Category Archives: Guest Blog

Stone Cold Review #IronHillJinn

Book 2 in the Ironhill Jinn series, oh, how long have I waited for you? Too long. But, the wait is over. Lou Hudson is back on the streets of Ironhill along with old and new characters to tantalise and tease us with another epic adventure.

Stone Cold 300 dpi

Stone Cold (Ironhill Jinn #2)

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Genre: Romantic Urban Fantasy

Back of the book:

Lou Hudson makes a deal with the Isaac to save the Ironhill jinn from execution…and lands on the front line of a war between the vampire and his sire.

Daddy Dearest intends to have Lou for himself to spite Isaac and begins meddling in every corner of her life.  Her reputation shatters when people die, her monster-whispering skills shelved by public outcry and vampire politics.

When forced to confront their enemy, she isn’t prepared for the depth of Isaac’s plotting—or her increasing attraction to him—and to end their latest crisis will only cost Lou a piece of her soul. 

Jocelyn AdamsAbout Jocelyn Adams:

Jocelyn Adams is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories. With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter



Purchase Links:

Check it out. If you buy Stone Cold from the MuseItUp store, you get Stone Chameleon for free. Yes, free! And for a limited time, pick up Stone Chameleon at your favorite retail sites for only 99 cents! | Barnes & Noble | MuseItUp Publishing


  • 1st prize: $25.00 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner’s choice + 1 ebook copy of Stone Chameleon and Stone Cold + 1 signed bookmark
  • 2nd prize: 1 ebook copy of Stone Chameleon and Stone Cold + 1 signed bookmark.

 To enter, please click the link below

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My Review:

If, like me, you’ve been waiting for the next instalment of the Ironhill Jinn series with baited breath, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve read everything Ms. Adam’s has written, and this novel is by far my favourite, and that’s saying something—her other stories are incredible too!

Stone Cold continues Lou Hudson’s story from where Stone Chameleon (the first in the Ironhill Jinn series) left off. Ace monster-whisperer, Lou, works tirelessly for the Ironhill pest control to keep all the city’s preternatural creatures in check. Her task is made all the more difficult in this instalment by feuding vampires and the emergence of a terrifying new/old foe pulling everyone’s strings. Not to mention poor Lou has to keep her jinn heritage on the low-down or risk an instant death penalty.

As the book cover promises, we find out a whole lot more about the brooding vampire hive lord, Issac, who has one hell of a hold over Lou—in more ways than one. The romantic tension between the two main characters literally vibrates off the page and up your arm, and everything you think you know about Issac will be turned on its head as the book progresses. He’s so tortured and captivating that I defy you not to completely fall for the blood sucker by the story’s end.

The bad guy in Stone Cold is bone shakingly despicable and takes this story to a dark place. Some readers might find one of the topics touched upon a little difficult to read about, but it’s important to the storyline and not just thrown in for shock value. If you like your bad guys bad, then look no further.

As with the first novel in the series, the Ironhill story world and the intricacies of the preternatural creatures’ politics and customs are mind-bogglingly brilliant. This really is a very well thought out novel with captivating characters and an intense plot that will leave you willing Ms. Adams’s fingers to type the next instalment much faster.

An easy 5 stars.


Filed under Guest Blog, Uncategorized

What Scares Terri Rochenski?

It’s Halloween! Just love this spooky time of year. What better day to question a special guest author about their fears? Let’s jump straight in and ask Terri Rochenski, author of Eye of the Soul, a few questions to get us acquainted. :-) 

Welcome, Terri. So lovely to have you here. What scared you most as a child?

Snakes, and unfortunately they STILL skeeve the living daylights out of me.

Oh, me, too! Thank goodness we don’t have many in the UK.

What scares you most as an adult?

Somebody nabbing my children, or being powerless to stop – and having to watch – their deaths.

Definitely! When you become a parent,  nothing scares you more than a threat to your child.

Now for a little background. I had the pleasure of meeting Terri Rochenski on the writing website Scribophile. Not only is she a wonderful writer,  she’s also Wonder Woman. Really! This amazing lady has two young girls and a newborn and still finds the time to write! She’s also the most organised person I know. I’m in awe. Terri’s début novel, Eye of the Soul, has just released with J. Taylor Publishing, and she has the sequel  stewing in the mix.

You can find out more about Terri on her blog and website, and also on Twitter and Facebook.

Tracey Hanlon PhotographyTerri is a stay-at-home mother who enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow.




So, let’s ask Terri a few more spooky questions. Would you prefer to spend the night in a graveyard or a haunted house?

Graveyard. I know outside noises, but the creaking of a dark, old house? Forget about it.

What would you take with you on your spooky sleepover?

Flashlight – who WOULDN’T take one of those??!

Eye of the Soul – Book Blurb

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.
Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.
Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Favourite six sentences from the book.

The ground dropped beneath Hyla’s feet and she pitched forward tumbling end over end, rocks and brambles attacking her body. A crack and sharp pain sent her head reeling and brought her to a stop. Damp earth gave way to her clawing fingers as she tried to blink her eyesight clear.
A shadow loomed above, blocking what little moonlight filtered through the trees.
“Gerlak told you not to run,” a rough voice said.
Powerless to stop the swinging arm, Hyla closed her eyes and embraced pain’s exploding darkness.

You’re babysitting for a friend. The electricity fails, plunging you into darkness. You go to check on the children and as you climb the stairs, a menacing apparition appears on the landing, blocking your way. What do you do?

Once I’m able to swallow back the heart that leaps into my throat, I continue climbing and walk through the wavering image, praying it dissipates into the gloom.

Terri, thank you for providing us with such fun answers. I’m sure readers will join me in wishing you much success with Eye of the Soul and all your future projects.


Filed under Author Interview, Guest Blog

Would you really want your every wish to come true? – Guest Post by Jennifer M. Eaton

Would you really want your every wish to come true?

It sounds like the perfect scenario, doesn’t it?  You wake up one morning, and your every thought, your every dream, your every wish comes true.

What would be the first thing you’d do, if the world revolved around you—if everything answered your command? The possibilities are endless!  What fun you could have!

Who wouldn’t want omnipotent power? Well, Maya for one. When she wakes up with magical powers she’s freaked out.  Yeah, I guess I’d be freaked out to.  But then I’d start having fun.

But woa there… ya gotta think about where these powers came from, right? Like Spidey always says, “With great power must also come great responsibility” (Great line, by the way, Stan Lee.)

There’s always a catch, isn’t there?  And the catch is always worse than the “privilege” of having the great power.

In the The First Day of the New Tomorrow, Maya has everything she’s ever dreamed of.  It’s fantastic! She even catches the eye of the one boy she’s wanted since grade school.  But then things start to go terribly wrong, and Maya begins to see her powers as a curse.

Would she be willing to give up EVERYTHING just to be normal again? Could she even do so if she wanted to?

What would you do?  If you see yourself as a threat—if you hurt people by accident—would you be able to give it all away?

Jennifer Eaton

Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance.  Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.

While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for?  Writing help did you say?  Well, sure!  Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans!

Her contemporary sweet romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format.  The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology.   Each title is available from and and Smashwords.

Paper Wishes:  Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in. Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.

The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)



Email | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Manic ReadersGoodreads | Amazon


Purchase Links:

Zoom to to buy Jennifer M. Eaton’s books

Zoom to Barnes and Noble

Zoom to Muse It Up’s Website to buy “The First Day of the New Tomorrow”


Filed under Guest Blog

Liza O’Connor Confesses a Weakness – Worst Week Ever Blog Tour and Giveaway

1The Craziest Blog Tour Ever



3And now the main attraction


Liza O’Connor Confesses a Weakness

Turns out I can’t kill my darlings. I rehabilitate them into blog content. Today I give you Darling 3 from Worst Week Ever. But for it to make sense, I do need to attach a small section before the deleted section:

“Who are you writing to?” Trent stormed over and sat beside Carrie, glaring at her email she’d just sent, which showed the first name on the employee list. “Who is Thomas Thomas?”

“An employee.” His proximity woke the butterflies in her stomach.

“Since when?”

She grinned. “Possibly the beginning of time.”

4Thomas thomas

He frowned then laughed. “Oh! Tom. His last name is Thomas? What kind of moron names his kid Thomas Thomas?”

She shrugged.

“Why are you writing him? I doubt he even knows email exists.”

Since Tom couldn’t identify modern phones, she’d bet money on it. “I don’t think we have to worry about Tom stealing supplies. He’s from an era when employees wouldn’t consider such a thing.”

Here’s the deleted darling:

Carrie tilted her head as she considered the matter. Eighty-five years ago, someone hired Tom as a doorman for this building. When Trent’s father bought the space, Tom came with it. However, standing out in the cold and waiting for Tom to slowly open a door became excruciating for Trent, so he bought self-opening sliding doors. Only he didn’t have the heart to fire the old guy, so he gave him a new job of ensuring no vagrants camped out in their lobby. Trent did not expect him to toss them out, only to call 911.

However, the only time an amorous couple came inside the lobby, needing a bit of privacy, Tom couldn’t locate a rotary dial phone. Instead, he slowly shuffled to the elevator, took it to the fifth floor, and reported the debacle going on in the lobby.

Trent had been in a meeting with a major customer when Tom slowly pushed the conference room door open, yelling. “You need to stop jawing with these boys and come tell those young people to find a bed! They are making a spectacle!”

Before Trent could even respond, Tom pressed his hand to his chest and crumbled to the floor.

Trent called 911–for Tom, not the couple downstairs–and then yelled at the small crumpled body still holding the door open.

“Damn it, Tom! You are supposed to call 911, not me! Why can’t anyone here do their job?”

And here’s proof that people really do name their kids Thomas Thomas:

 5 thomas thomas contrast

See Reality is stranger than fiction. Or in this case it’s just as weird.


I hoped you enjoyed this darling no longer in my book.

Below is a bit about Worst Week Ever and an excerpt actually from the book.

Worst Week Ever_1600x2400

Worst Week Ever

by Liza O’Connor

New Adult, Humor, Contemporary


What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?

Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever.

Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant, or as his drivers refers to Carrie: ‘Trent’s brain, left hand, and right hand’. He’s had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he’s threatened to fire her, he’s not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson’s Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form. (Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)


Carrie squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the thump of a body against the limo’s hood.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted Sam take a shortcut,” Trent muttered beneath his breath.

She groaned softly. If her boss questioned his actions, then matters must look grim outside. She tensed even further, expecting to hear multiple bodies slam into the car.

Sam braked hard, turned right, and resumed driving a billion miles an hour. If not for the seat belts, she and Trent would’ve sailed into the front seat, and then plastered against the door. To secure her further, Trent protectively placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her against his warm chest.

She focused on the thumping of his heart. It beat once to three of hers. God, how can he be so calm?

Determined to match his bravery, she tried to raise her head, but he wouldn’t let her.

“Just a little longer, I hope. Sam, when do we depart this third world country?”

“Two more blocks, sir.”

“Thank God. You’ve terrified poor Carrie to death.”

Instantly, the limo’s speed dropped.

She turned her head sideways so Sam might be able to hear her words. “Your driving doesn’t frighten me, Sam, the neighborhood does.”

As if on cue, a round of three loud pops sounded, followed by three thunks into her side door. She squeaked like a mouse at the first thunk. By the third, her body shivered in fear.

Trent’s arms tightened around her as the limo picked up speed again. “We’re okay,” he assured her, then his lips pressed against her temple. His calm certainty silenced her tremors.

Having successfully soothed her, he released his outrage upon Sam. “Why the hell did you drive us through here?”

Sam calmly replied as he drove the car at a billion miles an hour, taking corners at deadly speeds. “I warned you the locals might not welcome us.”

“Someone just shot at us?” Trent yelled.

“I’m sure they didn’t mean for you to take it personally, sir.” Sam’s nonchalant reply sounded almost surreal.

Maybe none of this is happening. Maybe I fell asleep in the traffic and my dream has gone rogue.

Her heart calmed and she nuzzled closer to Trent, breathing in his masculine scent. Secure in her dream, she confessed something she never would in real life. “You smell good.”

Trent’s arms relaxed a bit and he chuckled. “It’s called Trent. I had the cologne custom developed. They assessed my natural odors and then determined the optimal combination of scents to create my unique smell.”

She snorted. Even in her dreams, he remained the strangest man she’d ever met. If she had all the money in the world, she’d try to end poverty and violence in…whatever hell they’d just driven through, not have some custom designed perfume created so she’d smell really, really good.

Author Bio:

Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.





Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Don’t forget to leave a comment and provide your email address to win one of the tour prizes.

Want to increase your chances of winning a prize?

Follow Liza’s Craziest Blog Tour Ever

through all its stops.


Filed under Blob Tour, Guest Blog

Sabaska’s Tale by J. A. Campbell

Writing friend J. A. Campbell has just released her newest novel, Sabaska’s Tale. I’m thrilled to bring you a wee taster of this horsey story. :-)

Sabaska's Tale eBook

To Anna, horses were more than a fascination, they were everything. Luckily, she had the opportunity to spend every summer on her grandmother’s horse ranch in Colorado. Life was perfect, until she received the devastating news that her grandmother had been tragically killed. Anna knew she was the only member of her family who could take over the ranch and hopefully find new homes for her grandmother’s beloved Arabians.
Anna wasn’t alone for long. Her grandmother had hired a local teenage boy to help tend the horses for the summer. Anna didn’t stand a chance against Cody’s quiet charm and the two rapidly become friends. However, even with the responsibilities of the ranch, Anna quickly discovers the secrets her grandmother had been hiding and a legacy that sends her on an adventure she never thought possible. An adventure in the saddle of a horse that wasn’t a horse at all. Sabaska, her grandmother’s favorite Arabian, was a Traveler; a magical being that could travel between worlds. With Anna at the reins, they find themselves trapped in a fight against evil with the highest of stakes… Their very survival.

Sabaska's Tale


Footsteps came down the hall toward her grandma’s bedroom. Anna’s hands shook. They would have heard her footsteps if the carpet hadn’t muffled them. She crept away from the door and slipped into the bathroom. A small window with frosted panes opened on the roof. Though she had thought it odd at the time, her grandma had shown her an escape route. “Anna, in case there is a fire and you can’t get out the door, you can go out through this window. Come on, follow me. It’s safe.”
She set the shotgun down across the sink and climbed on the toilet and slid the window open. The bright moon clearly lit her path. She climbed into the warm, dry air and reached back for her gun. Just to be sure, she shut the window behind her, and then noticed a curious thing. It locked from outside.
What had Grandma been involved with?
Anna latched the window and crouched, holding the shotgun to her chest. It was one thing to follow her grandma onto the roof in broad daylight, it was quite another to escape intruders in the middle of the night. The light from the moon didn’t seem so bright now. Shadows danced everywhere. She wished the shotgun had a sling. She considered staying hidden by the window. They wouldn’t get through the window without breaking it.
One of the horses screamed. Anna’s blood ran cold, but it broke her out of her crouch. Before she could think better of it, she crawled across the roof, being sure to stay in the shadows. The shingles scraped her knuckles where she clutched the gun. They weren’t doing her jeans or her knees any favors either.
“Damn it.” The harsh whisper echoed in the night.
Anna flattened herself against the roof, heart trying to climb out of her chest. The next muttered curse might have come from the barn. Yet she heard both so clearly, they could have been right beside her. It must have been a trick of the night air. Anna clenched her lips tight, smothering a whimper and started crawling again. At the trellis, she paused, trying to decide what to do next.
“Maybe the Traveler is gone, M’lord,” a man said underneath her.
“It won’t leave the girl.” The second man spoke. She knew that voice. Blue shirts and mean sports cars flashed through her brain.
“The girl isn’t here,” another man said.
“She’s here.” He sounded very confident. “Just be ready to track them if they get a chance to run.”
The men faded out of hearing range.
You have to get off this roof! She tried to get herself to move, knowing she wouldn’t get a better chance.
A quiet, encouraging nicker caught Anna’s attention and a dark shape in a clump of evergreens moved slightly. The faint outline of horse dissolved into the shadows.
What the hell?
With no time to figure it out, she carefully scooted to the edge of the roof and climbed down onto the reinforced trellis. It was awkward with one hand occupied by the shotgun but the shadows hid hid the trellis from view and the foot and handholds were predictable. The faint scent of crushed leaves tickled her nose and she fought a sneeze. That would be just perfect; reaching the bottom without falling only to have a sneeze give her away. She made it, though she breathed hard and her limbs shook–only partially from exertion.
Okay, now what?
The dark shape moved again. If she could get to the horse maybe she could get away. Horses could go a lot of places trucks couldn’t. Maybe she could find a way to call the police. Of course she left her cell phone behind, but Sherrie’s neighbors were far enough away to be safe and would let her use their phone.
Anna checked for the intruders. Nothing moved so she darted across the open ground and into the bush. She hoped her sudden appearance didn’t startle the horse into making noise. The horse stayed silent, bumping her head against Anna’s arm in a reassuring manner. Sabaska, of course.
Why would the horse hide in a clump of trees waiting for her to climb off a roof? Sabaska turned to let her climb on her back. She leaned the shotgun against a tree and scrambled ungracefully onto the horse. Sabaska edged closer to the gun without being asked and Anna picked it up, not sure how to carry it, ride bareback and direct her horse, but Sabaska didn’t seem to care. Anna got settled and grabbed a hold of the horse’s mane while cradling the gun awkwardly.
“M’lord,” one of the men called more loudly.
Sabaska snorted, tossed her head, and started moving, slowly at first, and then her muscles bunched.
“No,” Anna whispered.
The horse ignored her and she held on, stifling scream as the little horse burst from the trees into a dead gallop.
“M’lord! There!”
“Catch them before they Travel!”
She clung to Sabaska’s back as the horse galloped toward a fence. Needing both hands to stay astride, she tossed the shotgun to the ground and held on. Anna screamed as Sabaska leapt the fence. In the air, she came off Sabaska’s back, but the little horse landed underneath her and did a funny jig to keep Anna from falling.
The men shouted behind her, but as Sabaska ran, the air grew muffled and dense and the voices faded. Anna thought she might be passing out and clutched the horse tighter. Sabaska slowed and trees scraped against her legs and arms.
Leafy trees.
Cold frosted her breath and she started to shake. No deciduous forest surrounded her Grandma’s property and though it could get cold in the summer in Colorado, there wasn’t usually snow on the ground. Overwhelmed, she stopped thinking and clung to Sabaska’s back while the little horse pushed through the trees. Anna hoped she knew where she was going. The numb, suffocating feeling came and went several times that night. Anna thought she saw the sun high in the sky a few times, but when Sabaska finally did stop, the sky had just begun to lighten. Incomprehensible trees surrounded them. She blinked at the red blur of leaves and smooth silver bark and then passed out. In her dreams, an unseen entity chased her until a distant voice woke her.
“Sabaska! What are you doing?”
Her horse snorted and though Anna wanted to sit up, exhaustion sent her back to sleep.

Campbell_authorpic1 (1)Julie – Julie writes fantasy novels. When she’s not out riding her horse, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer with a cat on her lap and her dog at her side. Read more about Julie’s other stories on her website.


And if you’d like to stalk her here are her other links: Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, & LinkedIn.


Filed under Cover Reveal, Guest Blog

Brown & the End of the Line – Part Three

I’m excited to introduce you to Julie Campbell and Brown–a Border Collie who hunts ghosts. I’m one of a number of bloggers hosting Brown’s special blog tour. Each stop reveals part of a Brown story written exclusively for the tour. Today is part three of Brown and the End of the Line. So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Julie and Brown.

Brown and the End of the Line

Kansas, 1900

By J. A. Campbell

Part Three

“There’s a dog in the car!” A woman shrieked. She smelled of flowers and wore a dark colored dress. Her hair had flowers in it, but not the ones she smelled like and she wore it piled on her head like a lot of the ladies I’d seen back east. It was brown like my fur, but otherwise was as uninteresting to me as the rest of her.

I looked around, wondering how another dog had gotten aboard before realizing she was talking about me. The finger pointed in my direction was a big clue. Wagging my tail once, I went back to my dinner. The ghost wasn’t here yet, and I was hungry.

I heard some shushing noises coming from the table and ignored them along with the woman’s hysterics until she said something about fleas.

“I can feel them already, fleas, crawling all over me. Of all the things, a dog on the train!” Her breathing was high and rapid. I’d seen a woman pass out after breathing like that, and hoped this woman would do that too so she’d be quiet. As if I were some city mongrel. Fleas…the nerve. Stifling a growl, I went back to my dinner.

Elliott scratched my shoulder and he seemed to be trying to ignore her as well.

“Sir.” An older man who looked like a priest walked up to our table.

Elliott turned toward him. I finished my dinner before resting my chin on Elliott’s knee. “Yes?”

“Perhaps you would consider removing your dog from the car? It’s disturbing the lady.”

I could smell Elliott’s anger and his voice was quiet when he answered, like the time I’d chased the sheep out into the road and they’d escaped into town. I flattened my ears. “Father, perhaps you’d consider removing the lady from the car. She’s disturbing everyone.”

The priest smelled amused, but his voice stayed even and he frowned when he replied.

“Dogs aren’t allowed on the train.”

“This one is and she doesn’t have fleas.”

One of the railroad men, the one who’d brought my dinner, hurried up just then. “Please, Father. This dog has permission and is allowed everywhere,” he said.

“I see. Sorry to bother you then.” He tipped his hat and returned to the table with the annoying woman. They spoke quietly and I heard her huff, but apparently the matter was settled.

Elliott lingered in the car longer than normal, drinking something and staring out of the window. I sat up on my hind legs, then stood so I could see out, careful not to put my paws on anything in case that made someone else mad. Not seeing anything but grass I sank back down and rested my chin on Elliott’s knee again while he scratched my ears.

“This ghost is going to be interesting to trap,” Elliott said once no one was close enough to hear. “We’re moving and putting out one of the traps like I drew at the saloon won’t be as easy. Apparently motion disturbs it or something. Great Grand Pappy had a solution but the drawing is more difficult. I’ll have to draw it in our room so we don’t scare anyone, but that shouldn’t be a problem.”

Perking my ears forward, I licked his hand to let him know I was listening.

“Come on, Brown. Let’s go get ready.”

By getting ready, I knew he meant I had to keep an eye out for ghosts while he drew on the floor with his chalk.

We took a walk back to the stock car so I could stretch my legs before returning to our room. I jumped up on the bed while Elliott moved the rug from the floor so he could draw on the wood. Then I settled in to watch while he muttered to himself, turned the book this way and that and scratched lines on the floor with his chalk. Dozing, I jerked my eyes open when I heard Elliott’s satisfied, “Done.”

“Well, Brown, what do you think?”

I sat up and stared at the drawing. Tilting my head, I tried to decide if I saw anything wrong with it. I tilted my head the other way and decided it looked fine, though I truly didn’t know what I was supposed to be looking for. Woofing quietly once, I settled back onto the bed.

Elliott laughed. “Okay. I’ll take that to mean it looks okay. Now I need some incense.” He reached into his bag. “Yes, this, and salt. Hmm….” He went back to staring at his great grand pappy’s hunting journal and muttering.

Wondering when the ghost would return, I settled my muzzle on my paws and watched Elliott work. He moved a few things around then sat back again.

“There. I think we have it.”

A muffled exclamation caught my attention and I glanced at the door, wondering who was there. Elliott didn’t hear. He still glanced between his drawing and the book until the door slammed open. Then he dropped the book and spun around, smelling startled. I barked, alarmed.

“What are you doing?” The priest from the dining car grabbed Elliott’s arm and jerked him out of the car. Elliott dropped his book and I darted out before they could lock me in the room.


“Doesn’t look like nothing to me,” another man said. This one had a shiny star on his chest, like Sheriff Tolbert wore. “Looks like devil worship.”

“Arrest him!” The priest shouted over Elliott’s protest.

I growled as the sheriff leveled his gun at me.

 Be sure to check out Jen Wylie  tomorrow for Part Four! And of course, you can read previous instalments of Brown’s adventure by following the links on the schedule below.

The Schedule:

Intro – June 11thJ. A. Campbell

Part 1- June 12thSam Knight

Part 2 – June 13thBea’s Book Nook

Part 3 – June 14thAmaleen Ison

Part 4 – June 15thJen Wylie

Part 5 – June 16thDavid Riley

Interview with Brown – June 17thAnne Michaud

The Contest:

Enter the Rafflecopter contest to win a copy of Science Fiction Trails 10 in which Brown battles Martians. US only, I’ll send the winner a signed copy, the rest of the world, you have to take an unsigned copy, sorry. You gotta be willing to give me your address though. :-) Alternately the winner can chose a Kindle copy. Contest runs from June 11th through June 30th. I’ll pick three winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


kira_brown1Brown – Brown is a Border Collie who hunts ghosts, and other things as it turns out, with her human, Elliott Gyles. You can find out more about Brown’s adventures on Julie’s website.




Campbell_authorpic1 (1)Julie – Julie writes fantasy novels. When she’s not out riding her horse, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer with a cat on her lap and her dog at her side. Read more about Julie’s other stories on her website.




Excerpt from Brown and The Saloon of Doom in the Gungslingers and Ghost Stories Anthology (her first adventure):

Gunslingers & Ghost Stories“You sure you fight ghosts? This ‘un is a mean ‘un,” someone in the crowd shouted.

“Of course, fine sir. Brown caught one herself just last week. It’s that Border Collie Eye….”

I didn’t remember that ghost, but I barked once in agreement anyway. That got a few more claps.

“If the individual who summoned me would step forward, I’d like to get to work right away. The sooner we dispatch the foul creature, the sooner you gentlefolks can get back to your lives.”

The Sheriff stepped forward and touched the brim of his hat. “That’d be me, Mr. Gyles.”

My human’s scent changed slightly to sour nervousness.


Filed under Guest Blog

Guest Post by Liza O’Connor Author of Saving Casey

As many of you already know, I’ve recently contracted my YA thriller, Remember Me, to Decadent Publishing’s mainstream fiction imprint, Bono Books. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce fellow Bono Books YA author, Liza O’Connor.

Thank you for letting me take over your blog, Amaleen.

You’re Welcome, Liza. :-)

I decided to break down the Amazon ratings for my book, Saving Casey, into topic categories to determine what my readers liked most about the story.

I’ve twelve reviews in total, nine of them are 5 stars and three are 4 stars. So I created an excel table with reviewers listed on the side and catch phrases on the top. By ‘catch phrases’ I mean memorable review comments such as: Couldn’t put the Book Down, Easy Read, Fast Paced, etc.

The first thing I learned is that my readers don’t think or like the same things. They are each unique, and bring their own preferences, beliefs, and interpretation to what they read.

The result of having unique readers is that what they read may not be what I wrote. No matter how clear I think my words are, when read through the filtering system of a reader’s brain, details can and do go askew.

I blame this on all those unpredictable twists and turns I throw in my stories. It causes problem for readers who hold to a planned route for my book. It’s the price I pay for writing stories that do not follow a normal path of expectation.  Since obvious path bores me, I will always wander off on strange and unexpected trails. That’s just me.

Happily, it turns out some readers like to be surprised. Thus, Saving Casey has won over readers. While I can never be sure what people have actually read, the consensus is that they love Saving Casey and that makes me happy.

Blurb: Having been diagnosed with cancer, Cass Goldman decides to opt out of any futile medical care and end her life. While she has some thoughts on afterlife, she never expects to reincarnate into the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Casey Davidson.

When she awakens in a hospital, Cass discovers two disturbing facts: One, she is now inside the body of a troubled teenager, and two, the former owner of this body committed suicide, but only Cass knows that. Everyone else believes Casey has survived, but suffered a complete memory loss. Cass has two choices: to take on Casey’s life and turn it around, or to confess the truth about her reincarnation and end up in a mental asylum. Given this second chance at life, Cass decides to take on the future life of Casey—the frightening ghoul-faced teen with short, black, spiky hair.

Every person around Cass has an ulterior motive and discovering the truth of Old Casey’s life is more complicated than the “new math” she is forced to learn in school. In addition, Cass has to contend with raging teenage hormones and the prior crimes of Old Casey, which she might not remember, but everyone else certainly does. However, her biggest frustration concerns her feelings for her father’s rugged security specialist who sees her only as a teenager and doesn’t want to explore the mutual attraction between them.

As determined as Cass is to turn this life around, Old Casey’s enemies are just as determined to end her life. She has no idea whom she can trust, but she knows she’ll never survive going it alone.

Bono Books     Amazon    Barnes&Noble

After hours of analysis, here are the results:

Turns out my diverse readers’ reviews do not express themselves in similar manners. There’s not even one comment that is said by most of the reviewers.

The two most common comments were:

Saving Casey was fast-paced

I highly recommended it.

Four out of twelve readers–but not the same four–had this to say about Saving Casey:

They loved it!

Couldn’t put the book down.

Liked the characters and the plot.

Thought the story unpredictable with twists and turns aplenty.

Felt the story a page-turner, full of emotion.

So putting all the commonalities into a single collaborative review, I give you the following:

I love Saving Casey!

The plot is original and clever. The well-developed characters are interesting and unique. I laughed and cried during the unpredictable twists and turns of this fast-paced story.  I could not put the book down and finished it in a single reading.

Liza O’Connor is an author to watch. Saving Casey’s a well written book, a great read, and I highly recommended it.

A Must Read!

To be clear NO ONE actually said all that, but at least four people said all key parts of it.

You can read the full reviews here.

Oh, and the reason they couldn’t put the book down is because I placed super-glue on their Kindles.

I’m so clever…


Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog, Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Thank you so much, Liza, for a fun and informative look at your novel, Saving Casey. Wishing you much success and many sales. :-) Amaleen xx


Filed under Guest Blog, Uncategorized

Guest Post by Stephanie Lawton – Mardi Gras in Mobile

I’m thrilled to introduce Stephanie Lawton, author of YA novel Want – released today by Inkspell Publishing.

Congratulation, Stephanie!

Stephanie LawtonMost people are surprised to find out that Mobile, Alabama, has a Mardi Gras celebration since the, er, debauchery in New Orleans gets all the attention. Mobile’s celebrations are family-friendly (no flashing!) and predate the ones in New Orleans.

Much of my debut novel, Want, centers around Mobile’s Mardi Gras traditions. As a relative outsider—we moved from Ohio to Alabama in 2009—it’s been fascinating to see the different politics at play: who’s chosen as king and queen; the mutually agreed-upon segregation; women donning fur coats in tank-top weather; elaborate balls; and class warfare. It’s both wonderful and bizarre.

Mardi Gras

Here are some colorful facts about Mobile’s Mardi Gras:

  • Mardi Gras was suspended during the Civil War, but restarted by a guy named Joe Cain, who dressed up like a fictional Indian chief and paraded through the streets of Mobile. Today, he is a legend and has a group of “merry widows” and mistresses who hand out black or red roses to spectators. They congregate at his grave each year to pay homage.
  • Mobile’s secret Mardi Gras groups are called mystic societies; in New Orleans they’re called krewes. Some of the newer societies are less secretive and easier to get invited into, but the older groups are reserved for those with “old money” and deep roots in Mobile society. They cost thousands of dollars to join. Then there are fees for the ball; you can either pay a fee or give your time building the floats; and there’s another fee to get a spot on a parade float. Then you must pay for your throws (beads, cups, stuffed animals, Moon Pies).
  • So, the Moon Pies: In case you’ve never heard of them, they’re little, round snack cakes with marshmallow in the middle. The original ones are banana-flavored (and DISGUSTING) but there are also vanilla, orange, coconut, chocolate, peanut butter- chocolate and mint-chocolate ones. The latter two are pretty good, but the others make me gag. The reasoning behind using Moon Pies as throws is because they’re soft. If you’ve ever been hit in the face with beads or a bag of peanuts, you know how badly it hurts. I speak from experience!


More of Mobile’s quirks are fleshed out in Want, and our main characters, Julianne and Isaac, see their worst fears come to fruition at a Mardi Gras ball. Secrets are spilled after the gloves— and masks—come off!

Want CoverBack of book blurb: Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.

Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.

Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

You can find out more about Stephanie at her blog, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and add Want to your Goodreads reading list.

Purchase Links:


Filed under Guest Blog

A Peek Inside The New Death by James Hutchings

The New Death

The New Death

The New Death

Death gets a roommate…
An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question…
A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain…
44 stories. 19 poems. No sparkly vampires. There’s a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it – but from which direction?




If my life was filmed, it would
go straight to DVD
and someone who was famous once
would have the role of me
and if five stars meant ‘excellent’
you’d give it two or three
and most of those who rented it
would watch ironically.

Years later they would track me down
and do an interview.
They’d say “I heard you died,” and I’d
say “Yeah, I heard that too.”
“Is any of it fictional?”
“Perhaps a scene or two.
There weren’t as many ninjas, but
the rest is mostly true.”

James Hutchings

James Hutchings

James Hutchings

James Hutchings lives in Melbourne, Australia. He fights crime as Poetic Justice, but his day job is acting. You might know him by his stage-name ‘Brad Pitt.’ He specializes in short fantasy fiction. His work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, fiction365 and Enchanted Conversation among other markets. His ebook collection, The New Death and others, is now available from Amazon, Smashwords, and B&N. He also blogs daily.


Filed under Guest Blog

Valentine’s Day Afterglow – Guest Post by S.G. Rogers


In The Magical Misperception of Meridian, a beautiful commoner and a stammering prince form a magical friendship that can survive almost anything—except the queen’s disapproval.

The Magical Misperception of Meridian

The Magical Misperception of Meridian

At the beginning of February, it seems all thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day. Although the chocolates have probably been eaten by now, and the flower petals have begun to drop, a wonderful romantic fantasy lasts forever. The Magical Misperception of Meridian is my permanent Valentine to best friends everywhere. Enjoy. ~ S.G. Rogers

Back cover:

Railing against convention in the kingdom of Meridian, Jona thinks a girl should be able to wear trousers, fight like a boy when necessary, and marry whomever she pleases. She happens upon the queen’s nephew, Lee, who stammers and cannot speak to girls at all…that is, until he meets Jona.

When the queen hires Jona to help her nephew acquire proper social graces, Jona experiences a blissful summer of pure enchantment. Jona and Lee learn to dance, perfect the art of polite conversation, and discover which fork to use at the dinner table. Although they become best friends, Queen Gaia considers Jona a mere servant. At summer’s end, Jona’s job in Meridian is done.

Magical Boxes

Magical Boxes

Lee and Jona keep in contact through a set of magical mailboxes given to Lee by the Wizard Farland. When the friends are finally reunited after ten years, their budding romance is torn asunder by an edict from the queen. Against impossible odds, Jona and Lee will fight for an uncertain future. But unspoken secrets and mysteries long in the making have yet to be revealed.

Will true love be denied…or can the differences between commoners and royalty be shown to be just a matter of magical misperception?

“If Mr. Rapp tells The Dragon we aren’t learning to dance, I’ll be sent home,” Jona said.

“I don’t want you to go. We’ll just have to find a way to impress Mr. Rapp.”



That night, after everyone had retired, they sneaked into the ballroom to practice. Lee turned up some of the gas lamps so they wouldn’t trip over each other in the dark.

“I can hardly wait to see Mr. Rapp’s face when he sees us waltz perfectly tomorrow,” Lee said. “He’ll probably think it’s because he’s a brilliant teacher.”

“Mr. Rapp is an evil sorcerer, you know,” Jona said with a playful wink.

“Evil, you say? What’s the man done now?”

“He transformed a beautiful princess into one of those peach trees in the garden.”

“The black-hearted villain!” Lee exclaimed.

“Each time we perfect a dance, it weakens his wicked spell.”

“I’m all about rescuing damsels, as you know,” Lee said. “Let’s get to it.”

Jona frowned. “It would be easier if we had music.”

“Oh, but we do. The Wizard Farland enchanted the piano in the corner. It’ll play anything we want.”

Lee patted the instrument. “A waltz, if you please.”

When the instrument responded with a tune played in three-quarters time, Jona clapped her hands in delight. “I do so love magic!”

The Magical Misperception of Meridian is available today from MuseItUp Publishing. To learn more about S.G. Rogers, visit her blog at


Filed under Guest Blog