Monday, September 30, 2013

The Re-release Event of The Gathering by S. L. Dearing


Another world war has happened and everything we knew is now gone. There are no more countries.  No more government... only survivors who have created a new world made up of small colonies.  It has been  thirteen years and the village of Lia Fail sits peacefully above the Hollywood Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The settlement is making ready to host the fall Gathering, a time where every six months the other colonies from various parts of what was once Southern California visit for ten days of fun and reminiscence.  The Gathering begins as any other party.  A time for new loves, old friends, family, dancing and fun, but all too soon that changes.  The people in Lia Fail begin to experience strange goings on they can't explain, unseen forces attack several guests and friends begin to distrust friends.  When they receive news of a horrific massacre, they realize they must face an impending dark evil that threatens to descend on the tranquil village. 

Alia Stark, the queen of Lia Fail, must face this darkness.  But she will face the evil along side her oldest and dearest friends, as well as an amazing new ally.  The fate of her people, the lives of her children and freedom itself rests in her hands.  Will she have the courage to do what must be done? 

This is the beginning of a journey that will change all of their lives forever.


The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles is the first in a new Paranormal,  Fantasy, and Adventure Series.




Join us October 5 from 3-7pm PST on Facebook for a grand party event.  There will be games and prizes from LOTS of authors and Swag artists.  Please come and join the fun!!

About the Author:

Although she grew up in Arizona, S. L. Dearing was born and raised in California and considers the Golden State her home. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying biology, then moved to Los Angeles where she spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She learned the art of storytelling from her father when she was very young and has been writing since the tender age of five. As an author of many genres, she is always hoping to learn more by exploring the world of story. She has written her first novel The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles.  She also has short stories in several anthologies: Apocalypse: An Anthology by Readers & Authors, Paranormal Anthology with a Twist and the soon to be released Stalkers: A Collection of Thriller Stories. Shannon currently resides in Los Angeles.

Links -

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Take Chances by K. C. Sprayberry Blog Tour

Good Morning! My name is KC Sprayberry. Kay LaLone of I Love Books has let me hijack her blog today. The purpose is to tease all of her very dedicated readers with information about my soon-to-be-released YA coming of age novel, Take Chances.

It's an author interview. I'm pretty sure that by now, all of you won't believe how much I hate being in the public eye, but I do!

What are some of your favorite things to do?

These aren't related to writing, which of course is my most favorite thing to do, but I really do have a life.

a.   Family get togethers, where there is a lot of fabulous food, good times, and laughter.

b.   Singing along to my favorite song when I'm driving. Yeah, I look like a nut, but I'm a safe nut!

c.   Getting so involved with a new novel that I can see, hear, smell, and feel everything that's going on.

d.   Playing tug of war with my dog. She usually wins, but she's much younger than me.

e.   Finding new friends, getting to know them, learning they're a lot like me. New friends are our best bet against stagnation, but old friends are like a comfortable blanket – you can't go wrong with them because they know everything about you.

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?

Yikes. This question always fills me with dread. I hate condensing this down to a single person, a single book. My tastes in reading are varied, I'll read anything good. That's a huge area, but I do have those who I'll read over and over again.

a.   Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Yes, the series is finished, but I can't get enough of this one. Jordan spun a beautiful, active young adult series. Some will say it's far too old for young adults, but it's not. Even my teen enjoys this series. Often, I'll have to fight him for the next book when we're rereading it at the same time.

b.   Stephen King – anything, absolutely anything by Stephen King. I've been a fan of his since I bought Carrie many, many years ago. He was this great but as yet unknown writer. I just he knew would be a fabulously famous writer. I wasn't wrong.

c.   P.A. Estelle (aka Penny Estelle). I discovered this multi-talented woman after I signed my contract with Solstice Publishing for Softly Say Goodbye. She's fabulous. Her stories get right to the heart of things, and best of all, for a huge history buff like me, she makes history fun to learn.

What are some of your other favorite authors to read?

This falls into my escape mechanism. I love Lisa Gardner's suspense novels, Mary Higgins Clark's mysteries, Donna Alice Patton's sweet stories for children, and Ann Rule's true stories.

What do you think of critique groups in general?

I think critique groups are very important to writers. We are a lonely crowd, we tend to live within our stories, so we don't catch the big problems, and a lot of the little ones. I own and manage two online critique groups, one strictly for children's writing, while the other runs from middle grade to adult books.

A good critique group can help you fill in plot holes, pick up on when  you're going on and on about a trivial point that does nothing for plot movement, or just let you know that you're on the right track. I firmly believe in a critique group for all manuscripts.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Five years from now, I pretty much see myself where I am now. Writing new stories that come into my head, hoping my publisher(s) will love them, and watching people tell me their views of what I've done. A nice dream is that at least one of my books is a popular movie, and the general public is clamoring for more, more, more, but even if that doesn't happen, I won't stop writing. There are still so many stories to tell!



