#fightthedarkness #bethelight HASHTAG Challenge for a SIGNED book!

This last week has been emotional. I had several members of my beta team accept a challenge to share a time in their life that they struggled with self-esteem and how they overcame it. I cried more than once at the tender, and in some cases heart-wrenching, stories. Mostly, I was awed by the persistence, the tenacity, and the heroism that my friends have. I feel even more blessed to associate with you!

And one of my bookish besties, Lela came up with this meme. She’s super-duper talented. She asked if it would be okay to share (yes, please!), and also she wanted to do a hashtag challenge.

Here it is… with or without the meme, tag a friend and give a compliment, share a memory, build them up. Use the hashtags: #fightthedarkness #bethelight (must use them both for contest entry).

I’ll pick one person to win a SIGNED copy of any one of my published books from all the hashtag entries. You can post on FB, Twitter, and/or Instagram. You can enter as many times as you’d like (as long as you’re paying a friend a compliment as well as using both hashtags it will be a valid entry). I hope we get thousands of entries. That would make my heart so happy!

All that because… Daughter of Darkness released today! In my previous post about Dahlia’s story, I shared what an emotional experience I had writing her novelette. I was looking a Goodreads (I usually try not to, but I wanted a quote I could use in my newsletter), and I came across this…


“Dahlia’s story is an important one and I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not you’ve read a book in the Sphinx series. With relatable characters and a message that is sure to resonate with everyone that reads it, Daughter of Darkness is an unforgettable story that you’ll want to read over and over again.” – Megan, GR review

That was my most critical review at the time of this posting (2:19am), and it makes me all warm and fuzzy! 😉

Here’s a teaser about Daughter of Darkness… As a daughter of the goddess Eris, discord and shame are Dahlia’s constant companions. Her only companions. While she craves love and friendship — or even just a sense of belonging — those are the very things her presence destroys.

I hope you enjoy Dahlia’s heart-warming story of triumph! It’s now available on Amazon!

 

 

Cursed by the Gods Here’s why I changed the title…

I loved my title ever since I started the first draft of Curse of the Sphinx in 2009. Like serious, mad love. I thought it was so clever… But as my husband pointed out the other day, when someone says sphinx to me, I have a clear picture of a beautiful creature sitting atop a craggy mountain with the bones of the men she’s strangled scattered about.

Most people (myself included prior to the aforementioned painting), if they’re familiar with a sphinx at all, know only of the Egyptian structure in Giza built by Khafra (Khafre). I’ve had several readers make comments about how they thought the book was going to be about Egyptian mythology, which the blurb of the book then solidly contradicts. And the confusion was very likely costing me readers.

After lots of learning about self-publishing, hours and hours and hours, I’ve decided to change the title of the first book to Cursed by the Gods. I’m hoping my loyal fans will indulge me the late change, and that the new title will entice readers to dive into a modern realm, still ruled by Olympus, and journey with the cursed girl, Hope, as she tries to break Apollo’s curse.

The story is exactly the same… Only the title has changed.

Here’s the blurb:

Hope has a deadly secret…

Even though mortals think the gods have disappeared . . . Olympus still rules. Demigods have elite hunters who viciously kill monsters. And shadow-demons from the Underworld, the very harbingers of death, are tracking her.

When tragedy destroys the only safety she’s ever known, all signs point to Hades’s demons. Or do they? Something doesn’t add up, and Hope needs answers. But now, someone knows she exists . . .

Forced to hide, Hope pretends to be normal. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep her secret safe— and her heart protected. But when Athan arrives, her world is turned upside down.

With gods, demigods, and demons closing in, the question is…

How long can a monster stay hidden in plain sight?

Join Hope on her unforgettable journey to discover what it means to live and her daring fight to break Apollo’s curse.

Happy reading!

The Surprising Truth in Dahlia’s Story

I’ve always said I believe in the power of stories to change lives. Heck, I went into nursing because of a fictional character (Kitty Freemont in Exodus by Leon Uris, if you were wondering). But this was my most profound experience with a story… ever!

A couple of months ago I was working on the prequel story for Dahlia. If you’ve read The Sphinx series, you know she’s a strong character, so I was surprised at how her story started. I’m going to share a bit with you in a minute, a scene that even as I wrote it I got emotional. At the time, I thought I was being a bit of a baby, and I probably even laughed at myself. I mean, who cries writing their own stories?! Well, me apparently.

The next day my son, Seth (pictured above) was having a tough day. He’s a soft-hearted little man with a stubborn streak a mile wide. Anyway, he said he couldn’t do something, and then he said he was no good at it, and it quickly escalated to “I’m no good at anything.”

Well, THAT was not going to fly. I immediately thought of the scene I’d written the day before (truly divine inspiration if ever there was such a thing-and I do believe there is). Then I did the very same thing my character had done.

I marched my son into the bathroom and told him to look at himself in the mirror, right in the eye, and tell himself ten things he was good at. It was a simple thing because Seth is incredibly talented. I waited for him to say something about his piano, soccer, his determination, or sense of humor… But my little Seth dropped his head and started crying. And then he said, “I’m not good at anything.”

And my heart broke.

I made him do it. I made him look at himself, (at that point we were both crying) and I made him repeat at least a dozen things- talents, skills, and beautiful quirks that make him unique. I told him what to say, a mother’s desperate desire that her son would see his worth, if not through his eyes, than through mine.

I realized that there is a bit of Dahlia in each of us. The story I’d initially thought would only resonate with the few readers of my series, suddenly became a message I was desperate to share. Yes, there is more to Dahlia’s story, and people may not feel the same emotional resonance, but the message of individual worth and self-acceptance is threaded throughout.

I hope you’ll enjoy Dahlia’s story, Daughter of Darkness, and more than that, I hope you’ll understand that everyone has value that is uniquely theirs– especially you. It’s available for preorder now, and it’ll be released next week (May 11th).

And here’s a challenge… Write down ten things you’re good at. It can be something you do (I’m good at baking) or an innate talent (I’m good at seeing both sides of an argument). Another thing I’ve learned over the years as a nurse practitioner is that most of what people consider character weaknesses often comes with a very positive flip-side. One of my children is highly emotional which means we have a lot of drama in our home… the flip side to that is he’s very, very compassionate. The challenge for him will be learning to harness his empathy and emotion and express his intense feelings appropriately. But isn’t that what life is about… learning.

Anyway, when you have your ten things, go to the mirror, look at yourself, and tell yourself of your individual worth. What are your talents and gifts? Say them out loud so that you hear your value declared. It sounds so easy, but I had a hard time doing it. I felt stupid and silly, and I almost gave up on it. But I couldn’t ask you to do something I wasn’t willing to do. And guess what? When I was done… I really did feel better about myself and how I move in the world.

I believe in the power of words to change the world. I always have. But words change the world because they change us.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Daughter of Darkness and the gorgeous cover created by Nathan at StudioOpolis. I hope you enjoy it!

He studied her, his blue eyes sparking with intensity she only rarely saw. “Tell me ten things you’re good at.”

His words were a strike, and she had no block or defense for them. “I don’t have ten things.”

Xan raised his eyebrows. “Tell me five.”

She shook her head and dropped her gaze. Gods, why was he doing this to her?

He stood and extended his hand to help her up. She took it and followed him to the mirror.

“Look at you,” he said.

She stared at her unruly curls, thin body, and nose that was too big for her face.

“Now repeat after me: I’m Dahlia, daughter of Eris.”

She rolled her eyes but repeated his words.

“I have excellent reaction time.”

Dahlia stared at him as it registered he was talking about her. “I do?”

He nodded and pointed at the mirror.

The words fell out of her mouth in disbelief, sounding more like a question than a statement.

“Now say, I’m focused, determined, and surprisingly creative.” His look was intense, his eyes the color of ice.

She thought over the last several weeks, and as if his words gave her new sight, she recognized the truth of what he was saying. She repeated the affirmations this time with tentative conviction.

“I excel at debate, painting, sparring, and anything athletic that requires balance.”

She stared at Xan. “Really?”

“Aye, lass. Now look at yourself, in the eye, and say it.”

Dahlia did, and as she spoke the words, her shoulders straightened.

“Now, tell me,” he said in a low voice. “Knowing you’re good at all those things, are you worthless?”

Splintered Souls and Fates and Furies

It’s up for pre-order! I can hardly believe that Hope’s story is coming to a close. Fates and Furies is an epic conclusion, and I’m thrilled with it.

Here’s the blurb:

The Olympian gods cause nothing but chaos…

Hope escaped the Underworld with her life, but her memories are as blank as the Book of the Fates she brought back. Still determined to break the curse, she and Xan take an offering to the Olympian temple to solicit the goddess Artemis for aid. But the petition has disastrous results, and now the gods are hunting her.

Athan sacrificed everything for Hope, but she’s leaving him behind to travel with Xan to Mount Olympus. But the closer they get, the more Athan’s mortality becomes a liability. Forced to seek refuge in mists and darkness, Athan tangles with deities that weave the very threads of fate. But these goddesses also wield the immortal blades that lay ruin to destinies.

With everyone she loves damaged or destroyed by the blood of Olympus, Hope must face the power of the past to change the fate of the future…

I’m a huge fan of the Runes series, so when Ednah asked me to write a story in the world, I jumped at the opportunity. And what a story Splintered Souls turned out to be. Just over a year ago I wrote a story about the Narcos in Mexico (it was published in an anthology, and I’ll be releasing it later this year when I get my rights back). The main character in Splintered Souls comes from that world, and Aricela and Chase both have tortured histories and they are beautifully flawed characters with a story I’m thrilled with.

Here’s the blurb for Splintered Souls:

Aricela trusts no one.

At seventeen, she learned that promises are nothing more than lies, honored only by the weak or naïve.  And Aricela is no longer either.

After Narcos destroyed her innocence, they took her life, but Aricela escaped death with a new purpose. As Valkyrie, she is charged to take the souls of fallen warriors and athletes to Valhalla to await the final battle. But souls need to trust her before they’ll follow, and Aricela has no trust to give.

When collecting failures, instead of souls, draws the attention of the Norns, they give Aricela an ultimatum. If she can’t collect, she’ll be stripped of her powers and sent to Hel.

But when she meets Chase, everything changes.

Forced to face the myths of her past, Aricela will also have to decide the fate of her future.

HA! Both of my strong protagonists will have to face the past to set their future paths. Which is really a lot like life.

Finally, there’s an EPIC party happening today and tomorrow on FB to celebrate the launch of the Runes Universe. Here’s the link to join! I’ll be hosting shenanigans on Wednesday, 4/19/17 at 3:30pm Eastern.

Son of War

I’m super excited to reveal the cover for Son of War, A Sphinx Companion Story. It will be available April 27th, 2017, exclusive on Amazon. You can preorder it HERE.

Xan is a fan favorite, and I adore him too. When my friend Kristin encouraged me to write a prequel story from his POV, I didn’t have to even think about it. Of course, I wanted to tell a bit more about the son of Ares.

Xan’s mother was Irish, and he spent most of his childhood with her, so I spent a lot of time reading Irish slang. It was so much fun to dip my toe into researching some of my own heritage. Whoa, can I tell you the Irish have so much profanity? Don’t worry, I keep it clean!

Another fun tidbit… I had never really thought through Xan’s last name, he was always just Xan, but he needed a last name if he was getting his own story. I found a couple surnames that I liked and had my fans help me chose one. Tierney was the winner, which I think is appropriate (it means lord/ie; royalty). Xan is such a great leader. *sigh*

Big shout out to Josh Thompson from Bellator MMA. He’s the cover model for Xan, and he really epitomizes a lot of the character of Xan (work ethic, compassion, selflessness, team spirt). What a nice serendipity that our paths crossed.

Here’s the blurb for Son of War:

Xan Tierney was raised by his father Ares to be ruthless and lethal. As a kynigόs, he spends his time eliminating monsters that prey on naïve mortals and foolish demigods. There’s no doubt he’s the best, so when the daughter of Athena asks him to let Apollo’s sons tag along on a routine hunt, he agrees. But the sons of Apollo are arrogant idiots, and what should’ve been an easy kill turns deadly.

Forced to recuperate at the conservatory, Xan is surrounded by painful memories and fresh accusations. He can’t wait until he’s well enough to leave, so he can return to hunting. Unfortunately for him, the resident demigods have their own agendas.

Xan may be the son of Ares, but his fighting skills are no match for the destiny the Fates have woven for him.

Son of War is a Sphinx Companion Story; however, it can be enjoyed independent of the series.

The Sphinx #4 Update- Fates and Furies and other writing news…

I’ve been deep in the writing cave the last couple of weeks finishing the draft of book 4 in the Sphinx series. I’ve played with lots of titles, but with everything happening with Hope, Athan, and Xan, I’m really loving Fates and Furies.

However, the questions I get most have less to do with the title, and more to do with the release date. That being said, I’m hesitant to announce a date until I know that the draft I’ve submitted to the editor isn’t going to have any major revisions. But just so we’re all on the same page: I’m expecting to announce a release date by late March, and if there are no major revisions, I’ll release Fates and Furies in June 2017.

As for other writing projects… I have quite a few!

Xan is a fan-favorite, and I had an opportunity to write a short prequel story from his point of view in December. Son of War will be released sometime before June. I’m working with my marketing partner to pursue the best route for publication of this short story.

I also got the rights back on a short story titled, Narcos. This is more contemporary political thriller, and it’s very different fare than my Sphinx series. I’m debating expanding it, but I may leave as is, and just have it formatted and release it soon.

And I’m working on a super secret project, too! Hint, it’s another short story. I’ll be announcing info on it in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, I’ve got a draft of Legends of the Sphinx that is sitting on my hard drive that I’ve decided needs to be shared. It’s going to need a bit of polish, but the story of Phaidra (the original Sphinx) is a beautiful tale of self-acceptance, redemption, and mostly love.

So much good stuff that I can’t wait to share!

And now back to my cave so I can get some stories out to you!

Happy reading!

 

The BIGGEST book-release party EVER!! Come jointhe8!

 

I love doing Facebook parties. I think it’s such a great way for authors and fans to come together and chat books, play games, and do fun giveaways. ALL good things, right?

My good friend, and fell author, Kelly St. Clare and I were talking about our upcoming releases and we had an idea. A crazy, brilliant, idea. And with of a few of our friends (and fellow authors) we came up with #jointhe8. It’s more than just a release party. Although there is that, too. The website www.jointhe8.com has a list of our featured authors, and their upcoming releases. There’s Elise Kova, Siobhan Davis, Norma Hinkens, Joanne Wadsworth, J.L. Weil, Holly Hook, and me! If you check out the site, you’ll see that all of us are giving away freebies for joining our newsletters. There’s a kindle fire giveaway, and the big FB event is tomorrow!!

I hope you’ll take a bit of time out of your day to come join us. I’ve got several one of a kind giveaways (Xan inspired tank top, Charon inspired bracelet), and there is a massive first-in-first giveaway at the end, as well as a grand prize giveaway of signed books by each of us!

Come!! Join the 8!!

New Release! Myths of Immortality is LIVE!

I’m so *freaking* excited to announce that Myths of Immortality is now available on Amazon! Woot!

This is the third book in The Sphinx series, and Hope, Athan, Xan, and Dahlia are off on a new adventure… Any guesses? I’m pretty sure that tag above gave it away, right?

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology with nice dash of romance, you’ll g(r)eek out with this latest installment.

Here’s the blurb:

In the realm of the dead, there are no lies.

Hope Nicholas is desperate to believe that the truth will set her free from the bindings of Apollo’s curse. But to get the truth, she must travel to the Underworld, a feat near impossible for the living. The gods there have their own agendas and, forced to forge alliances with the most unlikely allies, Hope will find that death is not the worst torment of the Underworld.

Athan Michael spent months chasing Hope, only to have her disappear once again. And when he discovers her destination, he knows the treacherous journey to the Underworld is one he cannot take alone. Forced to put aside his past with Xan and Dahlia, the three demigods embark on their own quest. But the past will not stay buried, and Athan must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to help Hope break the curse.

Told in dual points of view, Myths of Immortality is a tense, action-packed story that will leave you begging for the next installment of The Sphinx series.

The Sphinx series is perfect for fans of urban fantasy with a mythic twist!

Myths of Immortality is specially priced at $2.99 for the Kindle edition for the next week, and then the price will go up! And, as always, it’s FREE if you’re a part of Kindle Unlimited!

Here’s your linky-link to get it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NACO722

Have you grabbed your copy? What are you waiting for?

Curse of the Sphinx Read Along

Come join me and the MYTH 101 FB group as we read Curse of the Sphinx together.

I’ve got so much fun planned for this with questions, teasers, and GIVEAWAYS! And if you don’t have a copy of Curse of the Sphinx, you can grab it just to the right of this post for free if you sign up for my newsletter!

OR grab an ecopy of Curse of the Sphinx on the ‘Zon HERE for only $.99 (USD)

*click, click, click*

Do you have your book? Excellent!

Now, click HERE to join MYTH 101!

I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Myths of Immortality- Release Date Jan. 12, 2017

Book 3 in The Sphinx series is entitled Myths of Immortality, and is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

myths_cover_112616

In the realm of the dead, there are no lies.

Hope Nicholas is desperate to believe that the truth will set her free from the bindings of Apollo’s curse. But to get the truth, she must travel to the Underworld, a feat near impossible for the living. The gods there have their own agendas and, forced to forge alliances with the most unlikely allies, Hope will find that death is not the worst torment of the Underworld.
Athan Michael spent months chasing Hope, only to have her disappear once again. And when he discovers her destination, he knows the treacherous journey to the Underworld is one he cannot take alone. Forced to put aside his past with Xan and Dahlia, the three demigods embark on their own quest. But the past will not stay buried, and Athan must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice to help Hope break the curse.
Told in dual points of view, Myths of Immortality is a tense, action-packed story that will leave you begging for the next installment of The Sphinx series.