Monday, July 28, 2014

Reviews to an Author are like tips to a Waitress

                                  I write because I love it. 

When I started to write I never thought anyone would buy my story. I'm not famous, no one knows me, but I still wrote because I truly enjoyed doing it. Just like when I was a waitress. I started out as a nobody, not having any idea how to balance a tray full of plates, or drinks without spilling them, but I kept at it. And before I knew it people were asking to sit at my station. 

Both of these jobs take a lot of work, hours and one very important factor, to never give up.
I loved being a waitress. The people were fun to be around and I loved making their night a special one.
The same way I love being an Author. I enjoy spending time with my readers and knowing my story is going to make their night a special one.

                             Both jobs are a balancing act.

And a labor of love

As an Author, and a waitress, I work hard to keep my readers and customers coming back. 
I want your dinner to be amazing, your drink to be refreshing and your book to be so good it keeps you up all night. 
All I ask in return are your tips. As a waitress your tip helps me know that I did a great job, and you had an awesome night. As an Author your tips help me grow. So leave me a tip, write a review.

I want to thank all my readers, and customers, for sticking by my side, sitting in my station and reading my books.
Your tips helped me grow.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back. I have two more books coming out this year and I can promise you a few more sleepless night with these two.

 Last Chance to Run, Romantic Suspense

What if you found out the daughter you buried was alive and being held captive by a man you thought you killed?

If I knew then, Young Adult

Angel dreamed of a life of freedom. One filled with love that didn’t come with a price.  She hid the pain until Jax entered her life. Can he give her what she needs to let go of the past or will he leave her with a bigger challenge that will change her future?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My minds a blank, now what do I do?

As a writer I depend on my thoughts, my dreams. That's how I build my stories. 

My characters fill my mind, showing me which way to go in their story.

But when they cop an attitude, my writers life comes to an abrupt hold.

I'm in the middle of working on three stories and my story book friends have all got along, until a few days ago.  I woke up to the silent treatment from each and every one of them. Now I could have dealt with a tantrum from one, maybe two, but all of them? Really? I don't believe I deserve this kind of treatment. Don't they realize their lives depend on me? 
Then I sat back and realized my mind was blank, completely quiet. It was the first time in years that I had complete silence on the inside and I panicked. 
What did I do? What if they don't come back? Should I bake them some cookies, promise them more time, more sex? I was grasping then I realized I truly needed rehab. I was talking to my self, and my imaginary friends. 

After a few deep breaths, and a couple pots of coffee I realized my characters didn't hate me, they were actually looking after me. 
Things have been very stressful. I have a very demanding day job, a family to care for and books I'm trying to write and they saw what I needed. A few days of peace and quiet.
It's so nice to have friends that love you, even if they're only in my head.
So I took a few days and did some mindless catching up on e-mails and file cleaning. Just getting organized lifted some of the fog from my brain and I started to hear the voices again, and I smiled.

I was told that if I ever got lost, or confused, change my focus and what I was doing, or going would come back. So I tried it and it worked
Now I'm going to get some words on paper, and get back in the groove. 
The voices are quiet, but getting louder each day, and soon I will be arguing with them to be quiet, and wait their turn. Until then I am going to write what ever comes to me because it might not seem like a lot now, but later it might be the best story I've ever written.

If you ever find yourself staring at a blank screen, turn it off , step away and don't worry. Your friends will follow and show you the way back to your next best seller. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Here's a sneak peak into my next book, 

Last Chance to Run:

What if you found out the daughter you buried was alive and being held captive by a man you thought you killed?

 Ron Daily loved being an FBI Agent. It was his life, and the only family he had left since the death of his daughter. Then his world crashed around him when he found out the terrorist group he thought he destroyed staged her death, and she was alive. With time running out and no evidence to fall back on, the FBI refuses to help,  leaving Ron on his own.  He is forced to form an alliance with Patty McCarthy. A stubborn redhead who tests his patience, invades his restless nights, but holds a key to a secret from his past. Can they put their differences aside to find the kidnappers, or will Ron's past resurface, destroying Patty's trust, and causing him to lose his daughter for good?


Crouching low, Ron backed into the shadows. He peered down at his watch and a low growl escaped past his clenched jaw. Something was up, Dwayne was late.  Shit. He had to show, it was his last shot, her life depended on it.  
 He kicked at the rocks beneath his feet and a spider raced across his boot. His heart jumped in his chest and he jerked back against the concrete wall. Damn things. He shook his foot as another scurried into the shadows. This was not his favorite place and Dwayne  knew that. The bastard was late on purpose. Ron’s face heated up as his anger burned inside him. Two years. He lost two years with her, and for what? He crammed his hand into his back pocket and pulled the manila envelope out. The corners were wrinkled, and the side was torn, but the contents were intact. 
Pealing back the top he peered inside, then stopped. He had to stay focused and seeing her dark circles, and hollow cheek bones, would not help with what he had to do. He shoved it into the inside pocket of his vest, close to his heart, where he held her memory all this time.
Ron squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed past his mounting aggravation. His daughter, alive. It didn't matter that her blonde hair was shorter, or her face thinner. He’d recognize her anywhere. His stomach churned at the thought of what they put her through. For two years Dwayne let him believe Tracy was dead. He clenched his fists tight to his side and blew out the rage that threatened to destroy this meeting. It was time to get in control, for Tracy’s sake.
Ron inched closer to the edge of the warehouse and peered around the corner, scanning the darkened parking lot.  A light flashed on the horizon and he leaned back, finally. The car maneuvered past the light posts, and broken down road equipment, then backed into the last parking spot, just like always. Ron rubbed his sweaty palms on his black cargo pants and straightened up his six foot frame. He adjusted the gun hidden in his back waistband then rubbed the indentation of his lucky dagger in his right thigh pocket.  Show time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Help me welcome Jami Gray and her insight on Genre Bending

