queen of Procrastination. If there’s a way I can get out of writing, I do it, even though I’m only the happiest when I write. Another little issue I need to work on.:)
LOL, you sound a lot like me! Do you have any advice for writers wanting to write in your genre?

Absolutely! No writer can experience everything they write, so let your imagination soar. Eat, sleep, and think your book all the time. Never let it leave your mind for long. That way you open yourself to amazing thoughts and ideas.

What’s next for Sloane Taylor the author?

Why thank you for asking, Sharon! There’s a slew of work and I’m really excited about from now through March of 2015. Czech Mate releases in December, then January kicks off the Melt the Ice series of four books with each set in a different Scandinavian country. They are stand alone with individual characters that don’t appear in the next book. Next is the Donaghue Brethren series of three books about three brothers in Ireland. Mixed in with the two series are a few single title books. Of course, they’re all romance with a touch of humor for readers over eighteen.
Thanks for having me out today, Sharon. Unfortunately, but I have to catch a plane for home. I had a great time hanging out with you. Next time we party, come on down to Indiana and I’ll cook dinner.

That’s a definite date, Sloane, and I’ll bring the wine! Here, let me pour you another shot of vodka seeing as there must be a hole in that glass! Now, before you go, please let readers know where they can buy your book, and how to connect with you. Thanks for taking the time to share your novel and your wisdom with us on my dock this afternoon. Cheers and best wishes in ALL your publishing ventures, Sloane!

Learn more about Sloane Taylor on her WEBSITE and BLOG.
Stay connected on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Winner Announcement…

A quick announcement to congratulate Monique Bucheger as the winner of an ecopy of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and Legend of the Timekeepers from the I Love Middle Grade Back to School Blog Hop. Kudos, Monique, and don’t forget to time travel responsibly! Thanks to everyone who participated in the Back to School Hop!

Also, my thanks goes out to all those who supported me during The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis $.99 cents sale event held between August 26th and September 15th! Hopefully I was responsible for putting more smiles on faces. Hugs and Cheers!

Monday, 9 September 2013

I Love Middle Grade Back to School Blog Hop…

A bunch of us brave MG Authors from our I Love Middle Grade group decided to get together and have a Back to School Blog Hop just for our readers and followers. The Hop will run from September 9th to the 15th, so there’s plenty of time to check out the participating authors, and maybe find a gem of a read for you and your tween.
Since I’ve just released the prequel to The Last Timekeepers time travel series, I’m pulling out the stops and giving away an ecopy of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and Legend of the Timekeepers, in the format of your choice. BTW – this Giveaway is opened internationally, so everyone is included in this hop! Cheers to All!

Here’s the tagline and blurb from The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:
Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.
Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

Here’s the tagline and blurb from the prequel, Legend of the Timekeepers:

There is no moving forward without first going back.
Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

Good luck, and don’t forget to visit all the other blogs on the hop and enjoy more giveaway fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions
§  This Blog Hop begins midnight on September 9th and runs until midnight September 15th, 2013. The draw will take place September 16th, 2013.
§  The winner will chosen by Rafflecopter
§  I will contact the winner via email and give the winner 72 hours to accept his/her prize.
§  Prize as stated—no alternatives will be offered.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Meet Sam Cheever - A.K.A. Santa Author...

by Sam Cheever
Some authors like to give stuff away and some don’t. I personally know one author who refuses to give away copies of her books and just gives bookmarks and trading cards away at conferences. No bling for her. She’s not alone. Promotional items cost money, giving away books takes sales out of an author’s pocket. But what about the old business adage, you have to spend money to make it? Does it apply to creative businesses as much as traditional ones? I think it does.

Nobody can chart a direct affect from a promotional item to a book sale. It isn’t possible to identify a monetary result, because it’s not a direct transaction. It really isn’t even monetary. It’s emotional.

People love getting free stuff. They especially love getting clever and useful free stuff. And when they get something they really like they generally remember the person who gave it to them. That’s why I love fun promotional items. When I start researching a new item to take to conferences or give out to new fans in their goodie boxes, my first goal is to find something nobody else has thought of. I rarely give out bookmarks anymore. I have boxes and boxes of them in my closet as proof! When I give away a print book I include a Romance Trading Card because those are collectors’ items and they’re more fun. I load heart-shaped memory sticks with free reads, book trailers, and first chapters and give those away. They’re useful, they bear my website and tagline on their shiny red surface, and they contain lots of fun reading and viewing that will hopefully inspire someone to buy one of my books. It’s a win-win! For my Declan Sands books (MM romance) I found a tiny tool kit with four screwdrivers and a tape measure. Again, useful, and bearing my website and tagline in case someone decides he/she needs a great book to read while repairing their computer with the toolset.

I have knit caps with my website on them, book lights with twisty stems, mouse pad planners that double as notepads, and lots of other fun stuff. Call me Author Santa. Yeah, the stuff costs and I have no way of knowing if I’ll recoup my investment in book sales. But when people receive a goodie box or promo item from me they remember it and hopefully they’ll remember me. In fact, people often come up to me at conferences and exclaim, “Oh, you’re the one with the great promo stuff!”

I just grin and offer them something else from my red velvet bag. ‘Cause I’m selling fun and smiles…hopefully I’ll even sell some books!

Happy Reading Everybody!

Bitten by Paranormal Romance gives Cupid a 4 – A Pack Howl! "This is a delightful and sexy story of competition not only in the office, but between a cupid and a demon."

Long and Short Reviews: "Cupid Only Rings Twice was a very cute story that was short but entertaining.”

This Valentine’s Day, Rori’s gonna meet an honest to god Cupid. And he’ll use more than arrows to win her love.

Rori Foster is too beautiful to find love. Men just can’t seem to look past her exterior to recognize the human being inside. 

Unfortunately he’ll have to save her from the bad intentions of a cocky Love Demon first. But Damios is determined to protect her. Even if he loses her in the process.

To read more or purchase Cupid Only Rings Twice please click the vendor's name.

Musa Publishing | Nook | Kobo | Sony | ARe | Kindle | |

Sam Cheever writes mainstream romantic suspense and fantasy, all heat levels; and Declan Sands for M/M romantic suspense and fantasy. Her books are fast paced and fun loving. Not one of them will solve a single world problem, but you definitely won’t be bored while reading them!

Sam’s published work includes 40+ works of young adult, romantic suspense, and fantasy/paranormal. Her books have won the Dream Realm Award for fantasy, been nominated and/or won several CAPAs, were nominated for Best of 2010 with LRC and The Romance Reviews, and won eCataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice award. She is published with Ellora’s Cave, both Romantica and Blush; Changeling Press; Electric Prose Publications (her own imprint), Musa Publishing, and Red Rose Publishing.

She lives on a hobby farm in Indiana with 11 dogs, 2 horses, and one husband.

Learn more about Sam Cheever on her blog Eclectic Insights. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find Sam on Goodreads.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Eat, Drink, and be Merry…

Over the holiday weekend, I celebrated the Legend of the Timekeepers Release Bash through Dilly Dally PR, and thought it only appropriate to share the links of the kind book bloggers who took the time to help me get the word out about my newest book. If you have a chance, please check out these wonderful and hard-working book bloggers and reviewers:

The winner of a signed paperback of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis through my Goodreads Giveaway goes to Shyam Mohan from India! Congrats, Shyam! BTW—I had 1824 entries on this international giveaway. Now that’s what I call exposure!

And don’t forget, September 15th is the last day to purchase the eBook of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis for the incredible low price of .99¢ as part of my book release celebration! Thank you for all your support, kindness, and encouragement throughout my publishing journey!

The SMASHWORDS code needed for this special sale price is: PC67Q