Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Motivation: Quotes about Writing

Balancing writing, marketing, school and life... writing is losing. Working on my book is beginning to feel more like work than fun. I'd rather sleep in my spare time. There's nothing like a good quote to remind you why you write in the first place, to get you excited again. The first quote is my favorite. Hope these give you a boost!

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Black Lotus by Claire Warner

Title: The Black Lotus
Author: Claire Warner
Genre: Fantasy Romance

...though I would dearly love to play court to you, I would hurt you more than any other.

It is 1752.
The year that will change the life of heiress Melissa De Vire. As she makes her first fumbling steps into society, she meets the handsome young cad Justin Lestrade and his world tears her perceptions apart. For Justin is more than he appears and his secrets and enemies are manifold. Drawn irresistibly to him, she finds herself sinking into a realm of feuds, magic and old curses and her life will never again be the same.

Melissa glanced over at her would be saviour. He was dressed in everyday garb and had clearly not been to a ball that eve. His hair was without powder and his dark locks looked black in the bleaching light of the moon. The throbbing pain in her side reminded her of the damage done by Jane’s knitting needles and memories of her near fatal slide into sleep were fresh and gave her cause for concern. Also she could see Montjoy in the distance, what if he returned to bother her further?

He caught her hesitance and leant forward. “I promise you will be safe from him,” He nodded across at the riders and smiled reassuringly.

“Very well Lord Lestrade. I will accompany you,” She noted, watching as his face crinkled with pleasure as she spoke the words. With exquisite courtesy he held out a hand and helped her carefully up the steps and into his coach. After a moment, Jane followed reluctantly. Franklin shut the door behind the maid with a heavy thump, before climbing up and taking the empty footman’s position on the rear of the coach.

Montjoy moved off, losing interest in the group behind him. For a moment the muffled figure stayed in position, his eyes following the scene closer. As she clasped hold of Justin’s arm, the figure clicked to his horse and galloped away, the cloud of dust following slowly behind.

Coll clicked to the horses and slowly the coach turned in the road, leaving the ruined carriage where it lay. Soon they were flying along the road, towards the sleeping hamlets and their estates beyond.

Melissa sat back on the padded seating and stared across at Justin, barely making out his expression in the dim light. Silently he reached forward and handed her a travelling rug, which she tucked carefully about her legs. “Thank you,” It felt like an inadequate response, she was clearly drawing him away from his evening.

“It was the least I could do. I could not leave you there at the mercy of highwaymen or Montjoy, I saw him on the road.” He answered tersely, his eyes on her. She could feel them in the dark scoring into her soul. Beside her she could feel the tense body of Jane as she kept her eyes on Justin, playing the chaperone for all she was worth.

“Still, thank you. I’m sorry to keep you from your evening.”

“Do not concern yourself,” Feather soft and gentle, his words mollified her and she settled back, feeling better about the situation. “I’m glad to have been of service, particularly as Lord Montjoy appeared to be making a nuisance of himself.”

Melissa smiled and thanked him again. “So how did you come to be travelling home without your family?” He asked politely, the cushions creaking slightly as he shifted to a more comfortable position.

The curtains were half closed and even with the moonlight, his face was hidden from view. Reaching down, he plucked a fleck of dust from his breeches. Holding it in the air for a movement as though inspecting it, he smiled enigmatically before he waved it free. Hazel eyes watched the fluff drift lazily to the carriage floor, before he returned his gaze to Melissa and took in the damage. Her dark hair hung in mussed strands, the powder shaken from the long tresses in the accident. A smudge of dirt on her nose, coupled with the state of her dress made her appear vulnerable, a tattered rose lost in the dark. His fingers itched to reach forward and brush the smudge from her face. Controlling the impulse, he arranged his hands carefully on his knees and returned his attention to the conversation.

“I left Lady Shearingham’s ball early,” Her voice was polite yet shaky, a remnant of the nasty tumble she had taken in the coach. “I had a headache.”

“Ahh,” Justin replied, his face unreadable from the shadows. He watched her though; she could not miss the pressure of his eyes upon her.

It should have made her uncomfortable, the frankness of his gaze on her, yet despite the odd twinge, she felt safe in his company. The tenderness he showed as he had helped her into the carriage had impressed itself on her mind. Despite their first meeting, she knew that Justin Lestrade possessed a heart somewhere. They lapsed into silence for a moment, unsure of what to say to each other, strangers that they were. Jane had returned to her knitting. She had picked up a spare set of needles from her basket and the clicking sound they made sounded loud in the carriage.