Julie Bond grew up in Europe as a military brat. She found her very first permanent home in Landry, GA as a teen going into high school. Almost four years later, she's having pre-graduation jitters and flashing back to an incident of school violence she experienced in Europe. She attempts to convince herself that it can never happen again, but continually finds herself flashing back to that day no matter how hard she tries.

The people around her present any number of problems for Julie, and she's hard put to keep from drowning under all the issues. Then Michael--a cool guy she's had a crush on for the last three years—returns from traveling the US as a photographer, and Julie now has one more thing to distract her as she prepares to leave high school. One thing she firmly believes in: no one will ever invade her classroom with violence again.

Once again, the impossible happens. Once again, she's in a classroom with a madman holding a gun. Once again, she must survive.

Teaser Excerpt:

"Don't think we'll ever do anything else. I won't let that happen."

As the last sentence slips out of my mouth, a sense of unease falls over me. I look around to see if someone dropped their books or is having a panic attack.

Thoughts of my parents first assignment in Germany comes to mind. Again. Twice in one day. I try to shove the images away, but they stay.



KC Sprayberry started writing young, with a diary followed by an interest in English. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in a Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now a in his senior year of high school.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories, and her young adult novel Softly Say Goodbye, released in 2012. During 2013, more young adult stories have been released: The Ghost Catcher, Who Am I?, Family Curse … Times Two, and Amazon Best Seller, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates.


You can find her on the web here:


Hello! Here's the day you were waiting for, through Sunday, September 29. You can pick up my other YA coming of age books, Softly Say Goodbye and Who Am I? free on Amazon:

Thank you Kay LaLone of I Love Books for hosting me today. Tomorrow you find the next Teaser Tour on Sabina Bundgaard of Sabina's Adventures in Reading .

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Plotting a Romantic Suspense Novel

Plotting a Romantic Suspense Novel


I love mystery plots. I love suspense more. Throw in M/M romance and I’m there.

There’s just something about getting inside the villain’s head that I love. In a mystery, you don’t get that, at least not until the “Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with a knife” scene at the end.

With suspense, it’s action-reaction-reaction-reaction. There’s always something happening.

Plotting a romantic suspense novel can be a challenge: playing the villain against the heroes, letting the heroes make progress and experience setbacks in the case, bringing the romance into the picture. I’d say it’s trickier than romance alone (which is tricky enough as it is).

I start with a concept. This is essentially a very short version of a logline. It doesn’t contain anything about the characters—just the plot idea.

From there, a villain. Yep, he’s first. For me, that’s a necessity. In the WIP he happens to be a rather twisted sociopath—this is my favorite type of villain.

Next is the first protagonist. This is the guy who’s going to be the one most intimately involved in the case. In the WIP, it’s a doctor who is accused of murder and sets out to prove his innocence.

The third character is the second protagonist. He’s also involved in the case, and the romantic foil for the first guy. In the WIP, it’s the cop who is investigating the murder.

After I’ve got this triangle of characters, I give each his own unique set of secondary characters. These will have minor parts to play. They may mix briefly, but I don’t want them to take over the story line.

NOW the plot. This is greatly simplified:

I start with the villain and the motivation for the crime—a real inciting incident. This is all backstory, but it’s necessary to understanding what’s going to happen. It might be something that happened years ago; it might be motivated by revenge.

The villain commits the crime. I like to plan what clues might be found.

The investigator enters the scene, and the story starts. His interviews and interpretation of the evidence lead to more conversation. His romantic foil enters next to lay the foundation for the romance.

Clues either advance the investigation or turn out to be dead ends (red herrings). The heroes get better acquainted.

Sensing or hearing about progress, the villain fights back.

The heroes regroup and react. This grows organically out of knowing the characters and how they might react. The hero’s flaws come in handy here. The two protags are now getting closer—maybe intimate by this point.

The villain tries distraction. Danger is exciting. Max it out.

The heroes discover the critical clue and head out for a confrontation with the villain.


Denouement. Happily ever after, or happily for now.

Here’s the blurb for High Concept, my new M/M romantic suspense:


Denver homicide cop and shooting survivor Beck Stryker lives to solve the case that left him with PTSD, chronic pain, and killed his co-investigator four months previous. Now his career hinges on his ability to work with the man who shut down his advances two years ago.

After last parting ways with Beck, psychiatrist-turned-FBI profiler Zach Littman never anticipated seeing the detective again. Being sent to Denver to work on a series of killings that have continued after the only suspect died is bad enough. Discovering the detective in charge is Beck leaves Zach gritting his teeth and girding his loins.

The last thing either of them needs is romantic entanglement with a fellow investigator, but danger is a powerful aphrodisiac. The case heats up, and friction between them ignites a fire neither can ignore, first at work and then in the bedroom. As they zero in on the plot behind the murders, the crosshairs zero in on Beck and Zach.



Beck reached his desk and lowered himself into the chair. A pile of reports sat waiting for his attention. Ridiculous. He was a homicide detective, not a secretary. This was a waste of his skills. Field cases waited, infinitely more interesting and requiring a detective’s intuition.

Across the room, Van met his gaze and looked away. Beck spun his chair toward the windows behind him. Sheets of water rippled down the windows, blurring the building across the street.

After the shooting, Beck’s ex-lover had made it clear as still water that there was nothing left between them. At least Van had understood the pressures of the job, the danger, both on the street and in the department. Homicide was a macho division, and the other detectives were unlikely to accept an alternate orientation. He and Van had agreed to keep their relationship under wraps. Had they had a relationship or just been fuck buddies?

Nights in a soft bed, Van’s hot tongue everywhere until Beck squirmed with need. A firm grip on his cock, stroking.

What would you like tonight?

Heat rushed to his groin. Mind-blowing sex—no doubt about that—but was that all they’d had?

They’d never eaten at a restaurant unless it was out of town. They’d never taken a vacation together. Van liked sun and sand and room service; Beck preferred snow and skiing and grilled steaks at the lodge. And they never stayed over at each other’s places.

Sure didn’t sound like a relationship. Hell, when he’d been lying in the hospital with his shattered shoulder pinned together, wondering if his hand would ever work again, he’d turned to Van expecting emotional support, and his lover had gunned down the only thing Beck had left.

Van had left nothing at Beck’s apartment except travel brochures.

The first time Beck had risked his heart, and he’d gotten blown away for his trouble. Staying secreted in the closet precluded Van paying attention to a disabled boyfriend. “It would look strange if I spent extra time with you,” Van had said, and he’d been careful not to visit more often than any of the others. At that point, Beck had wished his injuries had been more severe, that the bullet had hit a few inches to the right and down, preempting Van’s assault on Beck’s heart. Death had sounded better than total bereavement.

Anger had overtaken depression in short order. The first thing he’d done after arriving home was deep-six the tropical-vacation brochures littering the kitchen counter.

In the ensuing weeks, Beck had fought through the pain of physical therapy and the loss of the relationship.

As Beck’s psychologist, Jay had helped him work through most of that. And the painful inquiry about the shootings.

“Hey.” Soft brown eyes gazed down at him, wary, not welcoming. The familiar scent of Van’s bay rum aftershave reached Beck, and his stomach clenched.

“Well. What can I do for you, Detective Gates?”

Van plopped a folder on his desk. “Got a computer request that needs your expertise.”

“Don’t think I can help you.” Beck picked up a pen, tapped it on the folder. “I’m not a computer expert.”

Van’s full mouth thinned, lips pressed together. “It’s a search for vehicle license plates. Need it for the murder book.”





Thanks, Whitley, for stopping by my blog today. Great article. I will put High Concept on my reading list. Sounds like an iteresting book.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Review Of Dream Child By J. J. DiBenedetto

Dream Child

"I would give anything to take this away from her.  I would gladly go back to having the nightmares myself – the very worst ones, the ones that had me waking up screaming in a pool of my own vomit – rather than see Lizzie go through this..." 

As a resident at Children's Hospital, Sara can handle ninety hour workweeks, fighting to save her young patients from deadly childhood diseases.  But she's about to be faced with a challenge that all her training and experience haven't prepared her for: her four-year-old daughter has inherited her ability to see other people's dreams...

"Dream Child" is the suspenseful third novel in the "Dreams" series.

 My review of Dream Child. I give this book a five star review. "There's a reason you're having these dreams, and why I have them, too. It's because we have to fix whatever is wrong that we see in the dreams," Sarah says to her daughter, Lizzy, a four year old who has dreams like her mother.
The dreams can be frightening especially for a four year old, but also very disturbing. Sarah sets out to right the wrong. Nice blend of the dream world with the real world. Thanks, J. J. for a great read. Now on to read Dream Family.

Author Bio:

J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he's not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

The "Dreams" series is James' first published work.



Buy links:




·         Dream Student:

·         Dream Doctor:

·         Dream Child:

·         Dream Family:

·         Waking Dream:


Barnes & Noble:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Review Of The Keeper: Revenge By OL Romas

Title: The Keeper: Revenge

Series: The Keeper Series

Genre: NA Mystery/Thriller (no sex or cursing)

Author: OL Ramos

Tour Organizer: B3 Tours



Elizabeth is a brilliant loner with a troubling secret she doesn't even know. As if the trauma of her mother being abducted before her eyes as a young girl wasn't enough, the small town she lives in thinks she’s crazy. That all changed when she met Michael, a mysterious and handsome man who identified with her like no one else before. Michael’s long time friend Vincent visits and drops the bombshell of a lifetime on Elizabeth and her world becomes completely unraveled. 


Vincent’s information has revealed the world for what it is; a place where the impossible is real, and myths and legends walk slyly in shadow. A world that Elizabeth will learn she too is a member. Now, the three are caught up in a thousand year long conspiracy they never could have imagined. The three must rely on one another and the secret connection they all share if they have a chance to survive.


Book Links:

Elizabeth McBeth a.k.a. Liz, Izzy, Lizzy

Age: 19

Height: 5’4”

Weight: 120 lbs

Eyes: Green

Hair: Blonde

Traits: Extremely perceptive and intelligent. Liz possesses a very strong conviction of what is right and wrong. It is this sense of ethics that has her constantly questioning what is right and wrong. A little insecure and a bit of a whiner, Liz is very brave. Always willing to put herself in danger in order to help out others.

Elizabeth McBeth is just what you would expect from any girl next door. She’s sweet, caring, and honest. She’s even got one of the sharpest young minds in the country. But she also has a secret that she has to live with. The horrible truth about her mother’s disappearance ten years ago… the whole reason why she studies the paranormal and goes out at night. Her mother’s disappearance has gravely hurt her life. She has to take care of her father, constant trips to the shrink and everyone looking at her like she’s a kook. Her life was pretty much going status quo until she met Michael while working at Jack’s Place Bar and Grill.

Michael Clark a.k.a Michael the Ironskin

Age: Approximately 535 years old

Height: 6’8”

Weight: 308 lbs while in his human form

Eyes: Jade green

Hair: Black

Traits: Michael is a man from a different era. As a man who was originally born in Italy, he maintains the values of his upbringing. Honesty, honor, fair play and an emphasis on strategy; all of these are held in the highest of regards for the decorated werewolf. His nature and the role he plays in conserving nature’s balance make him very careful in choosing his friends. Michael is truly one of the most selfless beings ever to walk the Earth, but his role forces him to keep his existence a secret.

Michael is a mystery to Liz, who is just tugging away layers from his handsome facade, desperately trying to uncover his secret. But what Liz doesn’t know, what she couldn’t possibly even suspect is that Michael is a werewolf. But unlike fictional werewolves, Michael is responsible for the order and balance of nature. It is Michael’s sole responsibility to make sure that the world of man and the world behind the veil, where the true world lies, never cause chaos to one another. But chaos follows Michael’s closest friend, Vincenzo Della Rosa, wherever he goes…

Vincenzo Della Rosa a.k.a. Vincent, The Traitor

Age: Exact age is unknown, even to him. Approximately 1700 years old

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 205 lbs

Eyes: Sapphire blue

Hair: Golden blonde

Traits: Loud, condescending, sarcastic, and sometimes even outright insulting, Vincent is a force to be reckoned with. His time alive has made him very distant, even a little cold. But his aloof nature is a stark opposite of what he is really like inside. He is a fiercely loyal man who always puts others ahead of himself. His great insecurity comes from a great failure in his life, one that he may never forgive himself for….

Vincenzo Della Rosa, Vincent to everyone but his friends, isn’t your everyday hero. He’s sarcastic, lazy, and a shameless alcoholic. But what Liz, and even Michael, will learn is that Vincent himself hides behind those traits to mask a very deep pain. A pain that Liz is inexplicably connected to. This truth will make Vincent’s other secrets, including the fact that he is a 1700 year old vampire, seem small in comparison. But even with all of that in mind, if Vincent is the most powerful of his kind, why doesn’t he rule all of vampire society? The world might not be able to handle the truth.
Such great characters. I loved this book. I give this book a five star review. Liz is flung into a supernatural world and finds herself fallig in love with a vampire and a werewolf. The guys are in love with her and feel it is their duty to protect her. I like how the guys don't force her to chose. All three of them become good friends and work together to save the day.

At this point, I’m not even sure I want to go anywhere. This place looks great to me. But should I give in to temptation? Or should I take some time and weigh my options? It’s just a kiss after all, right?
     “I can sense your hesitation,” Michael says as he moves away from me. “But…in all honesty, I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to resist you anymore.”
     Michael moves back to my face and gives me a slow gentle kiss on my lips. His kisses are tender and gentle. I grab the back of his head and refuse to let him go.
This is one of my favorite scenes in the book.
Book Links:
Author Links: