Crazy Busy = Upcoming MIA Blog Posts

(in best speaksey voice, complete with wiggly eyebrows) Regarding those upcoming blog posts, yeah? Wells, here’s the scoop.

I have this great day job with a local provider of higher education and this is the time of year when multiple graduations devour students and their time. As one of those administrative persons who assist said students, it is also that time of the year when my time is gobbled up by panicked students facing various final projects. As I am there to help talk them off the ledge, my next couple of weeks will be dedicated to their graduation success, therefore blog posts and personal writing time will be set aside.

This is not all bad. In fact, next week will see Chapter 4 of Conjuring Misery, the joint endeavor of myself, Camille Douglass, and Dave Benneman. So be sure to tune in next Thursday for that delicious indulgence of magical fantasy.

And then there are the following exciting upcoming events

  • The highly anticipated release of TOUCHED BY FATE, the second PSY-IV Teams book on 5/24/16 (go forth, pre-order your copy!).
  • Hang on because I’ve finally gone for it— will be getting a make-over. Yes, indeedy, we are sprucing up the place and adding a little polish. I’ll try to give you a date when I get one. This time, it’s not me behind the changes, but the talented staff of Hot Damn Designs and their fearless leader, Kim Killion, who are coming to my rescue.
  • I’ve joined forces with Goodreads and set up a giveaway of 3 autographed print copies of HUNTED BY THE PAST, to celebrate TOUCHED’s release! Go forth and throw your name in the hat!

So while I may miss a post here and there to the everyday chaos, I do promise things are happening!


SJ Francis uncovers dangerous family secrets and old betrayals #suspense #giveaway #familysaga


*Warning: today’s excerpt steps into dangerous territory, so before you tread forward, you were warned.

Today we welcome SJ Francis and her debut novel, Shattered Lies, where digging into family secrets can be hazardous to your health and heart…Front cover

She wants to know the truth, but some secrets might be better left alone…

Kate Thayer has a good life as a veterinarian, running the family horse farm—until she uncovers an act of unimaginable treachery by those she trusted most and learns that everything she knew about herself was a lie. Her paternal grandmother, the woman who raised her, is behind a number of devastating secrets Kate is compelled to discover. But the deeper she digs, the more betrayal she finds, changing her life in ways she could have never foreseen.


She knew that bigotry existed, but she had never experienced it quite like this before…

Kate couldn’t say anything for a moment. She was just too astonished. “Wh—what? Excuse me? What you did you say?”

The other boy with brown hair spoke, “Sorry, miss.” He giggled too. “You have to excuse my friend. He’s a little drunk.”

“How old are you two?”

They didn’t look older than eighteen, and had acne breakouts on their cheeks, but she knew better than anyone that looks could be deceiving.

“We’re old enough,” the rude one said.

Sam returned just as the rude one spoke again and pointed, “Hey look, it’s the Jolly Giant Nigger.”

Kate shot to her feet so that she was between Sam and them.

A porter was with Sam. “Is there a problem, miss?”

“Yes,” she said without facing him. “We’d like to change our seat.”

“Of course, Sam asked too. We have another place for you over here, if you both come with me.”

Kate moved to leave. The two young men said nothing, which was a good thing. She swore she could feel her blood boiling in her veins. If they said one more thing…

Sam stood aside to let her exit and then she heard the young man. “Goodbye now, Uncle Tom.” Giggling. “Enjoy your meal, Uncle Tom, so nice to see you.” More giggling. “Dumb nigg—”

He didn’t have a chance to finish. Kate snatched the water glass from the table, threw the water at him, slammed the empty glass down hard on the table directly in front of him, and glared into his eyes. “You disgust me! It’s people like you who have turned this world into shit!”


As you can see, SJ fears not the tough topics, so of course, I had to grill poke and prod at what makes her tick. She bravely accepted my challenge (something about not being able to leave until I was satisfied might have had something to do with it). Without further ado, may I present, the magnificent SJ Francis…

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each? 

Hmmn….let’s think on this. Should I be politically correct or push the bar? (push, push) I’m a writer so let’s push the bar as far as I can. For a dinner party, I think I would have to invite Leonardo da Vinci, Genghis khan, Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Idie Amin, and Fidel Castro. I think that would be an interesting assortment of people. Now to the questions….

For the deep thinking, Da Vinci, I’d ask, what do you think man is capable of?

For Genghis Khan, how far do you think you can go?

For Napoleon, If you had conquered Russia, what then?

For Winston Churchill, what if Germany won, then what?

For Idi Amin, what did human flesh taste like? Or, if you want to protect sensitive tummies, Jami, how about, if you ruled today, would you do anything differently? (Never fear, SJ, my followers are a tough batch of cookies, I think they’d be more interested in the culinary aspects.)

For Castro, what do you see in the future for Cuba and the United States?

I’m sure the combined presence of these mixed personalities and responses would heat things up considerably. Don’t you think? (It’d be fun to be a fly with a notepad on the wall!)

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I wanted to do everything. Of course, that wasn’t realistic. I wanted to become a veterinarian. I love animals and just wanted to help and protect them. Once, I discovered there was too much math and science involved to become one, I knew I had to choose something else, but my love for animals and advocating for them has never waned. (Funny enough, being a vet was one of my choices, until Career Day in eighth grade where a beautiful Shepherd’s hind leg had to be reset. I broke down and couldn’t stay in the room.)

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

This happens a great deal to me, but after reviewing and editing and slicing off bits, and chunks, and ending up a bit bloodied and bruised in the process, the story survives stronger and better than it was before. But what a chore it was to get there. Not to mention the endless amount of gauze and tape. Oh my! *fist bump offered*

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

That’s an easy one. The best advice I was ever given was by the late great Jackie Collins. She had a passion for writing that was contagious and helped me regain my passion for writing when I thought I had lost it. When I needed encouragement the most, she told me, “Keep your writing passion on fore.” Don’t let anything get in the way of your writing.

What is the best advice you can share with others?

I’d like to build on what Jackie Collins told me. Never stop learning. Never stop reading. Never stop writing. If you want to write, just write. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. As long as you believe you can write, you can. Discouragement lurks behind every corner. You are going to want to quit. Don’t. Never give up. Never let fear win. Never. For the day you do, you will give up. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your writing.

Our infamous bullet list is next, and SJ handled it beautifully…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

For me, it’d be anything I can get my hands on. Pens, pencils, knives, even a fork can be used as a weapon by me.

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

The Ugly Duckling.

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read? Which do you prefer? The ones on the nightstand, bookcase, table or floor?

Let’s go with nightstand. 1)Haunted Britain and Ireland, 2)Agatha Christie-Hercule Poirot Short Stories, again, and 3)Heather Neff’s Leila II: The Moods of the Sea.

Greatest one liner of all time?

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Because, sometimes, I just really don’t.

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

I think I’m more Southern sweetness. (Bless your heart…)

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A ceramic egg. According to Fen Shui or something, having an egg in your work space is supposed to be good luck. We’ll see……

Favorite supernatural creature?

I have to say Werewolf. Therewolf? No. Werewolf. I’d like to ask a rotten human try and hurt a werewolf. It’d be interesting. (How about a Direwolf for even more fun IMO.)

To celebrate the launch of SHATTERED LIES, SJ is offering a free book giveaway. To all those who leave a comment during her blog tour at her website, you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a personally autographed paperback copy of her debut novel, Shattered Lies. Two copies are available giving two of you a chance to win. To keep up with her stops on her blog tour please visit her website.

Just leave a comment at her website and drop her a line with “Giveaway” in subject line at:

Be sure to leave a valid, working email address in case you win. Good luck and thanks so much for stopping by. She loves to connect with other authors and readers.

FYI: The drawing will take place at the end of my blog tour on Saturday, December 12, 2015. I will contact the winner at their email address at that time to request your mailing address to send you the printed copy of Shattered Lies.

Author Badge (Small)S.J. Francis is a freelance writer with over three hundred publication credits, a University Lecturer with doctorates in English, Mass Communications, and Law, and most recently, a novelist. Francis writes for many publications, as well as regularly contributing to the local newspaper. Francis’ first novel, Shattered Lies is a women’s fiction/mainstream/family saga novel. In the end, it’s all about family.

You can hunt SJ down at any of the following virtual links:

Website    Black Opal Books      Amazon        Facebook       Twitter      Goodreads     Google+      Pinterest


Dive into a Romantic Adventure with Susan Royal #romadv #timetravel #museitup

Today we welcome Susan Royal, fellow authoress at MuseIt Up. She’s bringing along her fantastical romantic adventures, including her latest new release: Xander’s Tangled Web! To help celebrate she’s giving two lucky commenters a copy of their choice of NOT LONG AGO or IN MY SHADOWJust share your favorite genre to read with your email, and one of those winners could be you. We’ll announce our lucky comment winners on Wednesday, Oct. 28th, so check back!

While we wait for her latest release to hit shelves in Fall 2015, you can indulge in her books: In My Own Shadow and the first two installments in her time-traveling series, Not Long Ago and From Now On


Talk about the worst day ever! Lara lets her friend Carrie talk her into a blind date, only it turns out the handsome stranger waiting for Lara after work isn’t Carrie’s cousin after all. And, when they’re chased through a portal to another world, Lara realizes Rhys really is out of this world.

Lyra, her alternate in another dimension, has left clues to the whereabouts of the Book of Secrets that explains the mystery of time travel in Lara’s subconscious. Or so Rhys thinks. Power-hungry telepaths pursuing them will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means breaking Lara’s mind. To complicate matters, Lara gets tangled up in her feelings for Rhys while exploring her connection with Lyra.

With Rhys as her guardian, a bear of a man named Azle to guide her, and the spirit of Lyra haunting her dreams, Lara must find the Book of Secrets before it falls into the hands of those who want its power. Only then can she return to her world safely.

Not long ago FromNowOn_200x300

Erin has met the man of her dreams, but as usual there are complications. It’s one of those long distance relationships, and Griffin is a little behind the times– somewhere around 600 years.

Along with her employer, March, Erin is transported to a time where chivalry and religion exist alongside brutality and superstition. Something is not quite right at the castle, and they are certain mysterious Lady Isobeil is involved. But Erin must cope with crop circles, ghosts, a kidnapping and death before the truth of her journey is revealed.

Forced to pose as March’s nephew, she finds employment as handsome Sir Griffin’s squire. She’s immediately attracted to him and grows to admire his courage, quiet nobility and devotion to duty. Yet, she must deny her feelings. Her world is centuries away, and she wants to go home. But Erin can’t stop thinking about her knight in shining armor.  

From there, the story could have gone anywhere. Turns out it did. I never expected it to become a series, but my daughter insisted the story wasn’t finished, and she was right.    

From Now On takes up where the first book left off. Some of my favorite characters are back. Arvo: the tall gangly young man with a disreputable shock of red hair who becomes Erin’s good friend and confidant. Sir Edevane: Griffin’s fellow knight and friend. Kat: Griffin’s feisty little sister.

Griffin travels across centuries to find Erin, but before they can begin their new life together, he’s sent on a mission to a strange island. When he doesn’t return, Erin assembles a group of his friends to search for him. Followed by his strong-willed sister, Kateryn, they travel to Swansea and secure passage with the notorious Captain Akin.

She discovers firsthand how the island has earned its dark reputation when she battles freakish weather, encounters a race of little people known as “Prowlies” and experiences ghosts of the long departed. Even worse, she discovers there are “ley lines” crossing the island’s mountain peak, creating all sorts of strange phenomena. Yet these obstacles pale in comparison to the secrets she uncovers while trying to rescue the man she loves.

If you love a time travel adventure with a twist (and a love story) and haven’t read Not Long Ago, please do. You can continue Erin and Griffin’s story with From Now On. As for what’s going to happen to them in Book 3? It’s too soon to tell, but here’s a hint. As the relationship between the two love birds grows, they’ll have more obstacles to overcome. In addition, you’ll likely see something about the caves in Wales, blood moons and ghost stories.

Now that we’ve added some great titles to our TBR piles, time to grill Susan…

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

My list was lengthy: a singer (love making music) a comedian (love to make people laugh) a teacher (not too sure about that one)and an artist (I love drawing and painting)

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Sarcastic, Impatient, persistent, stubborn, independent, quirky

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

Sarcastic, impatient, persistent, stubborn, independent, quirky.

We all have favorite characters, either main or secondary, and there are always bits and pieces of them we don’t share with our readers, but keep close to our hearts. Choose your favorite from your cast of characters and tell us a couple of things that you haven’t shared in your books/writing.

It’s no secret the tailor’s son, Arvo, has a thing for Erin, even though he knows how she feels about Griffin. He’s come to terms with the situation, but he’s searching for the same kind of relationship they have, and he’ll do just about anything to get it.

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

I would love to have sit down and have a conversation with Ray Bradbury. I’ve long admired the way he painted pictures with his words. He made me want to live in Greentown, Illinois and be friends with everyone who lived there.

Growing up, what was your favorite book, comic, game or movie and did you create a character/player that might resemble you?

I was Jane in all the Tarzan movies, Peter Pan’s Wendy, Jo in Little Women and Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes.

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?

I had the idea for a novel in high school. After many false starts and revisions, I finally finished it a few years ago and I’m happy to say In My Own Shadow ended up being a lovely adventure. Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you? When I was 6 or 7, I wrote a book about our vacation, complete with illustrations, bound with a red ribbon. In fact, I still have it.

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

I’m a pantser who does a little plotting, so it happens at least once with every story I write. I get about 60,000 words into it and wonder what in h-e-double-toothpicks I’m doing. What was I thinking? Where do I go from here? How do I finish this thing? I’m completely overwhelmed. I have to go back to the beginning and read it like a reader and not an editor. Eventually things click, and I realize how the story plays out. The rest is history.

What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

I’m not much for writing contemporary pieces, unless it’s something like urban fantasy. My time travel starts out in the present, but not for long. I’d much rather write about some other time, some other place in the universe.

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

Once I was crying on a fellow writer’s shoulder, whining about a plot hole in my WIP big enough to drive a truck through and he said, You’re the author. It’s your story. So fix it. You can change it and make it whatever it needs to be. And he was right.

What is the best advice you can share with others?

Keep writing, keep learning, keep submitting and never ever give up

Hang tight as we have Susan step up and face our bullet list. Ready? Aim…fire!

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

All of the above, along with explosive devices

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Peter Pan

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews, Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stievater, The Shadow’s Edge by Jami Gray (These are only a few on my TBR list)

Greatest one liner of all time?

Don’t quit your day dream.

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic Witticism

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A gnome from the Isle of Man

Favorite supernatural creature?


Big thank you to Susan for taking time to come visit.

Bio photo

     Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan makes her home in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town. She shares it with a ghost who likes to harmonize with her son when he plays guitar.

She is married and the mother of six (she counts her children’s spouses as her own) and five grandchildren who are all unique and very special. Her family is rich with characters, both past and present. Her grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory with three sisters and three brothers and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. Her father told her about growing up in San Antonio in the depression, and she experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes.

When she isn’t writing, she works as a secretary in education and does her best to keep up with her grandchildren. Music and painting are two of her passions. She is a firm believer in getting what you want without breaking the bank. She loves to bargain shop anywhere there’s a sale and began repurposing long before it was popular. She paints, crafts and sews. Her office/craft/sewing room is littered with her latest projects.

Susan loves to take her readers through all kinds of adventures with liberal doses of romance. So far, she’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On. They are time travel adventures with romance about two people who fall in love despite the fact they come from very different worlds. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Out this fall is her YA fantasy, Xander’s Tangled Web. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N. You can also find Odin’s Spear, one of her short stories featured in a Quests, Curses, and Vengeance anthology, Martinus Publishing, available on Amazon.

Want to know more? Visit or for a peek inside this writer’s mind and see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.

Divas of Romance Join Labors of Love Hop #LOLHop #giveaway #romance

From sweet to dark, divas of romance work their fingers to the bone for your reading pleasure in the Labor of Love Bloghop from 9/4-9/6. Come join me and enter to win a Kindle with new, heart-pounding titles just for you!
2015_8 Labor of Love hop_D2 copy

Happily ever afters only come after heart-breaking work, and this Labor Day weekend, we are celebrating our written labors of love by giving our readers a chance to win a brand-spankin’ new Kindle with our personal bests. That’s right, you could win all of our books! Aren’t you excited? We are! So here’s your chance, just click the link below to enter our giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While each story I create is close to my heart, I’ve decided to share the first book from my Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams, HUNTED BY THE PAST. The PSY-IV Teams (think ‘cypher’ teams) evolved from love of suspense with military leanings, but I couldn’t escape my need for the unusual abilities, so my heroes and heroines face external and internal danger on multiple levels. As if I’d make it easy on any of my characters to find their happily ever after…


Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…

Changing the past is impossible, a fact ex-marine, Cynthia Arden, understands all too well. Struggling with the aftermath of a botched mission, a panicked phone call brings her home to face a killer’s game. Unfortunately, the distracting Kayden Shaw returns as well, the one man she thought would stand by her, until he chose his job over her.

To survive, will Cyn risk her heart or lose the man she loves and her life?

My head pressed against my knees, while my arms wrapped around my shins, holding myself together so I wouldn’t shatter into unrecognizable pieces. I squeezed my eyes shut, gasping against the heavy, hot air. God, it hurt. So much so, I wanted to scream. But I couldn’t. Screaming would solve nothing. It wouldn’t bring Kelsey back. Wouldn’t chase Ellery back into hell where he belonged. Wouldn’t make anything right. Instead I had to suck it up and play Ellery’s sick game. And now he had Kayden in his sights.

I have no idea how long I sat there lost in the unlit spaces of my soul. There were lines I’d told myself I’d never cross, but at this particular moment, when grief and rage combined into an unforgiving storm, I would have crossed every single one in exchange for Ellery’s destruction. Options I would have never considered played through my mind, tempting me to step a little deeper into the shadows. It wouldn’t be hard. I’d learned quite a few things in the military.


The sound of my name snagged me from tumbling over into the moral abyss. A touch stroked over my spine, stopping the unconscious rocking motion I’d adopted. I blinked my eyes open, only then noticing the tears weighing down my lashes. Kneeling next to me, Kayden, face etched with concern, eyes watchful, waited until I focused on him. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” My question came out hoarse.

“Don’t go down that road, you’ll get lost.”

I held his gaze, unable to answer, not caring how eerily well he read me. Part of me didn’t give a damn anymore, too much rage, too much guilt, too much pain; all of it coalescing together until it swallowed me whole.

He reached out and brushed away the lingering tears. “You take that road and you’ll lose Kelsey forever.” He curved his palm against my cheek. “You’ll lose yourself, and then he’ll have won. The price is too steep.” There was no judgment in his voice or his expression. Instead a hint of some hard-won knowledge resonated through his words like a bell, spreading until they chased the whispers of vengeance leading me toward the edge.

“I’m not sure I care anymore,” I whispered, meeting his gaze without flinching.

“You care or you wouldn’t still be here.” He watched me. Under any other circumstances I’d be dodging the intense eye contact we shared, but at this moment, I feared the loss of it would send me tumbling into the yawning pit before me.

Have I got your attention? Good, because the second PSY-IV Team book, TOUCHED BY FATE is coming early 2016 from MuseIt Up Publishing, so go get HUNTED BY THE PAST while you can!

And because I don’t want your To Be Read pile to wither away over the holiday weekend, one lucky commenter will win an e-copy of SHADOW’S EDGE, the first in my Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles. Whatever shall you comment on, you ask? Well, let’s celebrate your greatest accomplishment! Just post your favorite accomplishment in the comments below and I’ll announce our winner on 9/7.

2015_8 Labor of Love hop_D2 copy

Thank you for join joining our Labors of Love Blog Hop. To see who’s participating, click the link below and work your way through our participating authors: 

*Thank you for joining us and we apologize that we seem to be having tech issues with the Linky Link. If it doesn’t work, please see complete participating authors list below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

SONS OF THE SPHINX: Love or Destiny? Meet Cheryl Carpinello to find out #YA #Paranormal #awardwinning #newreads

It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest, but today we have the lovely Cheryl Carpinello, the creative mind behind SONS OF THE SPHINX, 2014 Literary Classics Silver Medal winner Preteen/YA. Plus, she’s offer to give two random commenters an e-copy of her TUTANKHAMEN SPEAKS. So don’t be shy, share your favorite read as a kid, the one that still makes you smile, and your email, and you could be one of our winners! 

