Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rachel Van Dyken's "Toxic" Release Day

It's release day for Rachel Van Dyken's incredible TOXIC! TOXIC is a New Adult contemporary romance and is the second book in the Ruin Series. Read below for more info, enter the awesome giveaway, then go find out why Gabe will move up your book boyfriend list!

Toxic TOXIC Synopsis:
Everyone has a secret... Gabe Hyde is on borrowed time. He's been hiding his identity for over four years-hidden from the world that used to adore him--obsess over him--driven to the edge of insanity by one poor choice. But that one choice, altered the course of his life forever. Pretending isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when pretending means hiding your real self from the people that care about you the most. But if anyone ever discovered the truth it wouldn't just be his life at risk--but hers. Saylor doesn't hate men. Just Gabe. Only Gabe. He's a reckless, happy-go-lucky, silver spoon fed pain in her ass. Everything about him makes her more and more confused. Unfortunately they both donate time at the same Group Home. If she wasn't afraid of flunking, she'd be long gone. She hates that she's attracted to him almost as much as he hates that he's attracted to her--and she can tell, especially since their first encounter ended up making her knees so weak she couldn't form coherent sentences for weeks afterwards. But the closer she gets to him, the more confused she becomes. He isn't who he says he is, and he's hiding something big. What happen when two worlds collide? Two worlds that never should have met in the first place? Some secrets are too big to be hidden forever--the only question? Will his destroy everyone he loves? Or finally bring about the redemption he's been craving for the past four years? Everyone has a secret...What's yours? Buy 


teaser 2

My Review

I loved, loved, absolutely loved the book. Gabe, makes the top of my list of book boyfriends. He's funny - crazy funny - a good friend, a dedicated boyfriend and a tatted artist with too many feelings. Which, in my my book, makes him PERFECT. And his interaction with Saylor, their slowly building romance - de-li-cious!

The book has a lot of humor, a lot of feeling, a touch of action and left me waiting for the next book in the series. I've laughed, I've cried, I sighed and I promised myself to watch the sky for fallong stars to wish for a Gabe without the sad past.

I recommend it to everybody who loves a good love story with heartbreak, pain, loss, gain, memories and touching moments. It should come with a warning, though: Don't start reading without handkerchief close by and some chocolate, too, preferably. 


With slight pressure, Gabe moved my hands to the piano, slowly, effortlessly placing them on each key.
He was playing through me, using my body as an instrument to convey the story of his life. Each time he pressed down on one of my fingertips or guided me to another area of the piano, I felt the sadness of the song clench deeper. The notes became floating tendrils of pain, each one of them slowly invading my body and taking hold until it hurt to breathe.
He moved faster and faster, my hands couldn’t keep up. I pulled back as he continued the song, in such a rush it was like he was yelling but doing it with music. Unable to convey it in any other way.
With a final burst of movement, he lifted his hands off the piano and smashed them against the keys, causing a chaos of notes to burst forth.
Gabe’s breathing was uneven, ragged as he leaned heavily against me, his chin resting on my head, and he whispered brokenly, “I can’t.”
“You were doing so good.”
“It’s like getting into a car with suicidal tendencies. You keep going faster and faster, needing the adrenaline to keep you alive until suddenly you turn the wheel and everything goes black. The notes, they go higher and higher, and right when I feel like I can change the outcome — I panic. Some things…” He sighed and pulled away. “Some things are better left in chaos.”
“Are you sure about that? Are you sure about perfection?” I folded my hands in my lap, but didn’t turn around.
“Sure.” He moved from behind me and sat on the bench. “If life was perfect, how in the hell would we ever learn to depend on someone other than ourselves? If anything, that’s what life’s taught me. The need to be perfect is stemmed in the very belief that it’s actually something we can achieve. Self-actualization — doesn’t exist.”
I licked my lips and looked down at the keys. “Does that mean we don’t try then?”
“No.” Gabe tickled a few of the ivory keys in front of him, the music note tattoos on his fingertips looking darker against the white of the piano. “It just means when you reach the end of your rope, you shouldn’t regret a damn thing, but applaud yourself for trying to do the impossible.”
I felt like he was using double meanings. The philosophical Gabe was a bit terrifying because he made me feel more insecure than the jackass Gabe. But the guy sitting next to me right now? I was beginning to understand, he wasn’t just one person. He was every person, everything, whatever he needed to be, he was.
Like a chameleon.
And suddenly the ending to the story made sense.
Ten different notes all clamoring at once.
Gabe was Chaos.
“So.” He sniffed and cleared his throat. “Now that I’ve totally ruined the moment by talking in my serious voice and scaring the shit out of you — why don’t we work on one of your performance pieces?”
“Okay.” I placed my hands on the piano again, careful to angle my wrists at the perfect degree and keep my eyes on the music ahead. Sometimes I wondered if my posture was better than my playing.
“What the hell are you doing?” he asked in calm voice.
I turned and gave him a firm nod[L1] . “I’m getting ready.”
“To go to battle?”
“What?” I relaxed my hands a bit. “No.” I straightened. “This is the right posture, it’s—”
“If you say perfect, I’m going to kill myself.”
“Someone should have majored in drama.”
He burst out laughing. “Oh, honey, you have no idea.”
“So?” I lifted my wrists again and looked ahead.
“Fine.” He smirked. “Play just like that.”
“Okay.” I started one of my harder pieces, Piano Sonata 14. It felt exactly the same. The movement wasn’t as fast as some of the others, but the timing for it had to be perfect.
“Close your eyes,” Gabe instructed.
He swatted my wrists. “No arguing with your piano master.”
“Say ‘yes, master’.”
I smiled tightly, my eyes focusing on the music in front of me. I started slowly playing. “Not in this lifetime.”
“Bet I could make you say it.” His voice had an arrogant lift to it, which made me all the more irritated. Master? Um, no.
“Eyes.” He growled again.
With a resigned sigh, I closed my eyes. “Better?”
“Immensely,” he said smoothly.
Darkness enveloped my world. All I had were the notes at my fingertips. All I had was the music — that and Gabe.
He wasn’t saying anything.
Which killed me.
It also made me want to open my eyes, but I knew he’d probably just tell me to close them again, so I kept playing.
And then, with a teasing touch, his fingers grazed my chin, slowly tilting it down toward the piano while his other hand went to my upper back then slowly moved down until it was in the middle, with a gentle push, he urged my body closer to the keys.
Eyes closed, posture completely off, I leaned over the piano. Everything felt wrong as I continued playing.
“Slower,” he said softly.
With a sigh, I started playing slower. His hands moved to my hips. And stayed there. Other than jumping a foot, I was still able to concentrate.
“The music,” he whispered, “It’s not just your story — it’s your lover.”
“Okay,” I squeaked. Heat washed over me as the word lover bounced around in my brain. I knew it, but I’d never experienced it. How was I supposed to use something I didn’t know how to use? And how embarrassing was it that I was stuck in that tiny room having never been… stuck in a tiny room with any guy? Lover. I’d take him. If I got a choice. It would be him. But people like Gabe, beautiful people who had music in their soul, who knew how to speak without words… they weren’t for girls like me.
“Each stroke…” His hands pressed against my hips making me gasp. “You need to feel it not just on your fingertips — but everywhere.”
Holy. Crap.
“Feel it here,” he squeezed and then ran his hands lightly up my sides, then resting right underneath my breasts, he pressed again. “And here.”
My breathing picked up speed, as did my music.
“Slow down,” he commanded in that same irritating patient tone. “Where is this story taking me? Where are you taking your lover?”
“Huh?” I breathed.
“Use your hands to tell me the story — use your body to propel the story forward, what happens next… Tell the story, Saylor. Make me feel it without even touching you.”
“But — that’s impossible.”
“You can feel a kiss without touching someone’s lips.”
“I’m confused.”
“Concentrate.” Gabe’s voice was firm. “I want to kiss you.”
“What?” He was lucky I didn’t actually collapse against the piano this time.
“In the story.” He chuckled. “I want to kiss you in this story, so kiss me.”
“You want me to get up and kiss you?” Mind you, I was still trying to play a difficult piece as he was asking me this, which basically meant I must have had talent, because my body was on fire.
“Without our mouths meeting.”
“Through the music.” I clarified in a doubtful voice.
I could hear the smile in his tone as he answered. “Yes, through the music, show me what the kiss would feel like. I want to taste it.”
“But how?”
He laughed softly. “I’m touching them.”
“My lips,” he countered. “They’re soft, open, wet…”
I squirmed on the piano bench, squeezing my eyes shut. “What else?”
“As I part my lips… I wonder what your tongue tastes like, what type of pressure you’d use as you pressed your velvety smooth mouth against mine. I imagine exploring your mouth not just because I want to — but because I can’t help it. I’m lost. And your kiss is my salvation… so, Saylor, will you save me?”
My fingers glided effortlessly over the piano as I imagined his mouth — the way he smiled, the way he took his lower lip hostage when he was deep in thought. The dark look he got in his eyes when there was something he wanted. Our kiss would be epic.
The music picked up speed as I leaned over the piano, pounding each note with the rhythm of my footsteps as I approached him.
His hands would reach for my hips as he pulled me closer. My hands hovered over the keys making my hesitation known.
And then I pressed softly against the ivory, leaning forward as if I was leaning into Gabe with my body pressed against his. My breasts brushed the keys. I moved closer to the piano and then slowed the music.
His eyes would close.
His lips would part.
And we’d meet in the middle — because both of us wanted the same thing. Both of us wanted to taste, to explore, to feel.
I slowed my left hand as my right hand moved quicker across the keys, to show the anticipation.
And then, our mouths would touch.
I pounded the keys with my left hand, making it the loudest part of the piece which wasn’t normally how it was done.
Our tongues would tangle.
I pounded the piano harder.
His fingers would dig into my arms as he lifted me into the air.
I pulled back from the piano, stopping the music, and then gently started the rhythmic cadence again.
Our kiss was the perfect joining of music.
He was the left hand, I was the right.
Separate they sounded like silly scales.
Together — they were beautiful.
When I stopped the piece, I was sweating.
“Open your eyes,” Gabe whispered.
He was breathing so heavily it looked like he’d just run a marathon. With a smile he tucked my fallen hair behind my ear and tilted my chin toward him.
“That…” He leaned in. “…is how you perform. Like every kiss is both your first and last — like you’re saying both hello and goodbye — like you’ve just been born… like you’ve just died.”
    Toxic RDL Banner   Author PhotoRachel Van Dyken Bio: Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!      

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, January 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, a group designed for writers to support and encourage each other gathers today again.

New year, renewed hope, fresh plans and more ideas than ever. This is the short version for my plans for this year. While during the end of 2013 I've concentrated more on reading, I've started the year writing.
I'm happy to have published some haiku last year and though the sales weren't fabulous, the idea of someone buying them and reading them was a great motivation. the proof that I should keep writing.

And that's exactly what I'm planning to do.
Have a great year, everybody, and keep writing!

Later Update: Just went checking my Amazon after writing this post and my heart burst with happiness. It's not much in sales, but it sure looks good in the category:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, old plans

Have a happy 2014! I hope everybody will get to fulfill their dreams, hopes and complettee their plans! Have a happy new year!

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

It's November 1st and this is the first day in #NaNoWriMo. I'm very excited about it and though the day is not over yet, I have just achieved the 1667 words goal for today. I'm not stopping, though. Just taking a break to blog about it, to share my excitement.

Secrets and Lies (not very original, I know - just work title) is a romantic YA fantasy. 

Keira is a fairy hiding in the human world who stumbles upon more complications - very much unwelcomed ones, since she already has her fair share of problems - when meeting Devon, a stubborn vampire who takes great interest in her.

They can't stay away from each other and they can't trust each other either, which only puts them in an impasse. 
And since I'm very excited about it (let's hope this won't change), here are two snippets from one of their first real conversations.

“You’re not human.”  
No kidding! A fabulous deduction, Mister Stating-the-Obvious, Keira huffed internally. ‘Neither are you’, she wanted to say, but she just strengthened her resolution to stay silent.

“Leaving is the first smart thing you did since you entered this door,” she muttered exasperated, knowing he’ll hear her whisper. She wished she could read his mind and enjoy his reaction, but her magic was still too weak for that.

The premise is simple, but I hope I'll turn this into a funny adventure. Only time can tell.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Signed up for NaNoWriMo, 2013

Yup! I'm doing NaNo this year. I've decided just yesterday, signed up and dugged through my documents for an old outline for support. (Is having a 7-8 K words outline cheating? I hope not)

In February I signed up for NaHaiWriMo to learn discipline by writing a themed haiku daily. Done, and continued that process for two more months. 

This summer I've written 3 outlines (complete outlines - worlds, characters, timeline) which was a big step for me. Now it's time to extend one of them to a book.

I've already practiced my writing during September, finishing two novella lenght 1st drafts that may not ever see shelves (real or virtual). Well, in the present state, they're not awful, but there's much work to be done. Maybe in December I'll start editing one of them, we'll see.

So, in November I'll try to write a full lenght novel. Quite a challenge. But, after the progress this year, I'm confident I'll finish the challenge with a 1st draft novel. 

My story, Secrets And Lies (work title), is a YA fantasy about a young faerie on the run from her kind, caught in too much intrigue, hidden in the human world. She can't stay out of trouble, or hidden for that matter, which leads her to a world of lies, secrets and scheems, which she hates. And her help comes in unexpected ways, confusing her even more.
But she's not going to give up.  

And neither am I. Wish us good luck.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Faerie War, Creepy Hollow #3 Review

 My review

The Fearie War is the stunning and much awaited end of The Creepy Hollow series. I've been waiting for this book - breathless - ever since reading the last (shocking, surprising and original) page of the second book in the series, The Faerie Prince.

The book starts with Vi in a new setting, in an unusual frame of mind, troubled. Through this final book, V must learn who she is and rediscover herself as person after memory loss to help save her world. And she does. She grows. She has some (very) trying moments, but she fights to overcome them. She adapts. She evolves. She transforms.

And she's not the only one growing. Ryn, the love interest turns even more swoon-worthy - if you thought that impossible, you were wrong. The love story is amazing; a new perspective and a very trying and emotional road for both Ryn and V.

(Boy, did Rachel make her characters suffer to prove their love!)

The worldbuilding is amazing! The insight in the underground of the Creepy Hollow ads to the conflict and makes the final book of the series different from the first two books. We meet some new characters, we see the guardians after graduations, in unexpected circumstances.

Rachel surprises with each page. The Creepy Hollow series is one of the most original steries out there. Romance, action, humor and surprise after surprise will keep you guessing at the end. Yes, it's a happy ending, but a surprising one. 

Looking forward to reading Rachel's next book and see what other amazing story she makes us sigh over.
Purchase The Faerie War
Author Bio
Rachel Morgan author.jpgRachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn’t for her—after all, they didn’t approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults.
When she isn't writing, she's reading (duh!), catching up on addictive TV series, and baking things that almost always include chocolate.

The Creepy Hollow Series

Rachel's Links
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yay! It's here! The Faerie War - Creepy Hollow #3 by Rachel Morgan

It's party time!!! 
Today is the official online release of Rachel Morgan's third Creepy Hollow novel, The Faerie War. After that cliffhanger at the end of the second book, fans can finally find out what happens to Violet and everyone else in Creepy Hollow. If you'd like to get your copy, you can find it at the following online stores, plus a few others:

There are seven other teaser images displayed on various blogs today. If you'd like to see them, you can visit the following fabulous bloggers:

And there's a major giveaway going on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, October 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, a group designed for writers to support and encourage each other gathers today again.

This month my insecurity is at the lowest level ever - in all things writing, at least. Though my 5 k/day didn't last more than 2 weeks and then I went at lower levels, I've finished 2 first drafts out of 3 and the last one is nearly ready. Yay! That's a lot of writing for me. 

I've accomplished my goal for September - finish a 1st draft. This month I'll finish the first draft of my third project and be lost in rewriting, edits and revision. 

I still have to consider some things related to publishing while I'm also moving into a city where I can't ever sleep well at night. Yup, that's going to be funny!

So wish me luck and a good night's sleep at least once in a while.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

CassaStorm by Alex J Cavanaugh

Alex J Cavanaugh, the most supportive writer and internet promoter has just released his third book, CassaStorm. Congrats, Alex!

My curiosity regarding CassaStorm was related to writing: the most difficult to write character and scene were ... because ... And here you have the answer:                               
The most difficult character to write was Athee from CassaFire. She was my first female lead and I worried I wouldn’t get her right.
The hardest scene to write was the final scene with Byron and Bassa in CassaStar. Those who’ve read it know why and I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t, but I really hated writing that scene.

Comment on Alex’s blog this week for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag!

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.”  – Edi’s Book Lighhouse
"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together."
- Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Find Alex:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sacrifice Her Cover Reveal

The day has finally come. Time to reveal the cover of Sacrifice HER. Be amazed.
Title: Sacrifice HER by Sheena-kay Graham
Goodreads: Sacrifice HER
Release Date: December 2013

Summary: When a city is at stake is the life of one sixteen-year old girl worth risking thousands? Deidra Moore goes on the run after escaping from a group of human sacrifices for Bane: God of War. She doesn't believe he exists and sees uncertainty in the scorching desert as a better alternative. But Faux City isn't finished with her and their leader Lord Brinn is ordered by Bane - through one of his maiden worshipers- to bring her back or face dire consequences. In the desert Deidra meets a wanderer named Kane and as feelings spark can they find a safe place to lead a new life before Lord Brinn and his soldiers catch up with them? Yet the question remains. Does Bane really exist and if he does what will happen if either side succeeds or fails? Told in alternating perspectives of both the runaway servant girl and the blonde strong willed leader.

 Author Bio: Sheena-kay Graham was never meant for a traditional job behind a desk. Her childhood career plans included becoming a ballerina, actress or someone who helped people. So naturally she decided to be a writer who writes from her bed. Yes, no desk for this Jamaican book lover. No matter if it’s reading, writing or using the computer....you get the gist. The love of the written word has always been with her leading to stories, novels, poetry and way too much fan fiction. This Christian woman can be found trolling Amazon online, in local book bookstores, watching movies on the big screen, or in her bed, or reading/writing/on the laptop...again in her bed. Mainly writes YA fiction and is ready to unleash her creativity to wow the masses.
Cover Design: 
Image of woman with flowing hair (purchased): © Transfuchsian | Dreamstime.com
Cover Designer:  Langao @ http://fiverr.com/langao
And for a final bit of wow factor. Look at what I got for free without asking.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things, Sept, 6th

Celebrate The Small Things Celebrate The Small Things is a fun, weekly meme hosted by Viklit @ Scribblings of an Aspiring Author. Stop by and visit the other entries.

Here's what I'm celebrating this Friday:
* * * writing 19 K words this week. They're not all on the same project, but I'm happy I'm in my schedule.

* * * being more active, more involved and a little more social. Time management is the key. That, and awesome people hell bent to see more of my charming personality (to be read sarcastic nature). Thanks guys, you're amazing!

* * * wrapping up a project, my first writing project. After toying wiith the idea for more than two months and finally deciding to write the outline in August (I hate outlines - they make writing less fun for me) I'm almost done with the first draft. Yay! It will be a lot of work re-writing it and editing, but I'm exciting about finally getting there.

So, this weekend will be a busy one, finishing up my first novella - it doesn't have a name yet - and then cellebrating it.

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group September 2013

Today it's the two year anniversary of a wonderful project, The Insecure Writer's Support Group, started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, a group designed for writers to support and encourage each other.

In today's post, Alex had surprised everybody, announcing the creation of The Insecure Writer's Support Group website. Looking forward to seeing the result, Alex!

My insecurities this month concern my ability to accomplish everything on my To Do List for September, which is very long. In August I've written 3 outlines beginning to end, worlds, characters, everything that goes in the story is already established. Crazy, I know, right? I've been struggling with this, and suddely in August I've done it. Not once, not twice, but three times!

And that made me bold. So, for September I've designed a crazy writing schedule that will be amazingly difficult to follow. I've figured since I know everything in the story, I could write about 5000 words a day, every day. Yup, 5000 words. 

For now, I'm faithful to my Spartan schedule, doing 5000+ words. But I can't write that much on a single story daily - outlining has removed the joy, the excitement, in discovering what happens next so, I lose interest after about 3000 words. So, I alternate between 2 stories.
It seems to be working, for now and I hope by the end of the month to have the 150 K I wanted. But I fear I'll lose interest because of outlining. 

I see the pros of this technique, I actually worked on a story for a week without giving up the project, but knowing what happens next makes the writing less... exciting. But if I get the work done, I'll keep up this way. I just hope outlining won't turn my writing flat. 
One of the projects still gives me the spark of excitement, so I'm confident about it, but the other one is slower, less attractive, but I'm not giving up. By the end of the month I'll have 150 K words done and raedy for re-writing.

As usual, no names yet for my projects. 
I hope everybody has a great, productive September.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Basho's Haiku. Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's my teaser from Basho's Haiku. Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho (translated by David Landis Barnhill):

I spent a number of days in Awazu, where there was a man who loved the tea ceremony. He gathered chrysantheum flowers from a nearby beach and invited me to tea.

a butterfly too comes
to sip the vinegar:
chrysanthemum salad

You can stop by Amazon and download one of my haiku chapbooks for free: 17 Syllables: Of Love and Life.