Genre Bending…
So did you read—Gender bending?  Close but no cigar.  Think of it as merging two or more genres into one unique read.
My first love for reading picks tends toward paranormal, heavy on Urban Fantasy.  Give me Kelly Meding, Jennifer Estep, Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews or Patricia Briggs and I’m a happy camper. But,  I have to admit there are other genres that fight for their place in my heart. 
My second contender for reading preference-military romantic suspense.  Maya Banks, Cindy Gerard, Cherry Adair, and Julie Ann Walker can come visit my Kindle Fire anytime.  Oh yes, I have some hot and heavy thoughts for those Special Forces bad boys. Dangerous and delectable, those plots can keep my pulse rate up more than a treadmill.
But sometimes, when you read and write a certain genre, you like to take a break and whet your creative mind with something a little different.  I hit this point recently as I finished up my third novel, Shadow’s Moon and sent it off to find a home.  As much as I loved my UF and romantic suspense, I wanted something…more.
                Years ago, when I first read Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series, I was hooked.  Her ability to merge romance, military and paranormal really did it for me.  Yet I had a hard time finding other stories with similar elements.  So this year I headed out in to the wide world of books and searched again. I was thrilled to find some great new authors out there. 
My two top contenders had merged into some captivating novels!.  What happens when you mix military, romantic suspense, paranormal? You get some fantastic reads like Trish McCallan’s Forged in Fire, J.D. Tyler’s Alpha Pack novels, and Cherry Adair’s T-Flac/Psy books.  I even picked up some of Rebecca York’s earlier works-Decorah Security series, but just haven’t had time to read it yet.

In the every changing book world, readers and authors alike are looking for the next unique idea.  As the lines between genres began to blur, what are some combinations you, as readers, love or would love to see?

Jami Gray grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border, and was adopted at the age of 14 to suddenly become the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater. (Decision-making was not her forte at the time.)  Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab.  Delving into the wild paranormal worlds where romance collides with suspense and Urban Fantasy is queen, manages to salvage her sanity. Or so we let her believe...

Blurb for Shadow’s Edge:
Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…

It takes a monster to hunt one, and for Raine McCord, forged in the maelstrom of magic and science, she’s the one for the job. In a world where the supernatural live in a shadowy existence with the mundane, a series of disappearances and deaths threatens the secrecy of her kind and indicates someone knows the monsters are alive and kicking.  Partnering up with the sexy and tantalizing Gavin Durand proves to be a challenge as dangerous as the prey she hunts.

When the trail points back to the foundation which warped Raine’s magic as a child, her torturous past raises its ugly head.  Gavin and Raine sift through a maze of lies, murder and betrayal to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

Blurb for Shadow’s Soul:
Some nightmares are born of love…

Raine McCord has no problem taking down the monsters of the world, it’s one of the reasons she’s so good at her job.  So playing bodyguard to Cheveyo, head Magi of the Northwest, as he consults with the Southwest Kyn should be an easy assignment. Unfortunately, simple task turns into a nightmare when Cheveyo is kidnapped and Raine is left for dead by one of the Kyn’s most feared beings, a Soul Stealer.

The Stealer’s attack leaves lasting wounds, undermining Raine’s confidence as a warrior and damaging her unruly magic. Her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand.  Compelled to face the emotions raging between them, they must embrace not only their stormy relationship but their evolving magic to escape the twisted threads of murder and betrayal to find Cheveyo.

As Raine and Gavin come together and begin to unravel the complex web of secrets and hidden vendettas haunting the Southwest Kyn, they discover unsettling new truths that threaten their very existence.

Blurb for Wrapped in Shadows:
The magic of the holidays can be hell…

Celebrations abound during the holidays, but this Christmas an engagement celebration goes horrifically wrong.  What appears to be a simple murder/suicide hides a vicious surprise. The type of gift Raine and Gavin, elite member of the Kyn, didn’t want humans to unwrap, because revealing the monsters in the shadows isn’t the way to spread holiday cheer.

Blurb for Shadow’s Moon:
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.

Blurb for Hunted by the Past:

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call.  The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list--Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw.  Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her.  A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.

Available Now:
Shadow’s Edge: Book 1 of the Kyn Kronicles

Shadow’s Soul: Book 2 of the Kyn Kronicles, Paranormal Romance Winner of 2012 Shooting Star

Wrapped in Shadows (.5) part of Things That Go Bump For The Holidays—A Collection of Short Stories

Shadow’s Moon: Book 3 of the Kyn Kronicles, 2013 Golden Claddagh Finalist

Coming in July 11th, 2014 from Muse It Up Publishing:
Hunted by the Past: Book 1 of the PSY-IV Teams

And Fall 2014 brings Shadow’s Curse: Book 4 of the Kyn Kronicles.

You can find me at:

Black Opal Books: 

Muse It Up Publishing:


Amazon Author Page:

You can find all the buy links for both books in all formats at:

Or you can use the following:


Shadow’s Edge: Bk 1 of Kyn Kronicles


Shadow’s Soul:Bk 2 of the Kyn Kronicles



Shadow’s Moon: Bk 3 of the Kyn Kronicles


Hunted by the Past: Bk 1 of PSY-IV Team

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Family, fun and fireworks. My favorites.

Just want to wish everyone a very Happy 4th of July.

Our Independence should not be taken for granted, the harsh memories of 9-11 remind us that it takes many to keep us safe. So I want to tell all our Men and Women serving in our military, keeping our homes safe...
A big, heartfelt, Thank You!

Have a fun filled, safe holiday.