Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Spotight - Ladies Uncorked by Sonia Hightower

Announcing the first release of the Napa Valley Naughties by Sonia Hightower
Ladies Uncorked
There’s a reason the room on the ladies only wine tour is so cheap… There’s only one bed!
But it’s big enough for three…

Girls just wanna have fun and what better way to do that than a weekend wine tour? Rozella needs a break from caring for her mother and her friend Nicole is newly single and in need of a respite from her own troubles.
Their eagerness turns to mild dismay, however, when they discover they got a great deal on a fancy hotel room only because they’re apparently sharing a bed...a bed big enough for three. Will they make use of it? They may have a willing bedmate in the form of a sexy tour guide. But first, they must uncork their inhibitions.

His gaze perused first Nicole, then Rozella, the glint in his eyes appreciative. Rozella busied herself pouring him a glass of wine. She willed her hands not to shake as she offered him the glass. “You’ve been left out of the festivities. I’m sure you’d like to make up for it now.”
He accepted the glass with a twitch at the corners of his mouth. “Yes, I assume I will.” He watched her as he took his first sip. Rozella saw the moisture of the wine on his lips and fought the urge to lick them. But then again, what was stopping her? Isn’t that what he was here for? Did they really want to waste time with their life stories?
As Nicole led him to the bed and sat down with him, her own wine glass in hand, Rozella decided not. They weren’t interested in life stories tonight. The sexual tension in the air was palpable.
She grabbed her own wine glass and gulped greedily, watching as Nicole set her own aside to place one hand on Blake’s thigh and one on his back, leaning in close. The whitish-gold liquid stung her throat and caused her eyes to tear. She wasn’t used to drinking so quickly, and the wine from Vespera’s was more potent than a store bought vintage.
Nicole and Blake were whispering to each other, smiles lighting their faces. Rozella set her glass down, grabbed the wine bottle, and approached them. She gestured to Blake’s empty glass as she held the bottle out. “More?”
“No.” He grinned, set his glass on the nightstand, and rose to stand before her. His chest was almost touching hers. Her nipples hardened beneath the material of her dress. “Maybe after,” he murmured right before he caught her mouth with his own.
Available on Amazon and Secret Cravings Publishing.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Real Life Werewolf

People always ask writers where they get their ideas from. For me, most of my ideas initiate from dreams. I am one of those New Age gals who keeps a little dream journal by my bed so I can jot down all my dreams as soon as I wake up. I do this not just for writing purposes but because I am a believer in the symbolism behind our dreams.I believe they are often our subconscious or even the spirit world trying to communicate with us. It was years ago that my muse came to me with the initial seed that would later grow into Morrigan. One night about ten years ago, I had a dream about a man coming through a magic portal and taking me to a fairytale world.  The dream was brief and there wasn't much detail, but it stuck with me for years. I wanted to make it into a book, but it wasn't until I met my husband many years later that the rest of the pieces fell into place.

Meeting my husband ties into dreams as well. When we met, I was messing around on an internet dating site. I know it sounds pathetic, but for a single mom in a small town, there was no other way to meet new people who weren't drunken losers. Well, some of them still turned out to be drunken losers, or married losers, or reverends of the jedi order--but that's another story.  It wasn't something I took seriously. I wasn't looking to find true love or get married. I was just looking to have fun on my nights without kids. I never planned on getting married again. I had walked away from a bad marriage that could have destroyed me emotional and financial, and picked up the pieces and rebuilt a good life for me and my two children.  I had a great job, bought a house, and was the epitome of a strong, independent women. Not that falling in love would make you weak. I just wasn't interested. Then one day I get an email on Yahoo personals from this guy named Timmie. He had no picture. Normally this was a huge red flag. It usually meant one of two things--they were hideously deformed or married. As someone with a love of the Phantom of the Opera, it was more the married part that concerned me. I had been on the other end of a cheating husband and didn't take kindly to being placed in the role of the other women. My normal instinct to those emails was to ignore them. Yet, this time, my instincts told me the opposite and I knew why.  This is where dreams come back into play. The reason I kept reading that email from the imageless man was because his name was Timmie and Timmie was my dream man. Quite literally.

In my novel, Morrigan often muses about the dark knight who had haunted her dreams for as long as she can remember. For me, Timmie had been in my dreams since I was a child. He was even my imaginary friend when I was little. I still had the dreams occasionally, but I had long since given up on any visions of love that might come from them. Then I got this email and I knew I had to reply. The funny thing is, I told this mysterious Tim from the start that I was only replying to him because of my dreams. That would have scared most normal guys away. Of course, my dream man isn't normal. What fun would that be?

In was only a week later that I met Timmie for the first time. He was sitting on a bench in our designated public meeting place, and I knew for sure it was him even before formal introductions were made.   My feelings from that  first glance were exactly the same as Morrigan's the first time she saw Filtiarn. 

Instantly, all her worries and fears vanished. It was as if an angel had miraculously appeared in her moment of turmoil, albeit a scruffy and somewhat rugged looking angel. He was amazing—a walking piece of medieval art. She swore beams of light illuminated him in a strange, unearthly glow. She wasn’t even sure if he was real or just another vision. There were two things she knew with absolute certainty from the first second she saw him. She was recklessly in love with him, and it completely terrified her.

The fact that Morrigan dreamed of Filtiarn is not the only similarity between  Morrigan's love interest and mine. From out first date, Timmie enchanted me with his tales of his cross county travels. He was once a dread-locked hippie who traveled with the Rainbow Gathering, slept under bridges, and even lived in a cave for three months. Now, the average girl would who heard these stories on a first date would probably wish she had a cave to hide in.  Not me. Timmie was refreshing and unique. This was the first date I had since my divorce that didn't leave me rolling my eyes.  A rainbow even appeared in the sky as we walked along the boardwalk, a sign of new beginnings (you might recognize this scene if you've read Phantom).

That look on his face is classic Filtiarn

Of course, I can't fail to mention the physical traits that Filtiarn inherited from Timmie. Just a few weeks into our relationship, he had earned the nickname of Chewy because he is literally covered in hair. He is the reason for the term "five o'clock shadow". I could probably braid the hair of his arms and legs. Even his fingers and toes have hair! As I was working on my character development, this character that Timmie inspired could only be one type of creature. Thus Filtiarn "King of the Wolves" was created--a werewolf. He has Timmie's hairiness, his musical abilities (though I switched it from a saxophone to a panflute), and of course, his witty sarcasm.

 “Humph.” Tiarn grunted and curled his lip. “You call that filthy! You obviously do not know the meaning of the word. That place we just came from—what do you call it? Baltimore? Cement covering the Goddess’ green earth. Wires blocking the view of Father Skye. Pollution making it difficult to breathe, and litter everywhere you look. That was filth. The dust on those blankets is just good old-fashioned dirt. Honest to goodness, deliciously clean dirt! You should revel in it, Princess! The bed where you shall lay your head this night is the cleanest and purest you have rested on in many moons.

So often I have seen people turn up their nose at the idea of "instalove", saying its unrealistic. I can tell you first hand, there's nothing unrealistic about it. But this love at first sight phenomenon isn't as instant as it seems. My relationship with my husband didn't start in this life.  I have had several past life regressions that included him, some of which he was also recalled. So in my mind, "instalove" is really a love between two old souls who have found each other for first time in a new life. This is a love that has spanned through countless lifetimes and that even death could not destroy. Timmie is my soul mate, my inspiration, and the reason Morrigan became my most popular book to date. I love my real life werewolf, in this life and the next!

You can order the Morrigan in both print or ebook formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. To get a little taste of what Morrigan is all about, check out the blurb and excerpt below.

 Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.

Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Spotlight - Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson

Magic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed.