“Why were you not at the ball?” Melissa broke the silence boldly, ignoring the hiss of surprise from Jane at her elbow.

It was a direct question, one that should be danced about or garnered from friends. It was not done to ask outright news from a stranger, yet she could not keep quiet. She wanted to know if the rumours were true and this was the best way to go about it. Her green eyes stared straight at him and she could almost feel him smiling at her boldness in the dark corner opposite.

“I had a visit from Lord Malison,” He answered directly, with no hint of hesitation. If she could be direct then so could he. “I was given to understand that I was responsible for his daughter’s demise,” A note of bitter anger entered his voice as he spoke. “Since I am clearly a cad, then I must also be a murderer,”

Melissa stared at him, trying to find his face in the darkness before she answered.

“I don’t think you are a murderer,”

“Really?” A note of incredulity entered his voice as he finally leant forward, his eyes shimmering with pent up emotion. “How would you know?” A mocking quality flowed through his tones and she shivered as the notes stroked down her spine.

“I don’t, I just feel that you aren’t,”

“Then you don’t know, you only believe,” He settled back against the chair, his face stormy in the darkness. The air in the carriage became still, Jane watched carefully from the seat opposite, her placid face still and watchful. Throughout the hushed stillness, the sound of wheels sounded loud, almost deafening as they looked at each other. His fingers were curled lightly on his knees and she regarded the elegant digits with a detached feeling.

“I could be anything and you would never know,” His voice was soft, almost hushed and full of a bitter anger that she felt more than heard. In the gloom of the carriage, he became as a statue, immobile and quiet, save for his eyes which searched out her face with an intensity she found unnerving. For several moments, tense quiet reigned in the carriage, save for Jane’s needles and the noise of wheel on stone.

When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.

And some fun facts about me:

I sew.

My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.

I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.

Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.

I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

The Week in Links 2/26/16: Banned Books Week, A Wrinkle in Time, Pacific Rim 2

Book Marketing and Branding
Pinterest for Authors: A Beginner’s Guide
Why One of My Books Sells and The Other Four DON’T
4 Little-Known Tools to Curate and Publish Content
Let’s Address a Common Misunderstanding About Author Websites

The Oscars Forgot to Nominate The Force Awakens For Best Picture
5 Common Problems With Endings

Nerdy News
How X-Men: Apocalypse Will Change X-Men Movie Canon
‘Spartacus’ Creator Steven S. DeKnight To Direct ‘Pacific Rim 2’

Photography and Design
Photographer Joel Robison on Adding Fantasy to Your Images
How to Use the Channel Mixer in Photoshop to Change Colors in Your Images

Did you read any interesting posts this week?

I'm starting a newsletter going out the last Monday of every month. The first one will be sent 2/29. It'll have a fantasy image, full size at 300 dpi, that you can do whatever you want with. Each monthly newsletter will have a message from me and a free image. Sign up now!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Guest Post: Tips on Hiring a Book Designer by Ingrid Koivukangas

Hiring a book designer is one of the most important self-publishing investments you can make. A well-designed book presents you more seriously as an author and will attract more attention on bookstore and ebook shelves. Here are a few simple tips to ensure that you have a final book design that you love, completed on time, and on budget.

Choose a designer that reflects your style
Designers usually have a certain feel to their work. It may be the way they use different elements like photographs and text or color. The most important question is: Does the designer’s style sense feel like a good fit for you? 

How much experience should your designer have

A good designer can save you time, money and help you avoid costly mistakes. When you hire a seasoned designer, you’re paying for their expertise and experience. A less experienced designer may seem like a better deal at first glance, but they may not have the expertise required and could end up costing you more in the long run. Don’t be shy to ask for references.

Cover designs
Knowing your market will help your designer create a book you are happy with. Do you want a creative and fun layout or is your book content more reserved. Is your book for children? Youth? Adults? Men? Women? Your book cover must get people interested enough to pick it up from the store shelf or click on your cover art to find out more about the book.

Research other books in your genre and find covers you like. Send these samples to your designer so that she has a clear understanding of the styles you like.

Copyrighted images
Searching for images online is great for getting ideas but most images are copyrighted. It’s important to use properly licensed works. If you have an image in mind that you wish to use then you need to ensure the rights to do so have been purchased. Your designer can help you with this.

Make sure you understand project design costs
Does your designer charge by the hour? Give you a flat rate? Give you an estimate or a firm quote? Are revisions extra?

It’s much easier, and less stressful, to have the terms and fees agreed upon before work begins. This is the same for a deposit and a payment schedule. Are payments made at agreed upon deadlines or milestones? You want to have a signed contract that clearly outlines expectations and agreements.

Either negotiate a flat rate or have an understanding of approximately how many hours will be involved in the project and what the hourly rate will be. Make sure you ask how many sets of revisions are included in a flat rate.

Professionally edit your manuscript before you give it to your designer
No matter how good a writer you are, you will need an editor, and a proofreader, to ensure that your book meets the same quality standards as traditionally published books. If your designer has to make major changes part way through it will be more costly for you.

Making changes to the text, adding or deleting graphic elements, will change the length of the book, the page layout, table of contents and index page numbering. These types of changes can cause production delays and may require changes to deadlines and could cost you more money.

Professional designers usually have many client projects in their calendars, and will not usually start on your book without a deadline and contract in place. They will need to know all of your publishing and print deadlines, as well as if cover art and sample pages are needed ahead of time for marketing purposes.

What should be in the contract
Most designers will request that you sign a contract in order for them to begin work. Below are some of the details the contract should include:
  • Number of initial layouts/designs you will have to choose from
  • Number of edits to chosen cover design
  • Number of edits to the interior pages
  • How extra charges are invoiced
  • Deadlines for getting content to designer
  • Proof deadlines
  • Payment and deadline schedules
Always discuss the contract with your designer before signing, make sure you are comfortable and understand all the details.

Once you have signed the contract, most designers will request a 15-50% deposit before beginning working on your book.

Good luck with hiring your book designer!

Ingrid Koivukangas, BFA, MFA, is an award winning environmental artist, writer, designer, Reiki Master and educator.

As an artist Ingrid works intuitively at sites creating new works in response to sites and their energies and histories both natural and human. Her work encompasses many media including site specific ephemeral, large scale public works, writing, video, photography, sound, web, sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking.

Ingrid's artworks have been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia. She's been featured as an artist in residence on CBC-TV; has had numerous gallery exhibitions; has many site specific ephemeral works left in situ and large scale permanent public art projects.

Ingrid's artworks have been included in many publications and books including: Art in Action: Nature, Creativity and Our Collective Future, published by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environmental Programme and Art + Science Now: How scientific research and technological innovation are becoming key to 21st-century aesthetics by Stephen Wilson, Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University. One of her favourite publications to be included in is Scholastic Book's Now See This! Art That Influences.

Ingrid has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Distinction, from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and a Master of Fine Arts, Environmental Sculpture, from the University of Calgary. You can view her work at:

Ingrid lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband Robin, two dogs, Lucy and Scout, and a fierce cat named Hunter.

Title: Hunter of the Dream
Author: Ingrid Koivukangas 
Genre: YA Fantasy

When the summer holidays begin, Aurora thinks she’s just a normal teenager about to have another boring summer. Then, for her seventeenth birthday, Nana Brin gives her a long-silent Oracle that has been passed down through their family for generations. The mysterious Oracle soon awakens in response to the creeping Darkness that is escaping and destroying all worlds. Aurora must quickly find the courage to come to terms with her calling as the Huntress of the Dream

Sails snapped in the wind, ropes creaked and strained, and the Flora de la Mar moved through the thick fog bank. She was a fifteenth century three-masted square sail warship under the command of Beaumont Seabring, adventurer and time dimension traveler.

Seabring muttered under his breath. This fog was not natural. He was having a hard time keeping his bearings. The compass tattooed onto his forearm glowed and pulsed, but he could not get a clear reading. He removed his wide-brimmed leather hat and scratched his head before putting it back on again. Then he tugged at his beard and twirled the ends of his moustache, deep in thought. The warning system that encircled the compass was not flashing an alert, so the fog held no danger. At least, not any kind of danger he and the compass had encountered before. And yet they were powerless, being led to some unknown destination

Hunters of the Dream will be available at Amazon from February 22 to March 20 for only $0.99

Get a free online Eco Heart Oracle reading.

Visit the World of Wonder membership site. This site is for Hunters of the Dream readers. Continue exploring the world of Hunters of the Dream:
Ingrid Koivukangas will be awarding an Eco Heart Oracle Deck valued at $28 US, (the Eco Heart Oracle is an integral part of the Hunters of the Dream trilogy) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (International Giveaway).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 22, 2016

Photography is Life: Spring in Winter

We had beautiful weather over the weekend. Perfect for walking to the park with my dog, Oreo, and my new camera!

I've been trying to sell more of my pictures on Shutterstock but they keep getting rejected. First I has exposure problems. I took a course and read a few articles. I generally don't have that problem anymore. But, the subject is too soft when viewed at 100%. It's a problem with my camera. I started "serious" photography with a Canon Powershot. It takes amazing pictures, but they're only perfect for sharing on social media.

Since I want to sell my photos as stock images, I needed an upgrade. On Friday, I bought a Canon EOS Rebel T5i. My first DSLR camera. I love it! I wanted something a step up from my Powershot without paying over a $1,000. I can't spend my rent on a new camera.

I took the camera to the park on Saturday to get to know it. I had so much fun and Oreo, as always, enjoyed herself. She's 8 but she still acts like a puppy.

I finally captured shots that still look clear when viewed at 100%. Hopefully, Shutterstock will accept some of theses photos. Cross my fingers.

Update: Shutterstock accepted some of my photos!!! Find them HERE.

Visit my Facebook page to enjoy more nature photos!

Enjoyed the unusually warm weather over the weekend. Took my dog and new camera to the park.
Posted by Auden Johnson on Sunday, February 21, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

ACOA Blog Hop Hunt: Guest Post by Amber Daulton

Welcome to the world of dark fantasy author Auden Johnson. I’m your host for this stop in the tour.

This is your post for the ACOA Scavenger Hunt and I am pleased to be hosting AMBER DAULTON. In her post you will find a number, not in written text, but as a numerical number. Write it down and collect them all as you visit every post along the way. Good Luck!

Amber Daulton picked up her first romance book at 72 years old and found her niche. She loved to read about foreign lands and cultures, and soon stated to write her own tales of love, hate, sorrow and happily ever after. She published her first book in two thousand and twelve and hopes to publish countless more in the future. As a fan of contemporary, paranormal and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when there are people jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Amber loves to chat. Look for her on:

From Cinderella’s Enchanted Night, an artsy contemporary twist on a beloved fairy tale classic…

“I’m so happy you came by today.” Elijah’s hot breath teased the sensitive hollow of her throat. His lips trailed across her shoulder blade, down her bare arm, and Annalise almost melted. Then he firmly grasped her waist with his palms and stared deep into her eyes. “I promised myself I would ask you out the next time you came in. If I’d known you worked across the street, I would’ve made time and stopped by to see you.”

“I should’ve put my insecurities aside months ago and just asked you.” Annalise felt vulnerable under his keen gaze. “I don’t ever wear haute couture clothes—this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever worn a dress like this—and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not sexy. I’m not a little badass who wears safety pins and skulls on her clothes all the time. I’m just… Plain.”

He cupped her cheek in his palm. “I disagree. I remember the first time I saw you. My nerves were through the roof, I hated using cue cards for my first tour since I hadn’t memorized the information or studied the artwork on my own yet, and there you were at the back of my group. A blue scarf covered your curly hair—it rained that day and I could tell you were self-conscious about your hair because you kept patting it—and a white and blue striped dress hugged your body. You also wore a bulky denim jacket over it.”

“I bought the dress on a whim but I didn’t wear it until my friends dared me to. I felt uncomfortable in it, hence the jacket, so I later donated the dress to a thrift store.”

He sighed. “That’s too bad. Memories of you in that dress keep me awake at night.”

From Timeless Honor, a time travel romance set in Georgian England… 

His mouth descended on hers, his arms encircled her waist, and the anger in her veins heated to
desire. Her heart pounded in her throat and she wanted to rip off Lucas’s clothes and kiss every inch of the arrogant baron.

Jaye jerked out of his embrace before she lost all control. “I can’t. I’m sorry.”

“I swear you’re a siren. You invade my every thought and I’m at my wits’ end on how to deal with you.” His dark gaze bore into hers. “I wish to court you.”

“How can you court me if I return home? You can’t have it both ways.”

“I’ll be blunt.” Lucas straightened his frock over his chest and towered over her. “You’re a respectable lady and I hold you in high esteem, but I do not believe you’re pure, contrary to my earlier assumption. Correct me if I’m wrong.”

“Virginal?” She clenched her fists as he nodded. “You’re not wrong. Is that a problem?”

“No. In fact, I’m relieved.” Lucas grasped her hand, sucked her index finger into his mouth and swirled his tongue over the digit. Her heart stuttered in her chest. Then he popped her finger back out with a smacking sound. “I will never utter a word of our affair to anyone. I will never slander your name, speak ill of you or hurt you. I just want to lose time in your body.”

His touch burned through her. “What you want is a mistress, not a proper courtship.”

“You’re right. I will find a way to return you to your family as promised but I need to lie beside you until then.” He clasped her narrow waist with his palms, nuzzled her hairline with his nose and then pressed small kisses along the curve of her neck. Goosebumps followed the trail of his lips. “I know you desire me, jaybird.”

Scavenger Hunt Hint:
The number for your clue will not be written in text, but it will be numeral. Tally all the numbers you find during the hunt and tally them together. This final number will be an entry in the Rafflecopter on the ENTER HERE page on the Official Website.

If you get stuck along the way because you of a broken link, please visit the AUTHORS LINK page 

Did you find the number? If you did, then click this author's link- AMBER DAULTON -to continue the Scavenger Hunt.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Revolution by Jessica Frances

Jessica Frances is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card. See Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post.

Title: Revolution
Author: Jessica Frances
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult

I was raised in a world where humans no longer rule.
In the past, we made a terrible mistake by creating a new species we thought would serve us as our army, which led to our downfall.

There was a war, we lost, and many lives were massacred. It was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of a hell we were now trapped in. We became enslaved to what we now called Superiors, becoming pets to them, simply there to entertain.

In a world so miserable, I managed to do the unthinkable: I fell in love. But even that was doomed, because to love a Superior was forbidden.

What the rest of the Superiors didn’t know was how deeply a human could love or how resilient we became when we were hurt.

The Superiors never could have imagined an uprising, which was why they never saw it coming.
Humans deserved to be free, and I would stop at nothing to deliver that promise.

My name is Tilly, and I am still alive with one sole purpose: to begin a revolution.
I had been raised to believe humans were worthless. We owned them and controlled them, and when we were done with them, we threw them away. Therefore, I never thought I would ever feel more for Tilly than disinterest. I never expected to want to save her.

It was forbidden for a Superior to love a human. No one had ever crossed that line, but I did. I fell madly in love with her, so it was no surprise how we ended up.

I was raised to be a soldier, and that was what I was always going to be. However, I was not a soldier for the Superiors, not anymore.

I became a soldier for humans, and I would stop at nothing to help them. They deserved to be free, and I would die protecting them.

My name is Johnny, and I am here with one sole purpose: to finish a revolution.

“Johnny?” Tilly whispers.

I try to tell her I’m sorry. I try to apologize for failing her, needing to tell her one last time that I love her, but my voice is trapped inside me.

Rough hands pull me away from her. I fear it is only to get a clear shot at Tilly, but the hands keep dragging me until I’m crying in pain from the jolts that each knock of the stairs give me. Then we finally make it outside where Joseph leans over me.

“You are willing to die for this human?”

I can’t answer him, but I manage to nod my head.

“Then so be it. Just know that your death has meant nothing. She will suffer because of this; I will make sure of it. Every strike, every whip, and every kick will remind her of what you have done to her and that this is your doing. She will hate you before I kill her. And mark my words, she will die. So, I hope that was worth your life.”

Adrenaline pumps through my body, but I am too weak to fight, too wrecked to do anything except keep bleeding out over the ground.

This is my fault.

Please forgive me, Tilly.

Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 15, 2016

Why do you use Goodreads?

I'm working on my thesis project for grad school and I'd like your help. I'm creating a business plan for a Goodreads-like online community that focuses on diverse books in speculative fiction--fantasy, sci-fi and horror.

Diversity in fiction is one of my passions.

The community/blog would be a place where readers can find non-traditional speculative fiction titles--books with POC, people with disabilities and those a part of the LGBTQ community. It would  also be a place where authors can learn how to write diverse characters i.e. describing skin color, realistically portraying a blind character, for example.

I'm working out the different functions of the site/community. I'm modeling it, for the most part, after Goodreads. 

Answering some questions about your experience with Goodreads would really help a lot with my project. Your names will not be recorded. Filling out the below survey should take no more than 5 minutes. The project is for NYU's M.S. in Publishing program.

Thank you so much for your help!! Please share this post! You can also access the survey HERE.

I'll be more than happy to share the results when the survey is finished.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Week in Links 2/12/15: Sci-Fi Story Ideas, Harry Potter, #1000BlackGirlBooks

Book Marketing and Branding
How to Curate a Roundup Blog Post of Industry Influencers
3 Steps for Adding Video to Your Social Media Marketing

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Script to Be Published as a Book
JK Rowling clarifies: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not the eighth Harry Potter novel or a prequel
“10 CLOVERFIELD LANE” Super Bowl ad teases a creature
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Super Bowl Spot TV Spot
20 Sci-Fi Story Ideas
10 Promising Independent Horror Films to Watch Out For This Year

Writing, Publishing and Bookishness

Photography and Design
Quick Overview of How to do Macro Photography
21 tips, tricks and shortcuts for making movies on your mobile

Did you read any interest articles this week?

Next week, I'm participating in Blog Hop Hunt hosted by Fantasy - Flight of Imagination!!! The hunt starts 2/19. That means I won't be doing The Week in Links next Friday. Join the hunt. You can win some cool prizes!!!

About the Hunt
If you love to find new books and the authors who create these wonderful, fantastical worlds, then this is the place to be!
With a click you will be magically transported on your way to an author's blog or webpage and from there you will look for the A Celebration of Author's post and who knows, if you stay long enough you might have access to exclusive content or a giveaway. Oh, and did I forget to mention the Blog Hop Hunt bundle prize when you finally reach the end.
A Celebration of Author's Hunt will run for a week, showcasing a variety of authors and genres as you take a journey of discovery.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Girl and the Gargoyle by Pauline Gruber

Title: Girl and the Gargoyle: Book Two of The Girl and the Raven Series
Author: Pauline Gruber
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Dragonfly Ink, Ltd

Good versus evil just got even more complicated...

Being half-witch/half-demon and dating Marcus, a gargoyle, is complicated enough for Lucy. She can almost tolerate Jude, her demon father, implementing demon training. 

But when Marcus’s family arrives in Chicago, her world begins to crumble. Marcus's mother wants him to return to the gargoyle clan where he belongs; his father wants Marcus to help him kill Jude. There’s one very major problem with this: if Jude dies, Lucy dies.

Marcus works with other supernaturals to help save Jude and Lucy. Meanwhile, Lucy has her own plan and with the aid of a surprise newcomer, seeks help from the most unlikely—and dangerous—source.

Jude balances a fresh fireball in the palm of his hand. He lobs it at me, and I hold my hand up. I envision my hand as a brick wall. Big, strong, impenetrable. I imagine it swelling, doubling in size and strength. As the fireball comes within six inches of my hand, I step toward it and lob it back to Jude. The fireball moves toward Jude, but sputters out before it reaches him.

“Pretty lame if you ask me,” Dylan calls out.

“Funny thing, no one asked you!” I snap.

“Again,” Jude calls out. “This time put some power behind it.” We repeat it again. I struggle to ignore Dylan’s taunts. Idiot.

What is it with him? Why won’t Jude and Henry reprimand him? I wait until the fireball is two inches from me then whack it back to Jude hard. He lunges to the left to avoid being hit.

“Nice job, Lucy,” Henry says.

“For a girl,” Dylan adds.

I spin around and throw a fireball at him. It slams against his shoulder. He tamps out the flames and flashes a big grin my way. “Is that all you’ve got?”

I take a step toward him. “Keep it up. There’s more where that came from.”

Dylan laughs. “You’ve got nothing. Without Daddy to protect you—and everyone else—you’re nothing.”

Pauline Gruber is a self-professed music junkie, cat wrangler and travel nut. She went to Paris in the 90’s where she discovered a love of three things: croissants, old cathedrals and gargoyles. Deciding that the paranormal world could use a new kind of hero, Pauline translated her fascination with the protective gargoyle into a suspenseful love story. She is the author of the young adult series, The Girl and the Raven, The Girl and the Gargoyle and the forthcoming novel, The Girl and the Demon. By day, Pauline is a legal assistant for a Chicago law firm where she steals identities and incorporates them into her books. If you tell anyone, she’ll deny, deny, deny. Pauline lives outside of Chicago with her precocious black cats.

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