Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Secrets Revealed by Erika Szabo

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for stopping by.  Today I'm featuring a new release from Erika Szabo.  Read on to learn more about Secrets Revealed.  And don't forget, Nov. 30th is the last day to comment for a chance to win a $10 Gift Card from Amazon via 5 Prince Publishing!

Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Time Travel
Release Date: November 29, 2012
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-16-5 ISBN 10:19392171761
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-17-2 ISBN 10:193917172

Secrets Revealed
Ilona’s story is provocative, rich in characters and detail that bring a lost world to life, a journey to treasure and remember. In book one Ilona is a lonely doctor discovering her rich tribal heritage and birthright to become a Healer. The barrier created by her insecurity kept others out, but also kept her caged in. She has to break the barriers to discover her true identity. She discovers growing magical abilities within her in the strange world of the Huns, which are beyond her wildest dreams. She can use her given gifts for absolute good or absolute evil; the choice is up to her. Ilona’s birthright as a Healer runs alongside her desires as a woman. She’s secretly and hopelessly in love with her best friend, he seems oblivious to her feelings. Fate brings Zoltan into her life. Will he break her heart, or will he bring true happiness? Ilona is hoping for a red tulip, the symbol of devoted love. Who will offer it to her? She discovers some secrets the Hun society is concealing, a society that is secretive and complex, with strict and fiercely enforced ancient rules; revealed to only those who come of age. Ilona is a rebel, who is determined to control and guide her own life. Resourceful and daring, she crosses the line and breaks those rules. She must face the consequences and has to fight for her men; both of them disappear from the face of the earth. She acquires magical abilities beyond her dreams to find and save them. Ilona has been evacuated from her easy and steady life. She is happy, but she still has many doubts. She hates that she has to hide in the past from a faceless enemy, however enjoys meeting her ancestors.

 Author Bio:

Erika M Szabo is a Hungarian born American; she lives in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. She has a PhD in Alternative Medicine; she published a few books in this subject. Erika loves the art of healing; however, writing about dry medical facts doesn’t satisfy her thirst for storytelling. The ancient history of the Huns always fascinated her, it is full of holes, mysteries and speculations; there are only a few written facts about them besides their legends. Erika used her fertile imagination to fill the historical voids in the story of Ilona. She raises questions such as - What if healing by touch could be possible? - What if we could find a soul mate no matter the obstacles? - What if we could visit our ancestors on a whim? - What if our destiny is not written in stone and we can create our future?