For me? Ohhh…Anne McCafferty’s Dragonriders of Pern (White Dragon) or even before that, Trixie Belden…

Without further ado, I give you Cheryl Carpinello…

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each.

My first guest would be Walt Disney. I would like to ask him how he ever came up with the idea of Disneyland and all of the rides. I would also ask him if he aware that he was creating such a magical world for kids and adults!

My second guest would be Plato. My question to him: Did you really visit Atlantis, and if so, would you tell me where it’s location was?

My third guest would be Bond, James Bond! I would like to ask him what has happened to all the Bond Girls he discarded. I would also ask him how one goes about getting to be a Bond Girl.

My fourth guest would be Elvis Presley. I would ask him to sing one song to me—“I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”

My fifth guest would be JRR Tolkien. My questions would be how did he come up with the different characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I would also like to know how much his homeland of England contributed to his setting.

My sixth guest would be a double with Christopher Robin and Pooh. My question: Just how much fun was the 100-Acre Wood?

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. What did you want to be? 

I always wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing school in my bedroom. I would line up all my stuffed animals and dolls on the bed. Then I would pass out papers and books. It was later in life that I found the stories in my head that I write about now.

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?

Yes, I do. I was probably about 30, and I had been reading Harlequin Romances. I decided that I would try and write one. The title is Castles in the Sky. It is about a female war correspondent who sees her husband die in Beruit. She retreats to the Colorado Rockies and there, true to Harlequin themes, finds her next love.

What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

That would be erotica. I can’t read it and really don’t want to. I know I can’t write it.


Now because Cheryl agreed to come visit, even she can’t escape our Bullet List. Ready? 1…2…3…go!

Blades, guns, fists, or feet?

Guns. I watched a lot of Westerns growing up at home.

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Sleeping Beauty. It sounded so romantic.

Three titles/authors sitting on your nightstand waiting to be read.

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

The Nile by Toby Wilkinson

The Shadow of Camelot by Wendy Leighton-Porter

Greatest one-liner of all time?

Sept. 19, 2014. After driving around the UK for 3 weeks on the wrong (sorry those of you who live there) side of the road and wondering why my husband and I were still alive every night, the day we drive back to London I say to him, “I think I could even drive in London!”

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness, or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

Toys, toys, and more toys belonging to our two grandsons, 6 and 1 1/2.

Favorite supernatural creature?

A dragon like Pete’s Dragon.

Now that we have you glued to your seat, ready to see why Cheryl’s story won the 2014 Literary Classics Silver Award?

Sons of the Sphinx, a time travel adventure 


Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

Sons of the Sphinx Buy Links:

Amazon                Smashwords              Nook               iBookstore

Author Links





Amazon Author Page

Author Sites

         Beyond Today Educator

         The Quest Books




Other Books by Cheryl Carpinello

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend – Amazon

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom – MuseItUp Publishing book page: 

Tutankhamen Speaks – Amazon

 Author Picture 300dpi copy

Author Bio

I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. Hook up with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Google.

Also please visit my other sites: Carpinello’s Writing Pages where I interview childrens/MG/Tween/YA authors; my home website Beyond Today Educator, and The Quest Books where I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.

 Don’t forget to leave your name, email, and which book was your favorite as a kid in our comments, because you know you want a copy of Cheryl’s Tutankhamen Speaks!

HUNTED BY THE PAST joins Fall Into Fantasy Blog Hop #FIFG14 #giveaway #PNR

FIFG large

Ahhh…fall is in full swing which means it’s once again time for the Fall Into Fantasy Blog Hop (#FIFG14) from Oct. 17th-31st.

Join me and tons of great authors as we swing through the virtual world armed with great reads we’re giving away to lucky commenters. And I’m not limiting my giveaways to just one book. Oh no, first up, I’ll pick three individuals who leave us a book recommendation they found this year in the comments below (complete w/your email) a digital copy of HUNTED BY THE PAST, the first in my new paranormal romantic suspense series, PSY-IV Teams.

In case you missed our book tour last month, I give  you a small teaser, just to snag your curosity of what happens when a reluctant ex-military psychic is forced into a lethal game with the nightmare from her past and the man she just can’t forget.
Gunshot-HuntedAnd if that wasn’t enough to tempt you into this exciting hop, then maybe you’ll want to be the proud new owner of all three Kyn Kronicles (SHADOW’S EDGE, SHADOW’S SOUL, and SHADOW’S MOON) plus a plethora of fantastic swag going to one of our grand prize winners…

swag 1 funJust click here and enter the Rafflecopter giveaways and leave your book recommendation below (w/your email).


I’ll announce the three winners of HUNTED BY THE PAST on NOVEMBER 3rd on this post, so check back!