 Where to Buy
  You can  get your copy of Mark of the Witch on Amazon for only $.99.

About the Author

 First and foremost, I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mother to a 2 year old little boy. I love to read when I can find the time, my Kindle is my best friend. I've read tons and tons of books. One of my favorite authors is Diana Gabaldon, her Outlander series is absolutely amazing. I also really enjoy Charlaine Harris' True Blood series. I'll read anything supernatural, I've blown through most of the good YA series' that are out there. I think my love of reading really helped me branch out into writing.

Connect With Jessica

Twiter: jessicajgibson

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free Blogger Event: A New Year, A New Way To Shop!

TopHatter Event Button

A New Year, A New Way to Shop! Event

Sponsored by TopHatter & Hosted by Mom Powered Media
Prize: $200 Cash
Event dates: 1/1 - 1/30

Free Blog Event! Sign-up here, BLOGGERS WANTED

Enchanted Garden DVD Review

Nine-year old Serena Hanna narrates this charming tale about the beauty of creation, told mainly through music and dance, when one magickal day the veil between the worlds is lifted and she discovers hidden realms in her own backyard. Fairies, mermaids and other mythical creatures beckon her to follow s she learns about earth, air, fire and water, the dance of nature and the unity of all things. A mesmerizing and educational adventure filled with original music, dance and dazzling colors. Suitable for children of all ages. 2009.

Where to Buy

Get your copy of The Enchanted Garden DVD at the Belly Dance America Store for only $14.95.

My Thoughts:

The Enchanted Garden is simply breathtaking! The music is enchanting and the dancing is elegant and graceful. The story follows the tale of a little girl who finds herself in the world of the fae when the veil between worlds is lifted. She meets fairies and mermaids and all other types of mythical creatures. They are dressed in vibrant and beautiful colors that left my three year old riveted and even my twelve year old daughter couldn't tear her eyes away.  The story may seem like its pure fantasy with fairies and other magical beings, but there are also many lessons in the story. Children will learn about the magic of the elements and the unity of all things. It also encourages them to enjoy the art of music and dance. As an adult, I even enjoyed the bright, colorful costumes and pagan theme. There are chants I know well and have used in ritual. I would recommend this DVD to anyone who enjoys fantasy or follows a New Age path.

***Please note that I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of the product to try in order to write a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced in any way. ***

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blood Lust by Jessica Gibson - Free on Smashwords!

Ronan has lived for hundreds of years. In all of his years there has only been one for him. What will he risk to get back what is his by right? This is a short story and is the prequel to Love and Blood. Love and blood is book 1 in the Blood Ties series and is due out in January 2013

Where to Buy

Right now, Blood Lust is available for FREE on Smashwords! You can also find on on Amazon for only $.99.

About the Author

 First and foremost, I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mother to a 2 year old little boy. I love to read when I can find the time, my Kindle is my best friend. I've read tons and tons of books. One of my favorite authors is Diana Gabaldon, her Outlander series is absolutely amazing. I also really enjoy Charlaine Harris' True Blood series. I'll read anything supernatural, I've blown through most of the good YA series' that are out there. I think my love of reading really helped me branch out into writing.

Connect With Jessica

Twiter: jessicajgibson

Monday, December 24, 2012

Free Blogger Event - $500 Cash Giveaway

Resolutions Button

Resolutions to a Better You! Event

Prize: $500 Cash
Event dates: 1/3 - 1/31

Free Blog Event! Sign-up here, BLOGGERS WANTED

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Player Availabe on Smashwords

Joshua Hanover is rich, handsome, athletic, and popular with the ladies—until he is paired up with his beautiful but shy lab partner, Rosa. As the chemistry grows between them, Josh realizes that his player days have come to an end. But not only is Rosa leery of his reputation, four vindictive ex-girlfriends are on a rampage. When he ignores their threats, his tires are slashed, someone tries to poison him, and one of the girls turns up dead. Josh doesn’t know who to trust, but one thing is certain—being a player isn’t worth the price.
 Get your ebook copy of Player on Smashwords for only $2.99. Its also available on Amazon.  Print copies are coming in January.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Secrets of the Mermaids - Guest Post by Michelle Snyder


Stories about mermaids have been told throughout the ages. They are related in symbolism to elementals and water spirits, and appear before storms and disasters strike. Mermaids and mer-men are associated with things of the sea, and like other popular story characters, mermaids have roots in ancient cultures. Mermaid means sea-maid or sea-woman. Their history entwines with that of Helen and Medusa, and they are descendants of the Ancient Mariners (circa 4000 BC). Ancient navigators were called Gorgons and are the basis of the beautiful female figureheads carved on the prows of ships, symbolic of a powerful Gorgon watching the sky and sea. Some stories describe mermaids living underwater in riches and splendor, eloquent and cultured.

Mer-people generally kept to the sea and rarely married mortals. When they did, they took their wives from land to the sea. Some mermaids fell in love with human males, who, then enchanted, did whatever they could to marry the beautiful creatures. 
Mer-people speak the language of the sea and the language of land-dwellers. A Syrian story records that if a mer-man and a human wife have a baby, the child will know the language of both the Earth and Sea – that of farming and navigation.

In early religions of the world there  were images of gods that were half human and half fish. In Syria they are called Kukullu, which means fish-man. These fish-men also show up in Mesopotamian and Babylonian history. Sumerians and Assyrians depicted bearded human figures with a fish body hanging off their head down the back to their toes like a cape. Mer-people images and sculptures are found in Assyrian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian art and temples. In Japan they are known as ninayo; Hispanic folklore describes water maidens as small human-shaped beings with stars on their heads and golden hair (stars being associated with knowledge of astronomy, and golden hair a symbol of the sun).

Legends also says that by obtaining an object belonging to a mer-person, one can keep them from returning to the sea until the object is returned to them or retrieved; this refers to maidens kept for marriage. If you were in business, you knew that captured mer-people could not refuse to keep a bargain they made, but they were considered tricky and dangerous to deal with. Sometimes mer-people were caught and held for ransom: Their wisdom and their knowledge of astronomy and natural science were unsurpassed. Knowledge and wisdom of such great value, worthy of a ransom, was that associated with navigation: astronomy, longitude, currents, and mapping.

Many legends and historic accounts tell of Faerie-Queen Melucine (circa 400 AD), a double-tailed mermaid called a Siren. She was the daughter of Queen Pressine, and Elinas, King of Albania. Despite palimpsest accounts of  betrayal, abandonment, and deformed children, many monarchies go to great lengths to have their genealogies traced to her family. 

The Little Mermaid, made popular by Hans Christian Anderson in 1873, is a Faerie tale with roots in the history of the ancient mariner culture. This, and other similar folklore, are legends of courage - originally tales of adults willing to sacrifice themselves to protect their children. Passed down through the millennia in legends and symbols, stories about mermaids have become childhood favorites. These powerful elusive creatures are still associated with water, and have come to express the concepts of the unconscious and wisdom.

Article and artwork © 2011 Michelle Snyder, author of The Lost Unicorn, available with her other books at Amazon. Visit her Blog: The Language of Once Upon a Time, sign up for her Premium Members Symbolism Newsletter, for only $1.95 month!
You can also visit Michelle and read more about symbols on her website and blog:
Follow Michelle on Twitter
Books by Michelle: 
The Lost Unicorn
Art and Symbols Once Upon a Time
Author Bio: Michelle is an author, speaker, columnist, blogger, and teacher. Her post-graduate degree from the University of Wales is in the discipline of decoding ancient symbols. She has been teaching art and visual language to students of all ages for 35 years, and has written many books about decoding symbols. Her latest book is an original fairy tale based on her research. Her artwork, inspired by her love of symbols, has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio with her husband