 EXCERPT: Thanks to these freaking well-guarded Hun secrets, my life became very complicated almost overnight. Today, in the secret society of the descendants of the ancient tribes everything is structured and everyone is on the need to know bases. They move people around like puppets and create their destiny. I don’t know much about their plans with me and my life yet; I just found out that I’m a Healer by birthright. I accepted and welcomed this discovery, because being a traditional doctor doesn’t give me the opportunity to restructure people down to the cellular level, to heal their diseases, being a kind of magical healer does. To make my life even more complicated, I met Zoltan. All my life I nursed my quiet love for Bela, my best friend. He never gave me any sign of feeling the same; he always just wanted to be best friends and nothing more. Zoltan stirred emotions within me that I didn’t know I was capable of feeling. He is handsome, gentle and sensitive and when he kissed me… oh, what a kiss that was. The dark man relentlessly hounded me and tried to kill me many times. He couldn’t do it himself for some mysterious reasons, but he could influence others to try. Then I found out Ema was my sister. She is the forbidden second daughter of the Healer, who according to the ancient laws could bring destruction to the Hun nation and have to be destroyed. My mother and Elza successfully hid her from the Elders council and the Leaders council– for eighteen years, and then Elza made a mistake by naming her with her true birthright in a dream address. The Leaders decided to visit us bringing – as we suspected – the Law Keeper with them to destroy Ema. We couldn’t let them do that and we were frantically trying to find a way to save her.
I called Ema, told her there was an emergency and she had to come home right away. She panicked; afraid something had happened to Elza. I assured her that she was fine, we just had to decide something very important in a hurry and that we couldn’t talk about it on the phone.
“What is it? Please tell me! You’re scaring me, Ilili,” she begged me.
I knew she was in great distress, because she used my almost forgotten pet name. I was suspicious, not wanting to reveal anything on the phone. Actually, the way I felt was borderline paranoia. Who knows what kind of resources they have? What if they can even listen to phone conversations? I thought, knowing that I had found out so many peculiar and mysterious things about my ancestry, it really scared me.
“It’s okay, love. Come home as soon as you can and I’ll tell you everything.” I tried to calm her, but that didn’t work. I heard the escalating anxiety in her voice.
“Sure you can’t tell me? Not even a hint?” she probed.
“No love, sorry.” She gave up and promised she would be home in half an hour.
I remembered an important task and told Elza we had to prepare some food for the guests. In our tradition, it is an insult from the lady of the household not to offer refreshments to announced guests.
“I’m on it! I’ll get the food.” Elza’s voice trembled as she hurried towards the kitchen, her long skirt floating behind her. She must have been feeling greatly honored, yet scared half to death, by the upcoming visit.
“I’ll help!” I yelled after her as I jumped off the sofa.
“No, you won’t dare!” She turned back, alarmed.
Zoltan gave questioning glances to each of us in turn, “What’s going on?”
“Her culinary talent doesn’t even cover boiling water!” Elza exclaimed, in a hurry.
He laughed lightly. “I’m a good cook. It’s kind of a hobby of mine. Can I help?” He turned to Elza, smiling.
“All right, but you have to keep Ilona out of the kitchen!” she warned him. He had an amused expression on his face. He chuckled, cocked his head towards me and then led me towards the kitchen by my hand. “Are you really that bad?” he whispered.
“So they tell me!” I confessed. He laughed softly and squeezed my hand.
“She’ll just sit and watch.” He promised, turning to Elza.
I sat down across the aisle on a stool, muttering under my breath. They set to work, deciding on small sandwiches and cream puffs, which Elza took out from the freezer to thaw. Soon they were slicing Italian bread which they loaded with various toppings of cream cheese, pepperoni and olives. They flavored them with mustard and red pepper paste. As the pile of small sandwiches grew, Elza looked over to Zoltan with approval. He was a lovely sight to look at. Shirt rolled up to his elbows, and a thin apron accentuating his muscular chest and flat belly. He sliced and chopped at a fast and efficient pace.
“You look beautiful when you’re pouting, by the way,” he announced, smiling at me. My heart sank a little - it must have been apparent how I felt.
“It’s not fair! How can I learn to cook if nobody lets me?” I complained, but I was easing up somewhat.
“I will teach you sometime.”
“Promise you won’t laugh if I mess up?” I asked, suspiciously.
He made the cross sign over his left chest, trying hard to conceal a smile, “Cross my heart.”
“Can I at least set the table?” I asked Elza, still pouting. I was feeling rebellious and left out.
“Actually we need only small plates, napkins and glasses,” Elza replied. “All right, you can put them on one of the cocktail tables. Get the ones from the side cabinet.” She sighed as if she was talking to a small child.
I jumped up happily, grabbing at the chance for something to do. I carefully arranged the cart as Elza had instructed. I dropped only one plate in the process which wasn’t so bad...or so I thought, compared to my usual performances. I heard Elza sighing behind me. “I knew it! That’s why I told you to get the cheaper china.” She admonished quietly, under her breath. I blushed deeply, feeling like a berated child.
“Elzaaa!” I yelled at her, embarrassed.
Zoltan snickered softly while I quickly gathered the pieces on a napkin. “You’re a real klutz, you know!” I swallowed my hurt and looked up. He flashed a warm smile at me.

Afterthoughts: This excerpt has been provided by the author.  All words belong to her.

Chris Mouse and the Promise from 5 Prince Kids!

Only two more days to enter the $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway from 5 Prince Publishing.  Just leave a comment anywhere on the blog and you are entered.  Good luck!  Drawing will be Dec. 1st.


Chris Mouse and the Promise
Tina J. Lackey Adams

A whimsical Christian children's story about the first Christmas.

Chris Mouse has just tucked her three little ones into bed when she notices the most beautiful bright shining star in the heavens. As she dreamily admires the star she remembers a prophecy she's heard stories about since her youth. A magnificent star would mark the birth of the Savior. Could this be the promise she had waited her entire life to see? What happens next will change the world forever. Life for Chris Mouse will never be the same.

Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Children
Release Date: November 28, 2012
Digital: ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-00-4 ISBN 10: 193217008
Print: ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-01-1 ISBN 10: 1939217016

Tina received an Associate of Arts in Pre-Social Work,Cum Laude from Coconino County Community College. Shecompleted her Bachelors in Social Work from NorthernArizona University and MSW from Arizona State UniversityAuthor Bio:
Tina received an Associate of Arts in Pre-Social Work, Cum Laude from Coconino County Community College. She completed her Bachelors in Social Work from Northern Arizona University and MSW from Arizona State University.
She is an alumni of Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Gamma Chi Chapter and Gamma Phi Honor Societies.
Tina is a freelance writer and poet who grew up with a a passion for reading and telling stories. She has a heart for children and animals, and enjoys serving families in Northern Arizona.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Read on MacDuff!

Hi Everyone!
If you are here in the States, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you are not in the States, you can still enter our little giveaway.  It's $10 from Amazon via 5 Prince Publishing.  And there's absolutely nothing required from you but a comment!  If your name is chosen (by, I will post it here and you can give us your email to claim your gift card!

ENTER TO WIN $10 between Nov.24-Nov. 30th.

Just leave a comment here on the blog, or on my Facebook page (see title bar above), and you will be entered to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card from the publisher of ALL FOR LOVE, 5 Prince Publishing,

What could be easier? Just tell me you want it.  =)

Thanks ~ and good luck!  I will contact the winner (and post the name) on Dec. 1st.

Afterthought:  And if you want to spend the gift card on books ... I know some really good ones.  Here is a trio to start thinking about ... click on the crown to view more!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Time for Reading

Making up the beds in the guest room, where the grandchildren sleep, always makes me sad.  Oh, I know they'll be back.  They aren't grown yet, and the holiday season is coming.  Still . . . all their little things.  The things they always leave behind.  The stuffed penguin, the hair band, the shoes peeking out from under the quilt rack, forgotten.  And the kid's books, so many books.  Reading has always been one of our favorite pastimes, just as it should be.

I'm reminded of the Velveteen Rabbit, and how he felt when he was forgotten under the bed.  I feel that way sometimes.  Their vibrancy gone, the house, so quiet, empty but for me and the dogs, and the radio.  The cat doesn't make any noise at all.

Before I reach for the light, I plump the Rainbow Brite pillow my mom made for Sara when she was only four.  Mom's been gone that many years now.  The pillow is almost as bright as the day she "ran it up" on the machine.  It was her favorite hobby, sewing.

I have several grandchildren now.  They are the ones who inhabit this room, and the chambers of my heart.  They are the ones who keep time, and illustrate its passage so innocently.

I glance around once more, then click off the light and head for the computer.  And Facebook.  Maybe their mom has posted some new pictures.  They grow up so fast.  I think that's one reason I write for young people.  My Phantom Series is perfect for reading aloud with your middle grader.

Watch for the Kid's Blog Hop Dec. 7th - 10th.  I'll be giving away a signed copy just in time for Christmas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wow! Look at All The Winners!

Wow! Look at all these winners in the Books-A-Fire contest which ended yesterday:

Kindle Paperwhite and a bundle of books from participating authors:
Nicole Lee

$50 Amazon gift card:
Caitlin Turnwald

$25 Amazon gift cards:
Becki Wyer

Lawrence Hatcher

A bundle of books from participating authors:
Cheryl Todd
Cinta Garcia

Thanks to all who participated ~ watch for another contest, soon!

Such an awesome quote from our grand prize winner, Nicole Lee:

"Books are the door to imagination, a kingdom of knowledge, adventures and romance, but ultimately they are the door to our hearts."

Thank you, Katy Huth Jones, for nominating me for the One Lovely Blogger Award.

 I understand I am supposed to nominate 7 other lovely bloggers for the next award, and then reveal 7 secrets about myself.

I nominate, in no particular order,

Sara Barnard, okay, she's my daughter, she gets first billing ~ she's also a terrific writer ~ check out her historical romance novel, A Heart on Hold (see sidebar).