SHADOW’S MOON is on Tour! #booktour #newrelease #UF #PNR

Look at the lovely banner…isn’t it pretty? SHADOW’S MOON is touring during the month of June. Much thanks to Enchanted Book Tours for setting this up for me.  To see the complete list with links, just click on the banner below.

We have giveaways, excerpts, interviews of all kinds. Come join the celebration as we follow Xander and Warrick’s further into the Kyn world!

Shadow's Moon is on Book Tour in June!

Shadow’s Moon is on Book Tour in June!


June 1st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading
June 2nd: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader
June 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Book Gazette
June 5th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ The Single Librarian
June 7th: Promo Post @ Book Club Sisters
June 8th: Book Excerpt @ Bookaholic Ramblings
June 9th: Guest Post @ Forever Book Lover
June 10th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog
June 11th: Book Review @ Endazzled Reading
June 13th: Promo Post @ Hollow Readers
June 15th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily
June 16th: Book Review @ Bookish Madness
June 17th: Book Excerpt @ 365 Days of Reading
June 19th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog
June 21st: Book Review and Giveaway @ Forever Book Lover
June 23rd: Promo Post @ The Reading Guru
June 25th: Author Interview @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog
June 26th: Book Excerpt @ Realm Tramper
June 28th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading
June 29th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Book Skater
June 30th: Book Review @ Paranormal Romance Authors That Rock
July 1st: Book Review, Excerpt and Giveaway @ Dalene’s Book Reviews

SHADOW’S MOON Goes On A Summer of Love Blog Hop #SummerForLoveHop #giveaway

Welcome the heat with A SUMMER OF LOVE BLOG HOP from The Romance Troupe!

June 4th-June 8th

A Summer for love blog hop


Six $50 Amazon  or B&N Gift Cards will be awarded to randomly drawn participants/commenters of the hop. 

You MUST leave your name and email for your comment to qualify as an entry toward the grand prizes.
Be sure to comment on ALL blog stops to increase your chances of being drawn as a winner.

Winners for the (6) Grand Prizes will be drawn and announced on THE ROMANCE TROUPE blog by June 10th.

Find the list of blog stops here at The Romance Troupe!

Welcome to Jami’s stop on the Summer of Love Blog hop train with awesome authors and The Romance Troupe. Since my latest book, SHADOW’S MOON just hit shelves, I thought I’d share a snippet with you all in an attempt to lure you in (wiggles eyebrows). You can never have too many good romances on your To Be Read pile! With that thought in mind, share your favorite couple below in the comments for a chance to win your pdf copy of SHADOW’S MOON to add to your reading pleasure. Don’t forget to include your email as you could be one of the five lucky winners of an Amazon Gift Card!  



Want a copy of SHADOW’S MOON? You can pick up yours here:

Now available in eBook and Print at:  AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS


SHADOW’S MOON: BOOK 3 OF THE KYN KRONICLES, 2013 Golden Claddaugh Finalist

Even a wild heart can be broken…

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage frays an already thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny, and ensures she can’t escape the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis.  Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for a killer, he has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect her or his pack. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves, along with anonymous threats against him and his Pack, begin to jeopardize his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur, leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf. 

As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.


Okay, onward to the next stop! Just click below and follow the trail of love through the hop! Good luck!


A Summer for love blog hop

*Winners  for Jami’s giveaway (pdf copy of SHADOW’S MOON) announced 6/10/14


We have Best Selling @CynthiaEden at the Swamp w/giveaway! #pararom #darkrom #giveaway

We’ve managed to snag another great writer in one of our UNWARY TRAVELER TRAPS we sprinkled through out the Swamp. Today’s catch of the day: CYNTHIA EDEN, Mistress of Award Winning Sexy Paranormal Romance and Dark Romantic Suspense.  Not only is she a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller, but Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over forty novels and novellas, so I know you might recognize some of her series titles (Angel of Darkness, Mine to Take, Deadly Fear, Die For Me, Bound by Blood, and Burn For Me).

Not only did we manage to convince her (with large amounts of chocolate and elusive sightings of werewolves) to come answer a few questions, she even offered to give one lucky commenter their choice of either a PRINT COPY or DIGITAL COPY of  ONCE BITTEN, TWICE BURNED. (It’s an awesome read!) All you have to do is leave us a comment with a one word description of the one person you know best…you! Don’t forget your email or we won’t be able to share the wonderfulness of Cynthia’s writing!

In case you’re feeling shy and need a little encouragement, here’s a pretty pic and something to whet your reading taste buds:



Ryder Duncan keeps his secrets. With a twisted scientist starving him in a 10 x 12 cell, it’s not easy to conceal the abilities that set him apart from other vampires, or his plans for escape. But survival–and revenge–are worth waiting for. Until the so-called doctor tempts his appetites with something special: a woman, with a soft Southern accent and a scent like flowers. Sabine.

Sabine Acadia didn’t volunteer to be dinner. She was kidnapped and tossed into the cage of a monster. A monster with fierce green eyes, a body that speaks of ruthless power–but a touch gentle as a caress. Ryder knows things about her, secrets Sabine needs to learn fast. Because while they might soon escape this prison, she’s fighting an urge to set all her desires free. . .

Buy links:        Amazon              B&N

Ready to meet Cynthia? Hang on tight, here we go…


As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

 I planned to be a magician—the best magician EVER!!!!!! My mom had to sit through countless magic shows as I tried to perfect my craft. The milk didn’t always disappear into the rolled up newspaper (the way it was supposed to do!) and, instead, we often ended up with a wet floor.

 –As long as the rabbit made it out alive, I think you can call it a success!

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

 They would probably say I was obsessive, compulsive, crazy, and given to watching far too many fanfic YouTube videos of ONCE UPON A TIME, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and CASTLE…

–And what’s wrong with that? Oh! Look, new episode of CASTLE is on…be right back.

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

Jayne Ann Krentz totally reduced me to this behavior. I’ve adored her work for years, and when I had a chance to get her autograph at the last RWA conference, I rambled like a mad woman.

 –Okay, so you won’t be too stunned if this tongue tied mess tracks you down at RT then right? Right?

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

Oh, I definitely have a first novel—actually, I think I have the first five novels stashed some place. I’ve got a truly terrible Harlequin series book that I wrote for their long ago “Yours Truly” line (and when I say this book is horrible—I mean I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING!). I wrote that book almost 20 years ago, and I will never, ever show it to another person again.

I also wrote a YA book back then—more in the line with RL Stine/Christopher Pike. Kids were getting scared/there was a supernatural baddie after them…oh, good times!!

–Okay, so I have my own horrific YA novel that is never allowed to come into the light, nope, not ever. I refuse.


What is the best advice you can share with others?

Write—and write some more! Never give up on your dreams. If you love writing, then sit in that chair and get your hands on the keyboard. Write when you’re happy. Write when you’re sad. Write when you don’t even think you can pull the words out of your mind. Because the more you write…well, the easier it becomes.

 –I’m holding you to that last part. I’m at the end of my fifth book right now and she and I are not getting along. Okay, that may be a tad harsh, she’s fine, the writer, well, that wench needs some help…

And now we pepper her with our fast and furious, bullet list…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?


Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Little Red Riding Hood

-Why do I get the impression you’re cheering the wolf on?

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

OTHERWISE ENGAGED by Amanda Quick, HER PERFECT MATE by Paige Tyler, and THE SKIN COLLECTOR by Jeffery Deaver.

Greatest one liner of all time?

As you wish.

-One of the best depositories of one liners ever!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Geeky disdain.

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A rock with text across it that says, “Cavers do it in the dark.”

Favorite supernatural creature?



Much love and thanks to Cynthia for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit with us. If you happen to be attending Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in New Orleans  next week, look for Cynthia amongst the glittery crowd! (Me too, if you want to say “hi”!)

Want to add the rest of Cynthia’s titles to your TBR? You can catch them or her here:

Where to find Cynthia:





8 Hot Paranormal Romances in a Box…Dark and Deadly Tour, plus giveaway #DDT #giveaway

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance Boxed Set is now available worldwide for a special introductory price of only $0.99!

 Plus, click the Rafflecopter link below to share the good news and you could win a digital copy of a digital copy (ePub or MOBI only, PDF is not available) of Dark and Dangerous: Six-in-One Hot Paranormal Romances Boxed set. Please note that this is NOT the boxed set featured, but an earlier released set, and that this giveaway is international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This ebook boxed set of eight hot paranormal romances by eight New York Times and USA Today best-selling romance authors features powerful alpha male bad boys who will satisfy your darkest, most deadliest desires.


Here’s more about this fantastic eight book boxed set, including an excerpt from one of the stories.

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romanceis available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance

By Jennifer Ashley, Alyssa Day, Felicity Heaton, Erin Kellison, Laurie London, Erin Quinn, Bonnie Vanak and Caris Roane
Eight hot paranormal romances by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Alpha-male bad boys will fulfill your darkest, most deadliest desires in these stories about shifters, werewolves, vampires, magic, special powers and other realms. But only if you dare…


BODYGUARD by Jennifer Ashley

Elizabeth Chapman is saved from an armed attacker by a Kodiak bear who shifts into a tight-bodied, naked human male. Ronan takes Elizabeth to Shiftertown, becoming her 24/7 bodyguard. The mateless Ronan has adopted a houseful of orphaned Shifters–having grown up in foster care, Elizabeth is touched by his protectiveness. Ronan only wants to keep Elizabeth safe, but the sassy woman is triggering his long-buried need to mate.



He’s a warrior, hardened by years of protecting his town from vampire attack. She’s a garden witch who sees the world in shades of sunshine and delight. Opposites don’t only attract, they go supernova in this sizzling tale of magic and mayhem.


BEWITCH by Felicity Heaton

A vampire with a bloodstained past and a soul tainted with darkness, Payne is perfect in his self-control, never surrendering to his darkest desires. Now a beautiful witch in the shadowy fae underworld reawakens long denied hungers and tempts him with pleasure. When one incredible night of fulfilling their fantasies leads to more than just keeping a promise and saving a friend, will they be able to overcome the barriers that stand between them and forever?


