Category Archives: Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame with Dana Mason: Celebrating PRECIOUS EMBRACE

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

It’s launch day at Sapphire Star Publishing and today is my publishing sister, Dana Mason’s, second book birthday! Woohoo, I cannot tell you how excited I am for Dana. So… over to you. Let’s hear it for your baby!


Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog again, Nicky! I love talking about music, which makes your blog one of my favorites! Music is an easy subject because our choices can be so varied, we never run out of things to talk about.

All of my stories have a playlist, and my new release, Precious Embrace, is no different. The beauty of this story is that I was able to incorporate a little Country and Pop in with the Rock and Roll.

Precious Embrace is about two lost people, finding a new love. The hero, Johnny Rhay Bennett is a born and bred country boy. He grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has an accent that will make any girl swoon. He’s a bad boy turned good, with a heart of gold and more sex appeal than most girls can handle in one man. It’s this bad boy attitude and sex appeal that pumps up his determination to get what he wants. . .and Alison Hayes is what he wants. The opening scene in Precious Embrace is Johnny standing on Ali’s porch, surprising her after having just moved to California from Tennessee. Ali opens the door and there he is looking sexy as hell.

Enter Johnny’s theme song: Bad Things by Jace Everett. When most people hear this song they think of show True Blood, but I see Johnny, standing on Ali’s porch, in tight jeans, wearing a country boy smile that will accelerate any girl’s heart.

Here is the song:

Here’s a short excerpt from that scene:

Ali Hayes knew the phrase tall drink of water was cliché, and she never really understood it. But when she opened her front door and came face-to-face with Johnny Rhay Bennett, clad in tight jeans and an even tighter black t-shirt, there was no other way to describe him.

It had been two months since they’d spent the night together and she honestly never thought she’d see him again. It took her several seconds to find her voice and when she did, she had little control over what came out. “Wow. You were the last person I expected to find at my door. What are you doing here?”

“Well it’s good to see you too.” He leaned in close. “I probably should have called first, but I didn’t get your phone number the last time…,” His lips quirked into a little grin and Ali had to wet her lips because her mouth had gone dry.

She took a step back, hoping to regain her senses. Flashes of their previous brief encounters flashed in her head and she had to fight to keep from covering her face in embarrassment. The baby in her arms squirmed and started whining, unceremoniously bringing her back to the present. She shifted and rocked the baby. “Um…sorry, I’m just surprised to see you here. Are you in town to visit Sarah and Mark? They’re in Arizona on vacation. I hope you didn’t make the trip for nothing.”

“I guess they didn’t tell you the latest.” He looked from her to the open door.

“Sorry, come in.” She held the door open further and took a step back. Once she let him inside, she realized she shouldn’t have. Her house looked like a stampede of kindergartners had barged through. “Sorry about the mess. I haven’t had a moment of peace in three days.”

Johnny looked around and said, “You alone? Did Jamie go with Mark and Sarah?”

“Yeah, he went with his dad.” Micah kicked out and started crying. Ali wanted to cry too. She bounced him, which only made him more irritable. “So what’s the latest?” she asked Johnny.

“Oh, ah…I’ve moved out here permanently.”

She drew back. “I’m sorry, what?”

His smile faltered a little and he said, “You’re looking at Santa Rosa’s newest detective.”

“Why would you move…why California? I thought you loved Nashville.”

“No…well, it’s alright I guess, but I was never in love with the place.”


Precious Embrace Synopsis

A new love, a missing child, a family found.

A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnant career. When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his country-boy accent, she wants to run. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk. But when her worst nightmare becomes a reality, Johnny is the only person who can pull Ali out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child.

Who falls in love after a one-night stand? Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe it’s possible until it happens to him. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to convince Alison she loves him too, even if it means moving to the West Coast.

Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose. Now Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish too.

To celebrate the release of Precious Embrace, Dana is offering book one of the Embrace Series, Dangerous Embrace, FREE on Amazon from July 11th – July 14th  (Nicky says: Go get it ~ it’s an AWESOME READ!!)

Precious Embrace links:
Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA |
Barnes & Noble NOOK

Dana Mason Links:
Facebook | Twitter: @danamason06  | Website | Sapphire Star Publishing Author page  | Goodreads Author Page

Dangerous Embrace Links:
Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA


I’ve got Precious Embrace on my Kindle and can’t wait to get reading. Have a fabulous book birthday and sell millions!

Hall of Fame party with Lisa Regan: ABERRATION

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

Exactly one week ago, my Sapphire Star Publishing sister, the amazing Lisa Regan, released her second book: ABERRATION! Today, Lisa is visiting to celebrate with us, so give it up for Lisa!!


FBI analyst Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the “For You” Killer’s Task Force after a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country, but when the investigation leads directly back to her, she is forced to delve into her own past. To find the killer, Kassidy must confront the painful memories of her twin sister’s mysterious death or risk losing everything to a ruthless madman—including her own life.


You can get Aberration here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Lisa’s Top 5 Tips for
Deterring Stalkers  that you can get from this novel

  1. Shred all important documents before you throw them away. On second thought, if at all possible, burn your trash. This would have saved my protagonist’s privacy from being invaded in a major way.
  2. Vary your routine. Don’t do exactly the same thing every day. That makes it too easy for a potential stalker or other scary-type-person to strike—as the victims in this book could tell you if they were still with us.
  3. Do background checks on people who are insinuating themselves into your life. Or, at the very least, Google them! This would have saved some characters in the book years of trouble!
  4. Be careful what you say to people and when and where you say it. For example, if you’re having a phone conversation while you’re grocery shopping or on the bus, everyone near you can hear your conversation. You may be incredibly revealing without even knowing it. If there is something you want to keep private, speak about it privately. Be careful what kinds of personal details you tell strangers. For one of my characters in particular, her gift for gab got her into a very bad situation.
  5. Pay attention. When you’re out, be aware of your surroundings and the people in them. Criminals just love people who are engrossed in their cell phones while they’re walking around or women who are digging in their pocketbooks the whole way to their car. Don’t be distracted.

About Lisa Regan


Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime and Pennwriters. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.  Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher was recently nominated for the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards in three categories:  Best Novel, Best Thriller and Best Heroine for Claire Fletcher.

Blog | Website | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter


HUGE congratulations on your second book birthday, Lisa!

Have you got any questions for Lisa about keeping your life stalker-free and safe?

Hall of Fame Party with J.K. Hogan ~ Launching BLOOD IN THE VALLEY

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame…. for the second time today!

Hall of Fame

Well, it’s certainly party day today! Huge congratulations to my Sapphire Star Publishing Sister, J.K. Hogan as she launches the second book in The Vigilati Series, Blood In The Valley!!!!

Introducing… Blood in the Valley!



The daughter of a Las Vegas hustler, Raven Sabatier grew up trusting nothing and no one—she doesn’t even trust herself to stay in one place for longer than a minute. When her quest to find out the secrets of her past leads her to the mountains of North Carolina, she’s set on a collision course with the one man she thought she’d never see again.
In Appalachia consulting on an archeological dig, Anthropologist Dr. Drew Deveraux comes face to face with the indomitable beauty who broke into his apartment a year ago, tilting his carefully cultivated world on its axis.
Engaged in a fight with their demons, both imagined and real, the last thing either of them expected to find was love. Together, they must unravel the mystery of Raven’s past and her connection with an ancient race of witches, in order to save their future—and all of the souls hanging in the balance.


Well, if that blurb has piqued your interest, wait until you’ve read the stunning excerpt that J.K. has kindly shared with us today!!

Blood in the Valley ~ Excerpt!

Raven’s skin shivered like a racehorse at the gate, ready to bolt. The air around them changed when the woman had shown herself. There was a charge, and it was threatening to singe her.

Her fingers clawed into the rock behind her, and she wet her lips nervously, having to clear her throat before she spoke. “Do I know you?”

The woman clucked her tongue disapprovingly. “I should hope so, Poppet,” she said in a heavy British accent. “I’m your mother.”

Raven’s pulse ratcheted up a notch even as her blood ran cold. She’d been anticipating this confrontation for nearly a year, but with the new information they had from Ray about Azibel, she was thrown off guard.

Doing her best to mask her struggle, she curled her mouth into a sneer and forced herself to step away from the safety of the rock. “So you say.”

“Don’t test me, child. You’ve no idea what you’re dealing with.”

“Try me. Azibel.”

The small woman raised a brow and narrowed her eyes at Raven. “I gather you’ve spoken to Raymonde. That is unfortunate. I’ll have to have a little chat with my associates when I return.” She said “chat” the way normal folks would say “pulling teeth”.

“Good luck. They’re dead.”

Azibel shrugged a delicate shoulder and pouted. “Pity, that. Good help is so hard to find these days. Ah, well,” she waved a dismissive hand in the air, “c’est la vie, as they say.”

Raven was rapidly losing patience—a virtue she had blessed little of to begin with—so she decided to cut to the chase. “What do you want from me?”

Azibel stepped forward, then reached out and trailed a blood-red fingertip down a strand of Raven’s hair. “So pretty.”

Raven’s skin crawled with the need to back away, but she stood her ground, raised her face to meet her mother’s gaze.

Big mistake. Big. Huge. A thin but surprisingly strong hand snapped out and grabbed her by the wrist. Raven was helpless but to look on in horror as Azibel’s face began to change. Eyes that were once black turned completely clear, with shadows swirling hypnotically inside them, as if they were trying to reach out to her.

An image of a spider emerged on her forehead, and her canines lengthened into lethal-looking fangs. Explains the overbite, Raven thought. And it was the last thought of her own before Azibel firmly rooted herself into Raven’s mind.

“What I want…,” she purred, “is to take my rightful place in this world, with my daughter beside me. Imagine, Raven, joining together with me to lower, no, to destroy the barrier that keeps my people confined to the hell in which they are imprisoned.”

Raven tried to shake her head, to scream, but she couldn’t seem to get her brain to send the signals to her body. She felt her mouth go slack, and her breathing ease as she stared into those mesmerizing eyes.

“You can’t tell me you haven’t always felt…different. Like something was missing. Like you weren’t meant for this menial existence. Can you?” Obviously fully aware of Raven’s inability to answer, she plowed on. “Of course, you can’t. You would be a goddess among my people. They would revere and fear you—serve your every desire. Imagine it.”

And, with a nausea roiling in her belly, Raven did. She allowed herself a moment to feel what it would be like to have a mother, to really know who she was and where she came from, and be exalted for it.

Smiling a knowing smile as if she knew Raven’s thoughts, Azibel cupped her cheek with her free hand. Her skin was icy cold and shocked Raven a bit out of her stupor. “Say the word, pet. Everything I have is yours if you join with me. In fact, you don’t even have to speak. Just nod, my precious.”

While she fought the battle to stay conscious and regain control of her own mind, Raven had the absurd image of Tolkien’s Gollum salivating over a piece of jewelry like it could answer all the questions in the universe.

The utter ridiculousness of it, of Azibel for what she was asking, and of Raven for even allowing herself to consider it, snapped her right out of it. Without hesitating further, she summoned her power over space to swirl the air around Azibel, creating an invisible noose around her neck.

Azibel’s eyes widened in disbelief as she released Raven to claw at her own neck, and she scored bloody gashes into her delicate skin. She coughed and gasped for breath, then stumbled back. Somehow, she summoned enough power to send out a blast of energy to dislodge Raven’s hold.

“You bitch! I would have given you everything, but now? Now you’ll bleed like the rest of those insipid humans when I burn this world down around your ears!”

Before Raven even had time to process those threats, she felt herself being lifted bodily off the ground and hoisted into the pool behind her, though Azibel never moved an inch.

The first thing she registered was the mind-numbing cold of the water. In an Appalachian mountain pool in the fall, one could freeze to death in minutes. God, the cold. Like nothing she’d ever felt, it seeped into her skin and made her bones ache.

Survival instinct kicked in and she tried to struggle to the surface, but she was pushed back down and held by invisible hands. Then she was held by very real hands. More hands than she could count.

The hands came up from the dark depths of the pool. They groped and pulled, and grappled with her as if trying to climb their way to freedom. Opening her eyes, she could see them. Bodies in the water. With their gaping mouths and vacant, black eyes, they loomed in the murky pool. They reached for her, whether to pull her down or pull themselves up, she didn’t know.

Finally, her body registered the lack of air, the need to breathe. And everything whittled down to that one simple, life-giving function. Allowing her body to go still, she stopped her struggles and tried to conserve what little oxygen she had left.

As she calmed, an insidious voice floated through her mind. “You see what happens to those who defy me, Raven? I don’t just kill them, I torture them for eternity. I’ll destroy you for spurning me,” the voice said with an eerie calm, “you, and everything—everyone—you love.”

Spots began floating in her vision, and Raven knew the end was close. She sent out a desperate message and hoped to the gods that Isla or Brynna would somehow sense her distress.

The need to breathe became the center of her universe. Once again, she tried to claw her way to the surface, but it was useless. Invisible bands of steel encircled her, weighing her down, squeezing the life out of her. Her body began to convulse, and she involuntarily let go the breath she’d been holding.

Her vision dimmed, and her head pounded, her fight or flight response screaming in her ear. With the very last reserve of her strength, she pushed out against the water, against the very oxygen in its makeup.

Water exploded around her, and, just as suddenly, all the hands that held her down released. At the same time, two pairs of blessedly real hands latched onto her arms and pulled upward. She shot out of the water, flailing and gasping, and landed on two warm bodies.

Small but strong arms cradled her as she coughed and retched, until all the dreaded water had leeched out of her lungs. More hands smacked her back to help her expel what was left. She rolled onto her back on the cool stone, stared up at the sky and breathed in great heaves of air. Damn, she loved air. It was way underrated.

A shadow blocked out the sun as Isla leaned over her. “Raven? Sweeting, can you hear me?”

Raven tried to speak, but all that came out was a strangled croak, so she gave up and simply nodded.

Another shadow joined the first, except this one had a flaming red halo backlit by the sun. “What th’ bloody divil was that?” she squeaked, her brogue so thickened, she was almost unintelligible.

“Did you see her?” Raven managed to rasp the question out before dissolving in another fit of coughing.

“See who?”

“Azibel,” she ground out before promptly passing out.

About J. K. Hogan

J K Hogan

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives on a farm with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert.

In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit


HUGE congrats again, J.K. ~ have a rocking launch day!!

BLOOD IN THE VALLEY. Are you ready to check this out?

Hall of Fame Party with Jane Lark: ILLICIT LOVE

Roll out the red carpet!

Open the champagne!

It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

Today is launch day for my Sapphire Star Publishing sister, Jane Lark! Jane’s here with a fascinating guest post on captivating characters and an intriguing introduction to her debut novel. Take it away, Jane! 🙂


Captivating Characters – what difference does a historical setting make?

One of the hardest things to get right when writing, is your characters, and they are rather critical aren’t they?  A story is no story without the people you’re spinning a tale about. As I write historical fiction, you would expect my characters to be very different to Nicky’s, but then again, why? It may be controversial to say this, but I don’t think there’s any reason they should be. For instance, women in ancient Rome, idolized gladiators, in the same we might idolize rock stars today.

To research the setting for the scenes in Illicit Love, I read a mass of letters and memoirs from the 17th – 19th Centuries, and the people speaking to me from these pages, use old-fashioned  language, and are living a different way of life, yes, but their personalities are no different than ours are today.

Did you know, the majority of today’s psychology theories stem from one, which was developed in Ancient Greece, by Hippocrates. He said, hundreds of years ago, there were four characteristics to people’s personality.

When I read the memoirs of a 19th Century Courtesan, Harriette Wilson, the truth of this shouted at me from the page. She talks about walking out to a park, simply in the hope of seeing a stranger she liked the look of. When Harriette discovered who he was, she would then walk past his house, trying to look through his windows. Then that stranger had to have a drink before he had the confidence to speak to her.

Harriette Wilson's Memoirs

There are a couple of quotes from Harriette’s memoirs I’d like to share with you. The first one is;

“The idol of romantic passion, in some unlucky moment of common sense, or common life, is discovered to be the last thing their worshippers would wish the idol to be found—a mere human being! With passions and wants utterly unprovided for by the statutes of romance.”

– Harriette Wilson’s Memoirs, quoting “a celebrated French writer,” published 1825.

Even Harriette says in her memoirs we are all, only human. And here;

“Suppose he were to love me! Thought I, and the idea caused my heart to beat wildly. I would not dwell upon it. It was ridiculous. It would only expose me to after-disappointment.” – Harriette Wilson’s Memoirs, published 1825

Harriette wrote this sentence of the stranger she fell in love with. He became the love her life, but he was already married, and she was forced to give him up.

In Illicit Love, I’ve sought to capture the intensity of this love affair, and replicate the emotion Harriette shared, in my characters; though their story is not Harriette’s.  But the question is; can love redeem a life of sin?

Illicit Love

Illicit love

Here’s the sound track to get you in the mood to read Illicit Love

And here are the details of Illicit Love:

‘Hiding her self-deprecating smile behind her fan, Ellen glances over its top at the gorgeous man across the table. Is it very wrong for her sinful body to want a man like that? How would it feel? How would it feel to be free from her so-called protector for an hour or two and play his games with a man of her choice? Choice was a holy grail; a cup fallen woman longed to drink from. And she’d love defying Lord Gainsborough.

 As though pulled by an invisible cord winding between them, Lord Edward’s gaze lifted to her while he contemplated Lord Gainsborough’s call. His eyes widened, darkening, perhaps reading hers, and what appeared to be amusement twitched his lips before he looked back at his cards.’

Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty––a vessel––deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame. When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him.

But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her, and her subconscious whispers, this man could be her salvation. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her freedom?

Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life—it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress.  The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes.

Once he’s known her, he cannot forget her, and once he’s seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor’s brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past?

When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn’t hesitate, he helps her flee. He just doesn’t know he’s running headlong into the secrets of her past.

In the words of Harriette Wilson, the real 19th Century courtesan, who inspired this love story, ‘and then – and then – and then…’

If you read Illicit Love I value feedback, so please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or any other site you like, and you can also let other readers know what you think on the Illicit Love Book Club page.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak about Illicit Love, Nicky.

Best wishes

Jane Lark

Jane, what a fabulous post! I am thoroughly intrigued even though Regency romance is not normally my cup of tea. But you are absolutely right ~ why shouldn’t it be? Roman Gladiators, Edward Marlow, or a rock star: they’re all men women are drawn too, men to bring us romance and possibly… illicit love. Thank you for visiting and I wish you every success on your big day. Rock ON!





About Jane Lark

Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional love stories. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write a bookNow Jane is writing a Regency series for Sapphire Star Publishing and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development, and uses her knowledge of people to bring her characters to life.

‘Basically I love history and I’m a sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction, and my understanding of people helps me write the really intense relationships I enjoy developing. I like writing characters who will capture your attention from the moment you open my book.’



Are you tempted?

Security! @MandyBaggot Launches Her Latest Novel

Welcome to CentreStage!

Today I’m hosting fellow Loveahappyending Lifestyle author, Mandy Baggot, and her new romantic suspense novel, SECURITY, brought to you by Sapphire Star Publishing!

First of all, huge congratulations to Mandy on the release of her sixth (!!!) novel. Mandy, you rock! Have a fabulous launch and wishing you millions of sales!!

Lies hurt, but the truth
can get you killed.

Security_600 (2) Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?

As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?


About Mandy Baggot

Mandy 1Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube:  check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.

Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more about Mandy on her website. You can also check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing.  Mandy is on Facebook and on Twitter (of course!), and she has author pages on, and Goodreads.

Today, Mandy and I are asking, what makes you feel safe/comfortable/secure?

To get you started, here’s my answer. I feel safe, comfortable and secure when the rain is lashing against the window and I sit in my lounge, with the fire going, candles lit, snuggled up under the duvet on the sofa with my lovely husband and sipping a glass of wine. Perfect scenario; even better if it was a howling snow storm!

YOUR TURN! To be in with a chance to win an e-copy of Security, leave a comment and your email address and let me know what makes you feel secure. Could it be knowing you have that secret stash of chocolate hidden away or perhaps you have a favourite piece of music that wraps you up like a blanket! Get commenting to win! Closing date 30 April 2013.

STOP PRESS! I just had word of another stunning giveaway. Says Mandy: Anyone who posts a review on Amazon until 31 May will be entered into a Rafflecopter draw to win a £25/$40 Amazon gift certificate. 


Hall of Fame Party: Anna Silver launches OTHERBORN

Roll out the red carpet…
Open the champagne…
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!
Hall of Fame

Today, the amazing Anna Silver celebrates her first book birthday with the release of OTHERBORN by Sapphire Star Publishing. HUGE congrats to Anna, I’m really excited for you!

It is my great pleasure to take part in Anna’s blogtour and she has been grilling her protagonist’s best friend and secret crush with questions about life and love. Let’s give Rye a warm welcome as we turn over the floor to the OTHERBORN charater interview. Take it away, Anna and Rye!

anna banner

In OTHERBORN, Rye is the protagonist London’s longtime best friend and secret crush. They live in the same building, go to the same school, and play in the same band. In fact, after London began dreaming, Rye was the first to experience “night pictures” as well. Bound by more than one lifetime, there’s very little that London and Rye don’t share. In this interview, we’ll attempt to get to know London’s love interest a little better.

Rye, define New.

Well, if I were speaking strictly as a Waller, New is not to be trusted. First, it’s impossible. Second, it’s tainted. It means the same thing as waste, as danger. If something is New, it’s not reprocessed or even scrapped. It’s born. From some unknowable, untrustworthy place. New is never a good thing.

But if I were speaking as myself, not as I was taught, but as the boy who sat by London’s side all those afternoons writing that song, giving rise to every chord like it was something precious, then I would say that New is wondrous. It’s incredible. It’s living. New is what we were born to do, it’s who we were born to be. Otherwise, we’re just empty shells.

What do you find beautiful, Rye?

Strength. I think survivors are beautiful. Like myself, like London, like Tora. By city standards, Avery would probably be considered the most beautiful one in our little group, but not to me. She hasn’t had to really reach for anything in this life. Everything has been handed to her. I think beauty is made, not born.

How do you feel about living in Capital City?

The city can be a tough place. Life behind the walls isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, most of us get the basics handed to us via rations, but there is still plenty of suffering here. There are homeless people inside the walls. There are gangs. There’s this sense of order on the surface, but underneath the city is brimming with lawlessness. And there’s a lot that’s missing from this life. Justice. Liberty. Choice. Things you don’t always realize you’re doing without until you really need them. You can survive here, but you’ll never thrive.

Rye, if you could have any assignment, what would it be?

I’d love to drive a reprocessing route like my dad. I’ve been in his truck before and I love the massiveness of it, like an expansion of my own body. I feel untouchable in there. There’s a certain power to being able to operate something like that, especially when so few can. It pays okay, nothing too exciting, but you’ll never starve. And there is a status to being a driver these days, like you’re special, you did something to deserve that respect.

What’s your happiest memory?

The first time I heard London sing. I remember her sitting on the floor of my room while I turned on a disc Pauly had let her borrow. Her eyes were closed and she was barefoot, and she was rocking ever so slightly to the music. And then this soft sound began to move through her, a whisper that grew and grew. Her voice was tremulous and gravelly but powerful. I was hooked.

What’s your worst memory?

The day I was told my mother died. I don’t like to talk about it really. Suffice to say, my dad broke the news. We were wrecked for weeks after. I don’t think I could have gotten through that time without London.

Rye… I have to ask this. Have you ever been in love?

The question should be, have I ever not been in love? I think I’ve been in love with London since we met as kids. Maybe before. It’s like the day I saw her, the world became complete for me. I didn’t realize it though, for a long time. Or I denied it, take your pick. I was scared. What if your world rejects you? What then? So, it’s kinda been this secret of mine since birth.

If you could have anything pre-Crisis with you behind the walls, what would it be?

That’s tough. There’s so much I’ve heard about, seen. Some of it might just be rumor, you know? Who can say? I guess, if I had to pick one thing, it would be books. More books. A library full. But then, that’s not really just one thing, is it?

Thanks so much, Rye,  for your candid answers. You’ve given me goosebumps, you really have. It was fabulous meeting you here today, thanks for stopping by. Now let’s introduce Anna’s book in more detail.



London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within CapitalCity’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New– a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?


What the readers say about OTHERBORN

“Anna Silver weaves a dark new world full of taut suspense and characters that leap off the page.” –Sophie Jordan, NYT bestselling author of the Firelight trilogy

“Travel to a world where dreaming is a radical act that can save the world… Anna Silver’s post-apocalyptic vision is rich with imagery and metaphysical ideas, grounded by vivid, three-dimensional characters. A truly fresh take on dystopian.” –Nina Berry, author of the OTHERKIN series

“Silver built the right amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world, and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.” –Natasha Hanova, author of Edge of Truth

About Anna Silver

anna picAnna Silver grew up with a passion for words, books, and storytelling. She began writing as a child and eventually landed at St. Edward’s University in Austin where she studied English Writing & Rhetoric. She has always nurtured a vivid imagination and a love for art, expression, and fantasy. Currently she resides in the greater Houston area with her family and pets where she continues to read, write, and dream. Otherborn is her first published novel.


Happy Book Birthday, Anna, and thanks for visiting today with Rye! Wishing you a ROCKING day and come back soon…

Hall of Fame Party: Kelley Lynn releases FRACTION OF STONE

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

Yes, it’s release day again over at Sapphire Star Publishing, and today, my lovely publishing sister, Kelley Lynn, launches her debut novel, Fraction of Stone. Huge congrats to Kelley and let’s hear it for the book….

Fraction of Stone
by Kelley Lynn

Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:
Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving.

About the Author

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent than her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.)

She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn’s Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


To celebrate the launch, Kelley is offering a fabulous giveaway: there are Amazong giftvouchers and ecopies of Fraction of Stone up for grabs, plus one signed paperback too! Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats again, Kelley, I hope you have a rocking release day and I can’t wait to read Fraction of Stone!!

Hall of Fame party: @CarrieAButler launches STRENGTH!

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

It’s launch day over at Sapphire Star Publishing, and today, it is my great pleasure to help my publishing sister, Carrie Butler, celebrate the launch of her first novel, STRENGTH!

Let’s hear about… STRENGTH, a new adult paranormal romance


When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace’s powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.


Strength is available here:


They’re here! Carrie, Rena and best friend Gabby have come for a chat!

Thank you for having me over, Nicky! I’m thrilled to be here. 🙂

In fact, to celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve brought an “interview” from my MC, Rena, and her best friend/roommate, Gabby…


*Gabby falls onto her bed with an exaggerated sigh.*

*Rena looks up, dismisses the distraction, and goes back to studying.*

*Gabby sighs even louder, rustling the pages of her magazine.*

*Rena* Problem?

*Gabby bolts into a sitting position.* Oh, good! You’re taking a break. Wanna do this quiz?

*Rena* I’m not taking a br—

*Gabby* Okay, first question. Describe the last man you met in three words.

*Rena spins around in her desk chair.* Wallace?

*Gabby nods, gesturing for her to continue.*

*Rena* I don’t know. We barely spoke to each other. It was more of an awkward, sorry-I-ran-into-you thing.

*Gabby* Uh huh. Well, if I ran into the Madman, I think it’d be a little more memorable than that.

*Rena rolls her eyes* Fine. He was big, okay? Bigger than I thought he’d be.

*Gabby leans in, scandal written all over her features.* Where?

*Rena* Where what?

*Gabby* You know… where was he big?

*Rena reaches back and throws a wad of paper at her roommate.* Everywhere! He was a big guy—you know, tall and muscular. For cryin’ out loud, Gabby, you’re ridiculous.

*Gabby deflects the paper with her magazine, cackling.* Okay, gimme two more words.

*Rena shakes her head.* I can’t believe I’m doing this. How about intense?

*Gabby* What do you mean?

*Rena* His expression, his stare…

*Gabby* A creeper stare?

*Rena’s cheeks show the slightest tinge of pink.* No, it wasn’t bad. It was just kind of heavy… like he could see into my soul or something.

*Gabby* Right. Soul-stare. What else?

*Rena* Why are we doing this, again?

*Gabby* Because this magazine cost me $5.99, and we’re going to partake in all it has to offer.

*Rena* Since when do you care about money?

*Gabby* Since now.

*Rena* Why?

*Gabby purses her lips.* Ree, so help me, just answer the damn question!

*Rena* Fine! Wallace was… surprising, okay? It’s an adjective. He wasn’t what I expected. Are you happy?

*Gabby leans back.* As happy as I’m gonna be, I guess.

*Rena* Good. So, what’s the next question?

*Gabby* Huh? Oh, there wasn’t actually a quiz. I just wanted to hear more about the Madman.

*Rena’s eye twitches.* If you want to run, I’ll give you a five second head start.

*Gabby* Aww, c’mon. I just wanted to dish ab—

*Rena* Five.

*Gabby* You’re not seriously going to chase me.

*Rena* Four.

*Gabby* Girl, your face is turning an unsettling shade of red.

*Rena* Three.

*Gabby pouts.* Are you really that mad?

*Rena* Two.

*Gabby* I wasn’t even being that nos—

*Rena stands up.* One.

*Gabby throws the magazine down and bolts for the door.* Aiden! She’s losin’ it again!

*Rena slumps into her chair with a smile.* Every time…


Wow, awesome! And even more awesome, check out this praise for STRENGTH:

“I love that Carrie took so much time in building the relationship between them. Yay for no instalove!” – Read It, Reviewed It

“I freaking loved every last word on every page.” Scelest’s Journal

“I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’s interested in reading a bloody good book. :)” – The Life of a Total Book Nerd
“I devoured this book in two days – staying up until the early hours because I didn’t want to stop reading!” – Kyra Lennon, author of Game On

Find out more about the woman behind STRENGTH, Carrie Butler:


Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.




Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well, what else is there to say apart from… HUGE congrats, Carrie, and Rock On!

Wishing you every success on launch day ~ I can’t wait to get reading! xxx 🙂

LOST TO YOU ~ @ALJacksonbooks visits the Hall of Fame

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

It is my tremendous pleasure to welcome into the Hall of Fame for the fourth time the amazing A.L. Jackson, who’s not only a massively talented author but also a profilic one. I simply am in awe at the speed at which A.L. produces books! So raise your glass and give a loud cheer as A.L. brings you…



People come into our lives. Some stay, and many go. Some build us up, while most tear us down. They become our friends, our enemies, our lovers, our tormentors.

 Christian Davison came into mine, and I knew I’d never be the same.

To Elizabeth Ayers, New York City had always been a dream. She’s worked her entire young life to make it here.

Groomed to one day take over his father’s law firm, attending Columbia University was Christian Davison’s only option.

Neither wanted anything more until they sat across from each other at a café table after being paired as study partners.

Christian wants her, but Elizabeth knows better than to give into their intense attraction. Yet there is little she can do to stay away.

Lost to You, the prequel to the bestselling romance, Take This Regret. A New Adult novella, recommended for readers 17+. It’s unnecessary to have read Take This Regret to enjoy Lost to You.

Check out the fabulous excerpt:

“So how’s your math class going?” Christian wiped a napkin over his mouth, sat back in his chair with a satisfied sigh as he pushed his plate away. Completely casual, he appeared to be unaware of the chaos he created in me.

“Okay, thanks to you.”

A smirk pulled at his mouth. “What would you do without me, Elizabeth?”

“Oh, I don’t know, find another cute boy to help me with math,” I said, anticipating his reaction if I teased him a little.

For a flash, his eyes narrowed, then a dangerous grin spread across his face. “So I’m just dispensable, huh? Easily replaced?” He hunched and lowered, pressed his chest into the table to meet me at eye level, this slow playfulness coming across him. “How about I let you fail next time?”

“Well how about I feed you the wrong answers when we study for our next government test?” I countered.

He faked a disbelieving laugh, a gentle ribbing that twisted its way straight to my heart. He was so cute like this, like a harmless boy and not the man who made me fearful, not the one who urged me to hold onto my affections, careful not to let them go.

“You’re going to feed me the wrong answers, huh? You?” he challenged.

The entire meal I’d felt his leg stretched under the table, reaching, giving in to  casual brushes, then receding as if they hadn’t happened.

Now Christian abruptly extended his leg, wove it between my legs, direct and bold. My breath caught. It was the closest we’d ever come to an embrace.

I averted my gaze, but couldn’t for long because I could feel him staring at me.

His voice dropped. “You, sweet Elizabeth, the most innocent girl I know, is going to feed me the wrong answers? I bet you’ve never even told a lie.”

Heat flooded my face.

He was taunting me, prodding. Is that what he really thought of me? Innocent? But honestly, I guess I was. Well maybe not innocent. . .just inexperienced. I had no idea how to play Christian’s games, no idea of what the girls he surrounded himself with were like, although I could only imagine. It had to be my greatest disadvantage. Vulnerability oozed from my consciousness, and I shifted in discomfort.

Christian could devour me whole.

His expression shifted as he edged even closer, his voice a whisper, “Just how innocent are you, Elizabeth?”

Well, then, I’m hooked. Just how innocent are you, Elizabeth! I have read Take This Regret and I can’t wait to find out how Elizabeth and Christian started their journey. Rock on, A.L.

Join The Party!

A.L. is celebrating over on Facebook today: Come and join in, and watch out for the special comment to grab your chance to win one of 250 free ecopies of Lost To You!

And here’s a very special song that featured on A.L. playlist while writing:

About A.L. Jackson


A.L. Jackson first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she had been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Find out more about A.L. Jackson at her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing or on her blog.  You can also follow A.L. on  Twitter or find her on Facebook and Goodreads

Wow! Happy Fourth Book Birthday, A.L. ~ Have a great day and wishing you every success and tons of sales! XX

Hall of Fame Double Book Launch Party: Gary Kassay and Amy Gregory

Roll out the red carpet!
Bring out the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame

It’s only the third of January and already we have cause for celebration! Yes, it’s a double launch day over at Sapphire Star Publishing today. Give it up for my brother-and-sister-in-publishing, Gary Kassay and Amy Gregory, who are both launching their second books today. Over to you guys!

Gary Kassay presents:
Murder by Prophecy!

First I want to thank one of my fellow authors from Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky Wells, for inviting me to say a few words on the release of the second book in the Duke Becker Series. It and the first book are available on paperback and Kindle, paperback and Kindle, Barnes & and in many other places.

My first book was titled Murder in Silence and it follows a specialized group of Detectives that work out of Special Investigation Homicide for the NYPD.  The unit is headed by Inspector Duke Becker, a man who doesn’t wear a rumpled trench coat, suck on a lollipop or is wealthy and doing the job for kicks.  Becker is a cop, plain and simple who catches killers…no matter what it takes.

In his squad is an eclectic group of detectives, all who have a specialty that helps Becker in solving high-profile, unusual murders that occur in the City of New York.

Murder in Silence has Becker and his squad facing a killer who is targeting police officers. The police officers appear to have nothing in common, didn’t serve together and did not know each other either on or off the job. There are no witnesses or clues to the brutal murders except for two clues that don’t seem to make any sense.  The victims are killed by having their throats torn open but…the wounds are surgically clean and the part of the throat torn out is never recovered.  The second mysterious clue is that saliva from the canine family has been discovered in the wounds, and the saliva is from different animals. Becker and his squad must discover not only who the killer is but the motive behind the killings.


The second book in the series is titled Murder by Prophecy and is a story about revenge that will spark feelings in anyone with a heart.

A man is falsely imprisoned and while in prison, his wife, son and daughter are brutally killed by a crazed addict.  But the addict is not the true culprit.  If not for a certain group of men, more concerned with making a buck instead of basic human rights, this man would not have gone to prison and his family would not have died.

The Chief of the NYPD receives poems…prophecies of death and calls in Becker and his squad to unravel the mystery.  Becker knows there is more to the story than the Chief is revealing. He must work the homicides, the deaths of prominent men, killed in brutal and different ways without the Chief’s help and still keeping his job.

Becker has an outstanding record for solving homicides but it just may be that this time he will be outwitted.  The race is on to discover who the Prophet is, why he is killing men in so many brutal ways and who is next on the Prophet’s list.

The Ex-Cop-turned-Crime-Writer: about Gary Kassay

Gary Kassay, author of the Duke Becker Series, is a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 Unit.  Besides a career as a Police Officer, he has been the owner of a commercial photo company, an X-ray tech for humans and animals, and a TSA employee. He now resides in Casper, Wyoming with his wife Raella, three dogs, and one black cat.

When Gary is not working on the next installment of his Duke Becker series, he enjoys spending quiet times with his wife, writing the Duke Becker series, reading, and when there isn’t snow on the ground, a good round of golf.

You can follow Gary on Twitter and on Facebook, visit his website or blog. Gary also has an author page at Sapphire Star Publishing and a Murder in Silence fan page on Facebook.

Crime written by an ex cop: the epitome of ‘write what you know’! Do you have any questions for Gary? Let’s hear them…

Racing to Love ~ Jesse’s Soul:
The fabulous Amy Gregory continues her story…


Jesse Frost lived the life most men would kill for. Fast bikes, fame, money, and looks. He hadn’t thought much about those things throughout his career. He was just an easy-going guy from Texas who always worked hard for everything he got in life. He’d been the shy guy in school, so when the prom queen found him years later, he thought he had finally made it. Her mirage, however, left him empty and certain there was no one that wanted him just for the man inside.

Emery Kincaid has a last name that is revered in their world. A woman in a man’s world and succeeding, Irish through and through, she has the temper and sass to boot and a reputation that precedes her. She has remained strong because she’s had no other choice. The pain she masks runs deep and hiding it is the only way she can survive.

Thrown together and forced to be in each other’s space day in and day out, sparks start to fly—from chemistry and the brakes she tries desperately to throw on. Without a doubt, Jesse thinks he’s found her, but the girl that stole his heart has a stubborn streak a country mile wide.

What Jesse doesn’t know could break his heart. Hiding her true feelings for him is the only way for Emery to protect him and in turn—herself. She barely made it out the first time. If she let Jesse in and he walked away…well, that’s a risk her heart can’t take.

“By expertly weaving the lives of all her “boys” into the story, the end will
leave you smiling through your tears. Racing To Love ~ Jesse’s Soul puts Amy
Gregory in the number one spot on the podium!” ~Katie Mettner

Racing to Love ~ Jesse’s Soul is available in Kindle and paperback, Kindle and paperback, Barnes & Noble and many other places. Rock on!

Awesome! I love a great romance and I can’t wait to get tucked into this second part of Jesse’s story!

 About Amy Gregory…

author pic color

Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions.  When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.  When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles.  “In bits and pieces,” she says.

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created.  I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory

Find out more about Amy on her blog, or on her Sapphire Star Publishing author page.  Amy is also on Goodreads and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Crime and Romance! Open that champagne, my friends, and let’s toast these two amazing authors!  HAPPY LAUNCH DAY !!**Cheers**