All posts by D.B. Sieders

About D.B. Sieders

Scientist by day, author of contemporary, paranormal, and dark urban fantasy romance in my spare time.

Raising Money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

UPDATE – Thanks to all of you amazing readers, I was able to donate an extra $350 to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer! Team Lab Rats raised $1,500! Woot woot!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As many of you know, when I’m not writing fiction, I spend my days in a laboratory looking for new therapeutic targets for breast cancer treatment. After twenty years in the field. I thought I knew cancer.

Then, on April 19, 2018, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

I had a lot to learn.

As a survivor, caregiver, and researcher, I am passionate about fighting this disease. My fellow investigators, clinicians, advocates, survivors, and loved ones affected by breast cancer work tirelessly to fight this disease and to help those diagnosed with breast cancer. But we can’t do it alone.

This year, I am a Team Leader for The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event in Nashville. Team Lab Rats has already raised over $500 with a goal of raising at least $1,000.

I want to do more. So I pledge to donate 100% of my October Book Royalties to American Cancer Society and Making Strides. Not only do they support research, they provide support and resources to patients, survivors, and their loved ones. This is a great organization doing amazing things.

Want to help? Purchase any D.B. Sieders book from now until October 31 to support this wonderful organization.  Here are universal links to all of my books that will take you to a site that will allow you to choose your preferred format – eBook or print book. For Southern Elemental Guardians audiobooks, click here.

I will be posting updates on how much we raise. Together, we can all make a difference!

Thank you for you support!

Southern Elemental Guardians: Making Waves, Lorelei’s Lyric, Crosscurrents, Firestorm, Three Wishes, River Spell, Forest Charmed

Soul Broker: Chasing the Dead, Waking the Dead, Raising the Dead

Dragons of Tarakona: Silver Unleashed, Red in the Morning, Gold Fever, Blue Streak

 

 

 

Author Interview!

Author Interview with The Romantic Editor!

 

Today, I’m sitting down with author D.B. Sieders, talking about her mermaid romance series, Southern Elemental Guardians. Let’s jump right into it…

 

D.B.! You write about mermaids falling in love with humans, risking their immortality. Why mermaid romance?

 

I’ve always been a mythology nerd. Seriously, I was the kid who read every volume of Encyclopedia Britannica* cover to cover looking for all I could find about Greek, Roman, Norse, and New World myths and legends.

 

*This was in the Dark Days before the Internet

 

I found mermaids fascinating in how they were portrayed. In many myths and legends, mermaids are beautiful and deadly. Using their looks, sensuality, and irresistibly gorgeous voices, these predatory creatures would lure mortal men to their deaths. In other legends, mermaids were known as healers and protectors. In my Southern Elemental Guardians series, I explored these dual natures and used them to craft stories rich-in-conflict and hard-won happily-ever-afters.

 

Everyone’s spin on mermaid powers is different. What makes the mermaids in your romance series unique?

 

My mermaids are alpha females with a great sense of adventure. I also drew on lesser known mermaid legends, including Lorelei of the Rhine, Wagner’s Rhinemaidens, Nixies, and Melusine, the legendary mermaid that inspired Starbucks’s logo. These freshwater shape-shifting beauties travel from their native Rhine home waters to visit America for a bit of fun and rebellion—their mother, Melusine, is overprotective to the max! To keep them from falling in love with mortal men and suffering the same heartache she endured, Melusine curses her daughters with deadly voices. Song is as important to Nixies as the lakes, rivers, and freshwater streams that sustain them and fuel their power, so the curse is particularly cruel. As you might imagine, mortal men are as irresistible to my mermaids’ song, leading to heaps of trouble in their romantic pursuits.

 

 

Can you summarize each book in your series in 10 words or less?

 

Making Waves (prequel novella) — Grumpy sea god spars with jilted ex on stormy seas.

 

Lorelei’s Lyric — Brooding, suicidal rock star falls for mermaid with a deadly voice.

 

Crosscurrents — Entitled mermaid princess rescued by skeptic hot geek marine biologist.

 

Three wishes (novella) — Guys’ Las Vegas road trip derailed by Genie’s tricky wishes.

 

Firestorm — Playboy Sylph prince burns for Phoenix harbinger of the Apocalypse.

 

River Spell — Vigilante renegade mermaid tamed by sexy cop-turned-paranormal investigator.

 

 

Holy crap, those sound amazing. Do you have a new mermaid romance releasing soon?

 

Yes! Currently working on Forest Charmed. This story features a Dryad heroine, Beverly Forrester, and a former Marine hero, Jack Roberts. She’s protecting one of earth’s precious hidden resources. He’s suffering from PTSD from his last mission and has been hiding out in her forest. They’ll team up to fight a monster sent by Mother Earth’s evil sister who wants to destroy earth’s bounty.

 

Last question. The series is titled Southern Elemental Guardians, and I keep asking you just about mermaids. Are mermaids Elemental Guardians? What are the other magical creatures in your series?

 

Definitely! The four elements—earth, wind, fire, and water—are all represented in the series. Dryads are guardians of earth. Sylphs are in charge of wind. Fire is the dominion of Lampades and the Phoenix race. You’ll also encounter Orishas, Genies, gods and monsters of river and sea, and even a giant talking catfish! The world keeps expanding, so I’ll be introducing more magical, mythical creatures in future books.

Lorelei’s Lyric Audiobook!

dreamstime_xl_39795307I’m THRILLED to announced that Lorelei’s Lyric, Award-winning Book 1 in the Southern Elemental Guardians Series, is available as an Audiobook!

My fabulous narrator, Stefanie Kay, has done an outstanding job bringing the colorful cast of characters to life.

From sensual Jersey boy rocker Vance Idol to sultry Rhinemaiden Lorelei to Southern River guardian Catfish Jack, the richness of the story is beautifully drawn by Stefanie’s voice.

 

I couldn’t be more pleased! Check out this sample, a scene where Vance and Lorelei officially meet. Sparks fly when banter turns to passion:

 

shutterstock_572287714And I’m also OVER THE MOON to announce that Stefanie will be narrating the entire series, including up-coming novels in the series!

 

Looking for a great romance to keep you company during the daily commute, during your workout, or while chilling? Give Lorelei’s Lyric a try!

 

Available from AUDIBLE.

Raising the Dead (Soul Broker 2) Teaser

Raising the Dead DIGITAL.jpgI’m super-excited to announce that the sequel to Waking the Dead and second book in the Soul Broker series, Raising the Dead, is in production with City Owl Press! Release Day is January 16, 2017!

Afterlife management is a tricky business, especially for a living soul broker.

Juggling normal life with her otherworldly responsibilities—like helping departed souls cross to the other side while collecting grief from the living through her empathetic connection—just got a whole lot more complicated for Vivian Bedford. Her guardian spirit bosses, who make the mafia look tame, don’t like the side jobs she’s been taking to help living souls in peril.

But they don’t know the half of it.

She’s been working in secret with Lazarus Darkmore, a grim reaper and unlikely ally against the guardians’ hold on her. When a rogue guardian sends an ominous message that threatens to expose the alliance unless she stops, she has no choice but to put her trust in the reaper. But can a creature as dark and terrifying as Darkmore keep her safe, or will his appetite for cruelty and terror be her undoing?

With a spirit world energy crisis looming and guardian spirits closing in, Vivian must choose—toe the line with the guardians, plunge into darkness with the reaper, or join a rebellion that could unleash hell on earth.

Excerpt:

In the meantime, here’s a snippet to whet your appetite for the Reaper’s dark machinations for Vivian Bedford. Confronted with a sticky situation with a rogue guardian spirit, Lazarus Darkmore, Reaper, is the only creature to whom she can turn for help. Can she trust him? And what will be the price of his service?

***

They settled into an awkward silence, at least awkward for Vivian. Darkmore closed his eyes and inhaled the spring air. When he opened them, he regarded the Greek columns of the Parthenon before him with interest. “The materials are not authentic, of course, but I have to admit, it’s a decent reproduction. If you don’t have any more burdens to share, my dear, I think I should like to see Athena. It has been centuries!”

Now or never.

“I’m fresh out of burdens, but if you wouldn’t mind some company, there’s something else I’d like to discuss with you.”

Darkmore’s eyes widened as he said, “Oh my, the honorable Vivian Margaret Bedford, spiritual intercessor for the city’s downtrodden, wishes to consort with a grisly reaper? Tsk, tsk, what would Ezra think?”

“Never mind Ezra,” she said. “I have a big problem and I need some information from you and…possibly your help.”

There. She’d managed to ask for his help. Now she waited for the axe to fall.

“I take it that this ‘problem’ does not deal with the realm of the living. Very well. I’m intrigued, which may compensate for the paltry sustenance you brought today,” he said as he offered his arm. “Come along then, my dear.”

With a sense of falling, she placed her hand on his proffered arm, and before she could blink, they were standing before the impressive statue of the Greek goddess of wisdom, all forty-two feet of her. She felt Darkmore’s cool arm making its way around her back to support her as she shrieked. To her surprise, none of the other patrons turned in response, or even registered their presence.

Motherfucker!

“Now, now, Ms. Vivian,” he purred into her ear, his cool breath making goosebumps erupt over her flesh. “Do try to calm yourself. We are in the presence of divinity.”

“Couldn’t we just go through the fucking front door like normal people?” Vivian gasped. Spirit travel seemed cool in theory, but in reality it just made her nauseous. Not to mention nervous.

“But then we’d have to pay,” replied Darkmore.

When he was certain that she could stand on her own, he released Vivian and moved closer to the base of the statue. He seemed to be lost in admiration, as he didn’t even flinch when a couple walking hand-in-hand walked straight through him. She figured that Darkmore was trying to scare her, or impress her, or both. Probably both. Vivian knew that guardians and reapers could pull off tricks like that with ease, though she wasn’t quite certain if his lack of a corporeal presence extended to her. She moved out of their way just in case.

“It is a pity to keep the doors closed. The goddess would shine with more splendor by the light of the sun,” Darkmore remarked.

He was right. Her headdress, toga, spear, and shield were gilded. Vivian was more than a little surprised, not to mention impressed. In all of her years living in Nashville, she’d never stepped inside the Parthenon. It was remarkable.

“I was expecting plain marble, and not so much makeup,” she said, staring in wide-eyed wonder.

“Oh no, it was ivory over bronze back in the day—I believe that’s the expression. Her very dress once held much of the treasury for Athens. Hence, the gold. The mighty did, and often still do, enjoy audacious displays of wealth. Though she isn’t quite on par with Phidias,” he said, inclining his head toward her and spoke in a low and confidential tone. “This likeness captures the pretense of her remoteness and frigidity quite a bit better.”

“Huh?” she said, astonished. Athena was real? She was going to ask him to elaborate, but was caught off guard once more when Darkmore transported them from the floor to the statue’s shoulder.

He laughed. “Parthenos indeed! She was many, many things, the goddess, but the title of ‘virgin’ was dubious at best. Now then, come a little closer and tell me all of your troubles,” Darkmore drawled, pulling her beside him.

Now that would be an interesting story.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” She had to admit, being a little closer to the reaper eased her fear of falling. She didn’t think gravity would affect them in their current state, but decided to take no chances with that either.

“Of course I am,” he replied nonchalantly. “After all, it is in my nature. And your troubles are always most interesting.”

With a deep breath, Vivian gave her account of the attack on Father Montgomery at the hands of the unknown rogue guardian as Darkmore continued to examine the statue. She was a little annoyed by his apparent lack of concern, though he at least nodded from time to time to let her know that he was still listening. He only gave her his full attention when she got to the part about healing the priest.

“You’re a healer? You are full of surprises, Ms. Vivian.”

“I only just found out, and I still don’t know how it works or if I can heal people with regular ills as opposed to zaps from your kind,” she confessed.

“It wasn’t my kind who did this,” Darkmore said. He didn’t seem upset, but he waited until she nodded in acknowledgment.

“So why would a guardian want to hurt someone close to me?”

“To get your attention, of course.”

“No kidding,” Vivian said sardonically. “What I mean is, why does this one want me to stop what I’m doing? I’m on their side.” She blushed and put her head down then, realizing her faux pas.

Damn my big fucking mouth!

“What I meant is, um…I’m working with them, you know? For them. I didn’t mean…look, I know from experience that it’s not all black and white, and I sure as hell know that guardians aren’t always the good guys.”

“Which brought you to me,” Darkmore said. He didn’t seem smug, or angry, or even surprised. He just seemed…interested.

Good thing. Maybe he’d help her if she kept his attention and entertained him. Taking a deep breath, she said, “I need to know what I’m up against, and I’d like to find out who this so-called rogue guardian is and how to get him off my back. Can you help me?”

“That’s not the relevant question, my dear.”

“Then what is the relevant question?”

“You want to know if I am willing to help you, and what it will cost.”

“Well, yeah,” she answered. She was beginning to feel a bit ornery. “You don’t work for free, though I would have thought you’d be concerned enough about your meal ticket to want me safe.”

“Well, there is that,” he conceded, smiling.

Vivian was not amused. “So, will you help me or not?”

“Yes.”

“What will it cost?”

“I shall have to think on it. Do you trust me?” Darkmore asked.

“No more and no less than I trust any other spirit,” Vivian answered honestly.

“It’s a start. I’ll be in touch.”

With that, he disappeared, and Vivian found herself back on solid ground, left to wonder about what the going interest rate might be for her line of credit with Darkmore. She shuddered, knowing full well what sort of collateral he’d hold. She stared at Pandora on the statue’s pedestal. Well, I hope that isn’t a bad sign. Hope was definitely the key word.

 

***

 

Like it? Leave a Comment and let me know if you’d like an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review!

 

Blurb:

 

Afterlife management is a tricky business, especially for a living soul broker.

 

Juggling normal life with her otherworldly responsibilities—like helping departed souls cross to the other side while collecting grief from the living through her empathetic connection—just got a whole lot more complicated. Her guardian spirit bosses, who make the mafia look tame, don’t like the side jobs she’s been taking to help living souls in peril.

 

But they don’t know the half of it.

 

She’s been working in secret with Lazarus Darkmore, a grim reaper and unlikely ally against the guardians’ hold on her. When a rogue guardian sends an ominous message that threatens to expose the alliance unless she stops, she has no choice but to put her trust in the reaper.  But can a creature as dark and terrifying as Darkmore keep her safe, or will his appetite for cruelty and terror be her undoing?

 

With a spirit world energy crisis looming and guardian spirits closing in, Vivian must choose—toe the line with the guardians, plunge into darkness with the reaper, or join a rebellion that could unleash hell on earth.

New Release and Kindle Unlimited!

I’m very excited to announce that the Southern Elemental Guardians series is now available on Kindle Unlimited!

Even better, you can get all six books in the eBook bundle! Not on KU? No problem! Pre-order at a sale price of $3.99 is available, and the bundle will still be discounted after August 1 release. It’s a great deal for binge readers!

SEG - 3 box set 1 ebook

LL

Want to test drive the series?

Lorelei’s Lyric (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 1) is free for all, so why not give this award-winning paranormal romance a try?

Happy reading!

 

Romantic Reads and Such Spotlight – River Spell

Check out the River Spell Spotlight from Romantic Reads and Such – and be sure to comment for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Source: Spotlight – River Spell

riverspell_seg4_comp_final125dpiRiver Spell is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

She’s out for vengeance. He’s seeking justice.

Exiled and alone in a strange land, Rhinemaiden Gwen is still traumatized from her capture and torture by mortal monster hunters. To exorcise her demons, she doles out vigilante justice on mortal criminals—until former cop turned private investigator, Kwame Johnson, stops her in her tracks.

Captivating and enigmatic, Kwame is more than another mere mortal, and he’s just beginning to understand the nature of the special sense that helps him track down missing persons. Gwen can help him reach his full potential, but can she trust a man who was hired by the monster hunters to track her down?

 

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of “Waking the Dead”

Waking DIGITAL V2.jpgRelease day is only a few weeks away! Want a teaser? Of course you do, and I want to give you one!

Capture your interest?  You can grab your very own copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

The road to hell begins when the reaper darkens her door.

A chance encounter with a dying stranger opens an empathic connection between down-on-her-luck caregiver Vivian Bedford and the world of spirits. Lazarus Darkmore, a grim reaper in a charming and seductive package, seeks to recruit her as a soul broker. Guardian spirit Ezra and his new apprentice Zeke offer protection from the reaper–so long as she works on their side of afterlife management. But these guardians are no angels, and their methods leave Vivian fearing the price of their protection.

Her ability to channel conscious energy from the living, something no guardian or reaper can do, could be a game changer. If she can control it, she can use this power as leverage. And she needs a bargaining chip, especially when she discovers that incapacitated living mortals can supply energy for the spirit realm, making her disabled sister Mae a prime target for guardian and reaper alike.

Can she move from pawn to major player in order to save Mae, and herself, from a horrific fate beyond the simple and fleeting terrors of death?

 

Excerpt:

The sound of the crash struck her first.

Her tires screeched after she slammed on the brakes, barely missing the blue Sentra in front of her. It had one of those “Choose Life” stickers plastered on its left bumper, the smiling infant illuminated by the red of taillights.

The image still burned in her brain as she made a sharp left.

Her car fishtailed. She registered more squealing tires and the shriek of metal on metal signaling impact. Her heartbeat hammered above the clamor all around.

Breathe in, breathe out. The car stopped dead. But how?

Am I hit? Did I hit someone? Her airbag hadn’t deployed, but the pain in her left shoulder let her know her seatbelt had gotten a workout. Breathe, focus, look around! Darkness had already swallowed much of the summer evening twilight’s soft glow, but there was still enough light to make out her surroundings. I’m off the road and half in a ditch, but I think I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. God, what happened?

There had been an impact. She’d felt it, heard it, but what had she hit? The car in front of her?

With a deep breath, she leaned forward with caution and peered into the ditch. The Sentra had landed in the narrow end of the gorge several feet away from danger. Its driver wrestled with his door, wedged against the side of the trench. When it didn’t budge, he gave up, scooted over, and climbed out of the passenger door. Vivian’s car teetered over a deeper part of the ditch. She couldn’t see them, but knew jagged boulders lurked at the bottom below her front tires. She knew the road well.

It was close to home.

She managed to shift into park with a shaky hand, her right leg cramped from maintaining pressure on the brake. Get up! Get out! She turned off the ignition, wincing in pain, and shifted in her seat to remove her seatbelt. Unsure exactly how far her car lurched over the ditch’s edge, she moved slow and easy, exiting the vehicle and closing the door. She clicked the automatic door locks and put her keys into her pocket out of habit. Shock and the surreal quality of the unfolding events kept her running on autopilot. The urge to move, to act, forced her to her feet. If she could breathe, she could move. If she could move, she could function. If she could function, she’d be all right.

Judging from the commotion further up the road, someone else involved in the accident was far from all right.

Her feet carried her away from her car and toward the small but growing crowd. The acrid stench of smoke, gas, and burnt rubber assaulted her. The glare of headlights hurt her eyes. She walked forward, ignoring the other spectators who ignored her in turn. Their chatter remained distant—conversations and comfort, tears and terrified mutterings, men and women speaking all around to one another.

No one spoke to Vivian. She spoke to no one.

Sirens wailed in the distance. She walked along the periphery of the crowd, grateful to go unnoticed so she could concentrate and just keep moving. A low rumble of dread gnawed at her gut, warning her to stop, but her legs refused to obey.

Time seemed disjointed, slowing, then skipping like a damaged film reel. She looked back at her car and realized she’d been inches from oblivion. If I hadn’t stopped when I did…if the guy behind me hadn’t…. Any sooner, she’d have been rear-ended and launched full into the ditch. A moment later, her car would’ve been crumpled between the Sentra and the F-350 behind her. But she’d hit the Sentra, hadn’t she?

No, no damage to the rear of the vehicle, and her front bumper remained intact, as far as she could tell from the distance. How had she stopped? Shifting her gaze to the F-350, Vivian saw it from the side now, the black truck adorned with a custom flame job painted across the doors and bed. The brawny owner inspected the body for damage. Flecks of dried mud and grime rose from the undercarriage and dulled the flares above. The vehicle’s powerful bulk was adapted to rough terrain, like its owner. She and her sleek sedan were not. They’d all been going at least 35, maybe 40 miles an hour. She had to look away. Disaster had come so close.

I should’ve been knocked into that ditch. How did I miss it?

Shivering, she caught a flash of white in the periphery, but when she turned, it was gone, departing along with the warm breeze that swept in out of nowhere and chased the odd chill that surrounded her away. Infused with energy and a strange sense of urgency, she shook off the remnants of unease and continued.

She had to keep moving.

Another man lumbered across the street toward the crowd. He moved in the long shadows cast by the setting sun, looking from side to side and peering over his shoulder. He seemed as intent on his journey as Vivian was on hers, but unlike the other onlookers, he at least spared her a nod before moving along. Well, she thought he had. The dark green ball cap he wore shielded his eyes, and thus his intent, but he kept walking in the same direction. No one else paid him any mind.

When she turned back to face her destination, she saw what remained at ground zero of the evening’s terror. The poor soul in that twisted and crumpled wreckage before her hadn’t been so lucky. No one could walk away from this crash.

She took two steps closer. Smoke rose from the damaged engine, along with the occasional spark. Everyone around her stayed back. A man’s hand emerged from the driver’s side window, along with a soft groan. Another step closer and she heard his ragged breathing.

Vivian took one more step, close enough for her arm to brush the car’s cooling frame. She met his stare through the window.

Oh dear God, no.

Her gaze burned a path from his face down to his torso, and then she had to look away from what remained of his body below the waist. The mangled steering column and dashboard covered much of the damage, but not quite enough. He’ll never walk again. He’ll be paralyzed. If he took a blow to the head, he’ll be a vegetable.

Vivian’s pulse raced. Her hands and fingers went numb.

He’d be better off dead.

Fighting the wave of revulsion, she took one more step toward the car. Every nerve in her body screamed for her to run away, to leave this thing that used to be a man and never look back. This was his nightmare, not hers.

She had already lived one of her own.

With palpable effort, Vivian reached for him with one trembling arm and took his hand in hers, gasping when she felt his skin.

Jesus, he’s so cold!

The man’s grip was iron and it caught her off guard. She hadn’t anticipated the strength of it or the effect it would have on her. The bone-deep chill started where their hands joined and spread through her body. She flinched and tried to pull away.

The man squeezed her hand even tighter and tugged, pulling her closer. His brilliant green-eyed gaze was filled with fear, pain, and something she couldn’t quite define. Was it anger? He closed his eyes after a moment and a shocking burst of heat traveled through her from their joined hands. His touch chased away the chill, soothing her from ragged fingertips to her battered palm.

When he opened his eyes again, the man’s expression mirrored the sudden and inexplicable relief surging within her. No fear, no pain. These weren’t her emotions. They must be his. But how was she able to experience them as if they were her own? Then a singular emotion reflected in his gaze suddenly pierced her with vivid clarity.

Regret.

Vivian swore she could see the gray light of this man’s regret emanating from his very pores as it coursed through her.

His expression pleaded, and he spoke to her in a harsh rasp. “I’m…sorry.”

“It’s going to be okay,” she whispered, even though it wasn’t.

His chest heaved and his eyes dulled, rolling back as he gasped for air. Two more shallow breaths later, he stilled completely.

“No, please. You have to stay with me. Please, stay with me,” she pleaded, shaking his shoulder with one trembling hand even as she felt his grip slipping from her other.

“Oh no, oh dear God, someone help him!”

“Ma’am, I need you to step away from the vehicle,” a muffled male voice said from behind her.

“Where the hell did she come from?” asked another man.

“Easy, bro, she must’ve just wandered in before we put up the barricades.”

“No, she didn’t. She just popped up out of nowhere!”

Hands gripped her shoulders and tried to pull her away, but she struggled free, refusing to let go of the man in the car. He wasn’t blinking. He wasn’t moving. His pallor faded to ash even as she begged him to come back.

“Please, ma’am, let us help him.”

She yelped when a second set of hands grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off the ground. She wailed in rage and agony when she lost contact with the man’s hand. She kicked and clawed at her captor until he dropped her, then she spun around and lifted her hands, ready to fight.

“Jesus, lady, calm down. We’re paramedics,” one of the uniformed men said. “We’re here to help. I’m Ed, and this is Abner.” He gestured to taller man beside him. They stood between her and the wreckage. Both began moving forward with outstretched hands as she backed away.

“Why don’t you come with us so we can check you for injuries?” Ed spoke in a soft voice, taking slow, measured steps toward her and holding out his hand.

“I’m not injured. I…I can’t leave him.”

“Were you in the car with him, ma’am?” Abner asked. His sharp tone carried a note of accusation, or perhaps suspicion.

No, not that. He was afraid of her.

“No,” she muttered, confused. She shook it off, focusing instead on the overwhelming urge to return to the man in the car.

“What’s your name, ma’am?”

“Vivian.”

“And his?”

“I have no idea. I don’t know him, I just—I saw the crash and I came over. And I need to get back to him. I—I need to help him. Let me go back to him.”

“Shh, it’s okay. Come on with us now.”

Ed lurched forward and grabbed her wrist. She tried to pull away but his scream caught her off guard. He dropped her arm and stumbled back, clutching his hand against his chest and groaning as if in terrible pain. Looking down, she swore she saw a red spark flash out of her fingertips, but by the time she blinked, it was gone.

“Ed? You okay?” Abner stepped away from Vivian and turned his attention to his colleague.

“Jesus Christ, my hand is on fire. What the hell did you do to me, lady?” Ed groaned, arm still clutched to his chest and eyes wide with shock and fear.

“Let me have a look.” Abner tugged on his buddy’s arm. After a quick exam he said, “I don’t see anything. Must’ve been static electricity or something.”

“Static electricity, my ass,” Ed muttered, wringing his hand and staring at Vivian like she’d sprouted a second head. He and Abner exchanged a few more hushed words before he turned his attention back to the mangled car and the man inside.

Abner spoke louder then, snapping Vivian back to attention. “As for you, you really should go over to the ambulance and let our team have a look at you. The police will want your statement too.”

He didn’t make any further attempt to touch her. Instead, he pointed to the ambulance parked behind the growing crowd of onlookers while inspecting her with a wary expression. What the hell just happened? Numb with shock and an inexplicable sense of loss, she willed her feet to carry her over to the ambulance, leaving the stranger to his fate.

She paused, glancing back over her shoulder. “Will he be okay?”

“We’ll do all we can, ma’am. You just go on now and take care of you.”

 

***

Hold on to your hats, because Vivian is about to enter the world of spirits, and not just the transparent kind or your garden variety poltergeists, these spirits are powerful.

And some are less than friendly…

 

Cover Reveal for River Spell (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 4)!

I’m SUPER excited to share this beautiful cover! Julie Schroeder has outdone herself with this gorgeous bit of magic and whimsy!

When’s it coming out? Why, I’m so glad you asked! Officially, River Spell (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 4) is scheduled for release on May 4, 2017. I’m going to be a part of a Griffyn Ink multi-author simultaneous release extravaganza, including some live events throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. I’m also gearing up for online events to celebrate the release, including giveaways aplenty. Stay tuned for details!

 

riverspell_seg4_comp_final125dpi

She’s out for vengeance. He’s seeking justice.

 

 

Exiled and alone in a strange land, Rhinemaiden Gwen is still traumatized from her capture and torture by mortal monster hunters. To exorcise her demons, she doles out vigilante justice on mortal criminals—until former cop turned private investigator, Kwame Johnson, stops her in her tracks.

 

 

Captivating and enigmatic, Kwame is more than another mere mortal, and he’s just beginning to understand the nature of the special sense that helps him track down missing persons. Gwen can help him reach his full potential, but can she trust a man who was hired by the monster hunters to track her down?

Available from Amazon and iBooks

Upcoming Release—Waking the Dead! And Happy 2017!

Happy (belated) New Year! I normally do this in December or January (yeah, yeah, I skipped last year), but I’ve been a little busy…

Good busy, I promise!

Waking DIGITAL V2

First off, I’m delighted to share that my very first book baby, the book of my heart, Waking the Dead, will be published next month by the wonderful folks at City Owl Press!

I’m thrilled beyond words and thank my agents (Victoria Lea and Natalia Aponte of Aponte Literary), my editor (Amanda Roberts), City Owl Press Gurus (Yelena Casale and Tina Moss), and everyone who has encouraged me over the years (especially critique partner Sophia Jones and author pals Jeff Lee and Debbie Herbert).

I can’t wait to share this story with the world!

 

 

Second, I spent the holidays cranking out River Spell (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 4)! Rhinemaiden Gwen (a.k.a. the bad twin) was a tough heroine to tackle, but I fell in love with her along with her hero, paranormal PI Kwame Johnson, as I wrote her story. They’ll be unleashed on the world May 4. Cover reveal below, and here’s a working blurb and teaser!

 

RiverSpell_SEG4_Comp_final125dpiShe’s out for vengeance. He’s seeking justice.

Exiled and alone in a strange land, Rhinemaiden Gwen is still traumatized from her capture and torture by mortal monster hunters. To exorcise her demons, she doles out vigilante justice on mortal criminals—until former cop turned private investigator, Kwame Johnson, stops her in her tracks.

Captivating and enigmatic, Kwame is more than another mere mortal, and he’s just beginning to understand the nature of the special sense that helps him track down missing persons. Gwen can help him reach his full potential, but can she trust a man who was hired by the monster hunters to track her down?

 

Okay, since I skipped 2016—how did THAT happen??—I’ll pick up from my 2015 goals.

1. Finish and Edit Works in Progress

Well, since it has been two years, I’ve really rocked this goal! Waking the Dead and Nixies in Dixie (which became Lorelei’s Lyric) are soon-to-be-published and published, respectively. Not only that, I’ve published 3 novels and 2 novellas in the Southern Elemental Guardians series. I’m counting this as a total win!

That leaves Going Dutch, the contemporary romantic comedy I’ve put on the back burner. Guess what’s going to be my new goal for 2017? Oh, and I’ll be working on Soul Broker Book 2, Southern Elemental Guardians Book 5, and some Southern Elemental Guardians stand alone/spin off novels. I’ll be busy, but good busy!

2. Learn All I Can About Marketing and Promotions

This is an ongoing process for all authors, I think, since the market is so dynamic, but I’ve screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-4-20-42-pmreached some pretty amazing milestones over the past two years. First off, my Romance Devoured sponsored giveaway garnered over 1,000 newsletter subscribers. I definitely recommend them—worth the money in terms of results. InD’Tale Magazine had become my absolute favorite review source, especially since I’ve received some amazing reviews from them on Southern Elemental Guardians—not to mention the 2016 RONE Award for Best Paranormal Novel (Lorelei’s Lyric)! The InD’Scribe conference was amazing and fun. I definitely want to go back and hang out with new author pals Mary B. Rose and M. Pepper Langlinais!

3. Give Back

Probably one of the most rewarding parts of this journey has been encouraging other authors and watching them begin and/or continue their own journeys.

I’ve had the great fortune to beta read for some of my MCRW sisters, and let me tell you, these ladies have some fantastic stories to tell: from Kat Khatsilovich’s red hot contemporary romance to Victoria Raschke’s haunting Urban Fantasy, Who by Water, set in Slovenia, to Savannah Kade’s Contemporary Romance Wilder Series and Paranormal Romance Touch of Magick books, I’ve been thrilled to beta and promo some amazing work! Debbie Herbert’s New Adult Appalachian Magic Series is enchanting, not to mention her Dark Seas Trilogy and Bayou Magic Paranormal Romance Series—she’s definitely the kind of author I aspire to be when I grow up. Oh, and author pal Jeff Lee’s Hurricane Kretschman, aptly billed as Get Shorty meets Sons of Anarchy, is in the running for Kindle Scout. Fingers and toes crossed! It’s an amazing book.

Oh, and lest I forget, Lulu M. Sylvian has some awesomely hot, sexy, and hilarious Paranormal Romance reads coming out soon! She’d better them to me for a beta read or else!  And my buddy Mark Steinwachs needs to write more zombie goodness and release a compilation of his Ravishi the Asshole Unicorn stories that have kept me in stitches for the past two years.

In addition to being a kick ass editor, Jody Wallace has captivated me with her snarky, sexy reads and I hope I’ll be seeing more Mari Shu and other great stories over the next year.

So for 2017? More, more, more! I can’t wait to help the authors in my network and to add to that network!

Summary

me-and-skI’m counting 2015-16 as uber successful! Seriously, 3 novels, 2 novellas, and 2 novels scheduled for publication? Wowzers!

And here’s my requisite fangirl moment—meeting Sherrylin Kenyon at the MCRW September workshop was DEFINITELY one of the highlights of my year! She’s amazing, engaging, funny, and exceedingly generous with her time and advice. Inspiration flows from her like a river and I was honored to have the chance to soak it up.

Hoping for more amazing moments like this in the year to come!

Book Review – Firestorm

Awesome review and blog feature for Firestorm. Thanks, Romantic Reads and Such!

Romantic Reads and Such

I am so happy to be able to once again bring you this series.  If you like paranormal romances then this is a must read.  Make sure you hit the bottom of this post for your way to get a chance to get free reads!

*****

In Firestorm (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 3), Wind and Fire Collide in a Storm of Mythic Proportions

Mermaids and water elemental guardians have held center stage until now, and while they make an appearance in Book 3, Firestorm is all about air and fire. Air elemental guardian Bruce made a great wingman in the first two books—he’s one of those surprise characters who started out as a subplot in Book 1 and managed to run away with every scene in which he appeared. As the hero of Firestorm, readers will finally understand what motivates his quest to bring positivity and light to…

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