DARKNESS FALLS by Erin Kellison

Agent Malcolm Rook is hunting for people with the rarest of talents—the ability to master dreams. He finds the undeniably gifted Jordan Lane, but she’s wary of mysterious Rook and resists his pursuit as long as she can. Yet the dreamwaters they enter are too exhilarating to resist, and attraction soon ignites electric passions. Delving too deep stirs a nightmare, one they must defeat, or be forever lost to darkness.


ROGUE’S PASSION by Laurie London

Blaming himself for the death of a friend, Iron Guild warrior Asher Kane vows to bring those responsible to justice. After he’s hurt on a mission and nursed back to health by a beautiful yet mysterious woman, this dangerously sexy bad-boy finds himself falling for Olivia…even as he struggles to stay away. But stalking them on the streets of New Seattle is a cruel and vengeful evil—one that threatens to destroy them both…



Alex’s mission: Kill the hellhounds that have invaded earth and return to his home in the Beyond. But from the start, things go horribly wrong. The hounds are cunning and a human female witnesses their attack—she intervenes and saves Alex’s life. Now he must keep the alluring Lilly alive while fighting his desire for her. When passion flares, Alex risks all to protect her and defend the forbidden life he craves.


THE MATING HEAT by Bonnie Vanak

Werewolf Kara Mitchell fled with her brother Aiden to Montana after their alpha father punished her for kissing sexy omega werewolf Ryder Carrington. Left scarred by her father’s cruelty, Kara believes no one can love her. After killing his alpha to save the pack, Ryder now rules, but needs a mate. His blood runs hot for Kara. Ryder will do anything to claim her, even risk an all-out pack war that could cost them everything…


TRAPPED by Caris Roane

Mastyr Vampire Zephyr, a one-man fighting force, struggles to save the life of a woman who despises his warrior ways. She’s been a thorn in his side, but he has one goal: to keep her safe. For Alesia, however, she just wishes he’d leave her alone since she can never approve of his profession. She broke up with him months ago and wants to start a new life. The trouble is, he’s still the one man who can curl her toes.


Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romances available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:


“Have you heard anything out there?” Lilly asked.

Like the hellhounds she couldn’t hear or see.

Alex shook his head. “This storm is bad. I don’t think even hellhounds can track in this.”

She looked relieved. He’d always heard that hellhounds were made for the fires of hell, not the bitter cold of winter, but he doubted she’d feel reassured by the information. They’d held their own yesterday and it had been damn cold then. It made him wonder what other false information he’d been given.

Lilly stretched, an uninhibited movement that made Alex’s muscles tighten. Her back arched and her toes pointed. She looked so sleepy and soft that he could almost imagine the scent of her and he yearned to know her taste.

She was staring at him now, her mouth slightly open. Her beautiful eyes, wide.

She’d heard his thoughts.

The desire to act on them nearly pulled him across the room but the toy dog at his feet yipped, reminding Alex that he was waiting. Lilly stood and crossed to the door. She wore soft, clingy pants that accented her shape and a big t-shirt with a wide neck that gaped at her shoulder and hugged her breasts.

“Porch,” she said in a stern voice. Five dogs gave her the okay and she let them out.

Alex came to stand behind her as she waited in front of the open door, her body warm against the cold blast that chased inside. He felt her stiffen and yield in the same compelling moment. She wanted to lean back; she thought she should move away. Before she could overthink it, Alex stepped closer until he was touching her, chest to shoulder blades, hips a whisper from her round behind.

The dogs had raced down the stairs to take care of their business within a foot of the porch. In seconds they were back in the house. Each one of them shook a shower of snow at him as they passed.

Lilly swung the door shut, but she didn’t move away. Neither did he.

“They listened,” she said, her voice filled with breath and nervousness. “Usually they don’t. Not like they did when Amy talked to them.”

“Oh.” Because she seemed to be waiting for a response.

It was hard to think with her so close. Her hair smelled of apples and looked too soft not to touch. He moved his fingers through it, gently letting the tips scrape her scalp before he pushed it aside, baring the curve of her shoulder where the round neck of her shirt was loose. He felt her catch her breath.

“The storm hasn’t let up at all,” she said.

In case he hadn’t noticed, hadn’t considered that he might be stranded here for days. With her.

He lowered his head and she tilted hers to the side, giving him access to the graceful slope of her neck. He let his breath caress the satiny skin, afraid if he did more, he wouldn’t be able to stop. He should back away, but he couldn’t seem to do it.

“Maybe they won’t be able to find us,” she said.

The words held a wistfulness that wrapped around his senses. Maybe they wouldn’t be found. An idea so intoxicating and forbidden that it made him close his eyes and ground himself in reality.

“They’ll find me. But I’ll be long gone from here when they do.”

She spun to face him. The top of her head came to his chin. He wanted to tuck her into the curve of his body and shield her from anything that meant her harm. But that wouldn’t work when it was Alex’s presence that placed her in harm’s way to start with. She stared at him, confusion sharing space with something that might be anger.

At him? At the situation? At herself?

“You’re not here to protect us, are you, Alex?” she asked, her voice husky. “Humans, I mean.”

“Did you really think I was?”


Grab the boxed set for just $0.99 to read this story and seven others…

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romanceis available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: