Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow

I love a good surprise, don’t you? When I had the chance to participate in this Cover Reveal, I was as hooked by the blurb (you’ll see why in a minute!) as I was by the anticipation of the book cover. Pins and needles time. And finally . . . WOW! Well worth the wait. Now, if only the book was One Click away like right freaking now!

Without further delay . . . Here’s The Dreamer!

The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow
(The Dreamland Series, #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Fantasy/Sci-fi
Put it on your Goodreads TBR list!

It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There, she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination. 

About E.J. Mellow

E.J.Mellow is a new adult and fantasy writer who resides in Brooklyn, NY. When she’s not busy moonlighting in the realm of make-believe, she can be found doodling, buried in a book (usually this one), or playing video games.

The Dreamer is the first book in her contemporary fantasy trilogy, The Dreamland Series.
Man oh man, May 15 can’t come soon enough!!

Happy reading and FINALLY, Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IWSG: The Dating Game – Finding That Perfect (Writing) Fit

The first few chapters in a manuscript are like dating someone new. You’re feeling your way around cautiously, exploring, getting to know one another. You’re afraid to reveal too much and at the same time, want to know everything about the other person. Things are clumsy and uncertain. After a few dates you start to know one another well enough to get comfortable, to relax and explore. A month or so in, you establish a relationship rhythm. You know what to expect and anticipate. You finish each other’s sentences, laugh at the same things, know when the other is struggling and how to fix it. 

Writing is like that.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could bypass the blind date stage and jump right to the engagement party? Nope. No way to get around the work that goes into building something you want to make last. It’s those first difficult sentences, the take-for-freaking-ever-to-get- through chapters, the stilted dialogue and backstory drama dumps that pave the way for that satisfying conclusion. We just have to get through the hard part.

Serial daters cut and run when the going gets tough. Those who last to the golden anniversaries learn how to reshape rough edges into intriguing curves and inspiring heights.

Before you give up on that W-I-P and dump it like a bad date, maybe all you need is a little more effort and a lot more patience. Instead of focusing on the nitpicky things going wrong (dialogue you can tweak once you find your character’s voice, pacing you can fine tune in the editing stage), concentrate on the things that totally rock (the over-arcing storyline, that perfect scene, the feel of getting comfortable in your character’s skin). Once you quit looking for perfect right now, you’ll find happy together forever. Don’t be afraid to let it mature.

I almost gave up too soon on a prologue that began a bond spanning nine, going on ten books with my “By Moonlight” series. Here’s a glimpse of that relationship that started it all . . .

Serial dater or long term commitment? Where are you in your WIP?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the April 1 posting of the IWSG will be Suzanne FurnessTonja DreckerToi ThomasRachna ChhabriaFundy Blue and Donna Hole!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

20 Questions with Melissa Keir: Meet Your Favorite (or Soon to be New Favorite!) Author . . .

And I thought I was busy! Melissa Keir does it all – writes steamy romance, runs a publishing company, reviews, AND teaches! AND is an avid supporter of her fellow authors. And since I can’t resist a cowboy whether he’s toting six guns in the old West or wearing worn boots at a friend’s wedding, I was more than eager to ride off into the sunset with her latest in the anthology COWBOY UP 2.

There’s a special place in my busy world for anthologies that catch my eye (oh, yeah, shirtless cowboys will definitely do that!). I can love’em hard and put them away wet in one sitting and be ready for the next one the following night. I am talking about reading here, folks! COWBOY UP 2 is burning up my Kindle app and has me wondering how I missed the first book (which is just a One Click away.) I’ve always found writing short is much harder than writing long—so many fewer words in which to catch and hold AND satisfy the reader. Melissa has no problem in her COWBOY UP 2 offering THE HEARTBROKEN COWBOY. Meet Melissa and enjoy the ride . . .

Thank you Nancy for having me on your blog. I’ve been a huge fan of yours since your first vampire book. It’s on my keeper shelf! Now let me share a little about myself.

Getting to Know You:

Party dress or blue jeans? I’m a blue jean girl all the way. My favorites are ripped and worn and I could wear them every day!

TV at home or movie theatre? I love to sit at home and enjoy some Criminal Minds. It gets my muse flowing. However, I’m a local movie reviewer for WHMI radio station, so I go to the movies once a week to see and report on the latest releases.

Five words your friends use to describe you? Crazy, quiet, caring, hard-worker, and driven.

If I had a free afternoon, I’d . . . What is this “free afternoon” you speak of?
J I am always doing something, from reading submissions to my publishing house, doing marketing, or writing. If I had a free afternoon, I’d go visit the local zoo. It’s been years since I did that.

Favorite books from childhood? These aren’t necessarily my favorite books from childhood but they are children’s books, I’ve come to love. The first is Faithful Elephants and tells the tale of a Japanese zoo that was forced to euthanize the animals when we were bombing Japan during WWII. Another is the Disney Box Set. This was mine from when I was a kid and features the old classic images from the Wonderful World of Disney show that was on Sunday nights. Finally, my third is Ruby the Copycat. In this book, Ruby doesn’t think she’s good at anything so she copies others. It’s got a powerful message about loving yourself.

Gourmet cook or take out? I’m a good cook but I have no time. I do like to cook especially bake on the weekends. But I’d easily give up cooking for a meal out! I’m not picky either about where to go, Chinese, Burger, Pizza. I can always find something to eat at each place. My hips will attest to that!

Your first kiss . . . My first real kiss was from TJ. He and I grew up together. There’s even photos of us in the sandbox together at about 18 months. We “went out” in junior high but it didn’t last. We remained friends for years and reconnected when my daughter was born but lost contact again. He’s the one guy I still wonder about and have put pieces of him into my first book- Forever Love.

Something quirky about you that no one knows (we won’t tell anyone!)? My husband and I are preppers. It probably came about because my husband is a Boy Scout. We aren’t hoping that the world would end, but we want to be prepared for all situations. For example, this past summer we lost power for five days. Since we are on a well and grinder pump for septic, we couldn’t shower or use the bathroom. It was no problem for us. We have back up stoves, portable generators and water so the whole five days were a walk in the park for us. I even got to use the internet!

The Written word:

Favorite type of hero (Type A bad boy or Type B good guy) Examples. (Which would you rather live with?) While I find the Type A bad boy very sexy, I couldn’t live with him. We’d butt heads. I like the Type B good guy, the nerd who also knows how to handle his gun and loves to talk about obscure things. The only example I can think of is my own husband. He’s a big teddy bear, macho guy but it’s his ability to sit and converse with me about history, science and life in general that is far sexier than how much he can bench press.

What type of fiction heroine would you be? Jane Eyre or Lara Croft? Example. I would love to be Lara Croft. She’s kick butt! Honestly, I’d be more like a bumbling Lara who didn’t plan on needing weapons, but she finds that her nail file works just as well for picking locks as it does for poking someone’s eye out.

Favorite genre to read? (Is it what you write?) My favorite genre to read is paranormal romance. I do read everything from horror to sweet romance. Historical is my hardest to read right now, although there used to be a time when that was all I read. Unfortunately, I don’t write paranormal (yet…one never knows). I think that I don’t write it because I love the authors who write it and don’t want to compete with them. They are some of my one-clicks and keepers.

Fiction hero you would run off with? This one is easy. I want to run off with Roarke from the J.D. Robb Naked series. He’s got money, good looks and mad skills with computers. Too bad that his wife would kick my butt six ways from Saturday. Maybe I could become her! She’s one lucky girl listening to that accent each day!

Paperback or e-book? Both! Some girls need handbags, some need shoes…for me it’s books. My husband hates having a house of books, remember prepper- we have to be able to pick up and move quickly. So I keep a ton of books on my e-reader and the few keeper shelves are for my paperbacks.

Favorite books you can read over and over? All the books on my keeper shelves (*points to Nancy’s books*). There’s a reason that they are on the keeper shelves. Most I’ve already read at least twice and I keep them for when I need a great read.

A Writer’s Life:

OCD plotter or free range pantser? I begin with a story synopsis. I know what happens in the big picture but not the details. I let the book and characters flow out of my fingers on the page. It’s fun and I like not always knowing what might happen next.

Which is easier, the synopsis or the book? I love the synopsis. It’s what appears in my mind first. I have a synopsis like a movie in my head and from there, I put the details to the story together.

Live to write or write to live? Day job? I recently went to part time as an elementary teacher. I had taught at the school for 15 years and found that with writing, my publishing house, and teaching…it was getting to be too much. I wasn’t willing to stop the writing so teaching was given the shorter stick. This part time isn’t really much of part time, I’m finding. I work three days a week at school but still do all the planning and grading, but at least I’m not working 60+ hours there and then coming home to write.

Solo muse or critique partner(s)? I have a solo muse but do run my stories by people in my critique group for some feedback prior to sending it off to my fabulous editor. She’s the one I value the most.

What’s on your desk? Currently my writing desk is the kitchen table, so dinner’s on it! Yum! I do have a desk in my son’s room but with him coming to stay with us every three weeks, I don’t use it much.

When can we get your next book and what’s it all about? My latest release is Cowboy Up 2- a book bundle featuring my novella - The Heartbroken Cowboy. If you love cowboys, you’re going to love this set!

Kindle | Print | CreateSpace

Saddle Up with the best-selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up... And fall for Six more Cowboys ready to steal your heart!

Good Ride, Cowboy by Allison Merritt
Sometimes all you need is one good ride to clear your head.

Cowboy in Waiting by Leslie P. Garcia
She’d buried a hero. She wasn’t looking for another. But her cowboy in waiting was far from a hero…

Cowboy in Trouble by Autumn Piper
A cowboy on the run and a girl on the rebound make for a messy fling.

A Cowboy’s Heaven by Sara Walter Ellwood
From the hell of lost love, can they find heaven together?

Cowboy Proud by D’Ann Lindun
She left town to chase her dreams... He stayed and ignored his... Can they find their dreams together?

The first book, Cowboy Up featured cowboys from every walk of life-Border Patrol Agents, Equine Therapists, Farmers... Cowboy Up 2 features sexy men who are ready to steal your heart! 

The hero of The Heartbroken Cowboy has his own issues. He's a recovering alcoholic who allows stress to push him off the wagon. But he's still determined to latch on to the one woman whose secret could send him back to the bottle.

Johnson O'Neill was a minor character in The Heartsong Cowboy (Cowboy Up - Book 1) and while he came off as a grouchy guy, he deserved his own happily ever after...but not without some work. In The Heartbroken Cowboy, we learn why he's angry at women and cheer for him to find the one woman who will give him a run for his money!

The Heartbroken Cowboy by Melissa Keir

Love isn’t found at the bottom of a bottle…
Johnson O’Neill joined The Heartsong Ranch to escape his addiction. One night at a friend’s wedding, stress causes him to fall off the wagon and into the arms of the woman of his dreams.

Debra Donahue lost her husband to alcohol then pulled herself up by her bootstraps becoming a million-dollar selling real estate agent. One night with a sexy cowboy and a bottle of whiskey, Debra falls hard.

Can an alcoholic cowboy and a brokenhearted woman find love despite their fears? Or will the bottom of a bottle claim another happily ever after?

The Book Trailer

The Book Excerpt

“I don’t drink, but could use a strong one, right now. Not this sissy stuff.” He lifted the glass to his lips, downed the contents, and shoved his now-empty champagne flute away before he leaned in toward her. The smell of alcohol on his breath hinted that he’d already had too much to drink. “Know anyone around here with some whiskey?” The dark sapphire of his eyes chilled her. This was a man used to getting what he wanted. “I’d even share.” His voice deepened and became husky with his offer and she shivered.

“I don’t drink with men I don’t know.” Debra stuck out her hand. “I’m Debra, and you are?”

The man grabbed another glass of champagne off a passing waiter’s tray and guzzled the drink in one swallow. “The name’s Johnson O’Neill. Now about that whiskey.” He reached out and drew her up to standing then tugged her in close to him. Wrapping his arm around her back, he moved her body in a slow two-step motion.

Debra gazed into his eyes. “You don’t have to seduce me for the whiskey.” She stepped out of his embrace and put her hands on her hips. She frowned.

“That’s not why I drew you into my arms. You were tapping your foot when I arrived—and I thought you might like a dance. A pretty woman like you shouldn’t be sitting alone.” He stretched his palm out again in a plea.
About Melissa Keir
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Melissa Keir has always wanted to be an author when she wasn’t hoping for a career as a race car driver. Her love of books was instilled by her mother and grandparents who were avid readers. She’d often sneak books away from them so that she could fantasize about those strong alpha males and plucky heroines. In middle school and high school, Melissa used to write sappy love poems and shared them with her friends and still has those poems today! In college her writing changed to sarcastic musings on life as well as poems with a modern twist on fairy tales and won awards for her writing. You can find many of these musings along with her latest releases on her website and blog. Her stories feature small towns and happily ever after!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

“Take Five” with Lora Lee and her BRINGING IN THE THIEVES Blog Tour!

I’m excited to be one of the stops in author Lora Lee’s blog tour for the first book in her “Joyful Noise” cozy mystery series! I was fortunate to get an early read and I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that I devoured every sassy phrase and endearingly quirky character like a honeyed biscuit and tall glass of sweet tea. BRINGING IN THE THIEVES is a laugh-out-loud delight. The Southern twang of its prose, the heart-tugging hijinks when a cast of angel-voiced misfits collide with holier than Moses town leaders, and the tender grit of a heroine trying to solve a crime before she takes the blame had me at the back cover blurb and held me through every enjoyable page. I can’t wait for book two!

I’ve wrangled these answers to my “Take Five” questions from Lora Lee herself, so sit a spell and enjoy.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Nancy Horror Novelization Tour for IN THE WOODS!

You don’t need umbrellas or raincoats or funny props to follow this Horror show on the road (but I’d love to have you sing along!).

Buy The Book Tours has assembled 21 sites to host IN THE WOODS during this first week of March 2-7. I wrote the monster/knights-of-old/sorcery/serial killer/suspense novelization from an original horror screenplay by writer/director Lynn Drzick. Having just celebrated its 15-year anniversary as a little Indie film that wouldn’t die, we’ve breathed new life back into the book, now available on Kindle, to coincide with the Spring 2015 Blu-ray and Video-on-Demand versions of the film, complete with voice over commentaries by director Lynn Drzick, leading man DJ Perry and . . . me! Here’s a peek at IN THE WOODS . . .

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG: Which Door to Choose . . .

This new year presents with a problem I’ve never had before – not a lack of choices, but rather too many of them. I’ve always been bound to the contractual desires of my publishers so options were limited. But not so in 2015 . . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It’s a Fright Fest!

Welcome to my nightmare with my two favorite things: a book and a movie!

Back on October 17, 2014 old friends reunited at the 15 Year Anniversary screening of Indie horror film IN THE WOODS. Director Lynn Drzick, leading man DJ Perry and I hadn’t seen each other for years, but the creative spark was immediately rekindled due to our shared love of film. Here’s a bit of our history . . .

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG: Let It Go! … Starting 2015 Without the Baggage

Over the holidays I finally watched Frozen (I think I was one of the last holdouts!). Cute movie, great animation, heavy rotation songs, but the message resonated: Carrying around the pain, perceived failures and wrongs of the past snowballs into a crushing weight that becomes impossible to carry. We place this burden upon our own shoulders by allowing it to overshadow our dreams, our self-talk and motivation. This year, my resolutions don’t revolve around what I plan to obtain, but rather, what I plan to leave behind (over and above those pesky holiday pounds!). This right-on-the-money motivator will be hanging above my laptop:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Getting to Know Your Favorite (or new favorite!) Author: 20 Questions with Lora Lee

It seems like I’ve been waiting just about FOREVER for a new release from one of my favorite authors (it’s always so much loooonger when it’s anticipated!). I’m so excited to raise the roof over BRINGING IN THE THIEVES, the first book (of hopefully MANY!) in Lora Lee’s “Joyful Noise” cozy mystery series. You might already know Lora Lee as Loralee Lillibridge, and realize you’re in for a great curl up in a chair, turn off the phone and shoo away the family read. If not, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to both the book and the author – one of my fabulous critique partners and role model (I want to be LL when I grow up!) who can’t help but tote around a ray of Texas sunshine wherever she goes, and knows how to eat grits the right way, just like I was taught!

Give a big “Yee Haw” welcome to Lora Lee as she shares a bit about herself . . .

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ashes of Eden Review

I’m all about giving a shout out when one of my friends’ done good. I met DJ Perry over fifteen years ago when I wrote the novelization for IN THE WOODS, the Indie horror film he was starring in.