Carolyn Arnold, blogger, author of super crime fiction, Ties That Bind (and more), and friend to indie authors everywhere ~ Celebrating Authors is her fabulous web page!

Sandy Wolter, fantastic author of paranormal romance such as Maggie Mae, she also runs a fantastic blog called Sandy's Spotlights that does a wonderful job for indies!

Katie Jennings, lovely fantasy author of The Dryad Quartet (and more), and another big help to other indie authors ~ check out her Book Trailer page to see what I mean!

Diane Rapp, another lovely fantasy author and a super contest organizer. Check out her blog and her FB group page, Sweet Tweets.  It's a great place to tweet up other authors!

Carmen De Sousa, best selling romance author and super-blogger. Her new book is Entangled Dreams.  She has also helped me out on many occasions with her expertise.

Ashley Fontainne, best selling author of Accountable to None, host of blog-talk radio, and so much more! Check out Ashley's Eviscerating the Snake series ~ bold new covers!

And now for the 7 secrets reveal...hmmm, my life's an open book! (No pun intended)

1. I can wiggle my ears on command
2. I love to sing
3. I really don't like crowds or small spaces
4. My hometown was the inspiration for the town in The Phantom books
5. I misspelled my daughter's middle name on her birth certificate ~ I was on powerful antibiotics that affected my thinking (that's my story and I'm sticking to it)!
6. My husband and I have a secret "whistle" to communicate when we get separated in a store or in a crowd of any kind.
7. My nickname is ... Beanie!

Okay, ya happy now?  To find out the goods on the other lovely bloggers, visit their pages!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meet Carmen DeSousa, author of Entangled Dreams!

Hi everyone,
Today, I'm hosting bestselling Romance author, Carmen DeSousa.
But don't forget to enter the Books-a-Fire Giveaway ~ it ends November 17th!  Just click the link on the sidebar and enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite!

Also, scroll down to pick up Carmen's book, She Belongs to Me, for FREE November 15/16 WOW

Entangled Dreams
Carmen DeSousa

Available from 5 Prince Publishing

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: September 2012
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-4524739-7-0  ISBN 10:1-4-524-7397-8
Print ISBN 13: 978-0-615-68919-7  ISBN 10:061568919

Entangled Dreams
When Alexandra Nicole was eight, she thought she was a princess in a fairytale. But after a tragic accident shatters her magical life, she finds herself in a cold and heartless reality.

As an adult, she once again faces harsh truths and decides to take control of her destiny. Unfortunately, choices have a way of entangling her dreams and pushing her down a dark and dismal path.

Alexandra must trust her instincts to escape danger, but be able to surrender all to find her happily ever after. Knowing how to decipher the difference, will be her toughest challenge.

About Carmen DeSousa:
While Carmen DeSousa does not write "Christian" books, she does share her characters' Christian beliefs. Her characters are real people who come with real flaws; no perfect people allowed.
She characterizes her stories as modern-day fairytales, as they are overflowing with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.
Both of her published novels, She Belongs to Me and Land of the Noonday Sun, have reached bestseller status right alongside Nicholas Sparks, J.D. Robb, and other great authors.

Author Contact Info:

Excerpt from Entangled Dreams:
As a child, Alexandra Nicole was a princess in a fairytale. Her royal family would spend every Sunday on the pristine beaches of Destin together. Her father, the king, would carry her on his shoulders, pretending to be her noble steed as he pranced around at her behest. He would battle dragons, the vicious Chihuahua that chased them; conquer new worlds, also known as a sand dune further down the beach; and build elaborate castles, well actually, sandcastles.
If her father was the king, then her mother was most definitely the queen. She would laugh softly under her umbrella as she watched Alexandra and her father roll in the gentle surf. When her mother did venture into the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, her long, platinum hair would blow softly in the breeze, her blue eyes sparkled like the water below her, and her skin glistened from the ever-present sunshine in their lives.
But alas, as in any good fairytale, everything good and wonderful must come to an end.
After the tragic accident that snatched her mother away from Alexandra, her father moved them away from the beaches of Destin to another beach in Florida. Cocoa Beach.
Cocoa Beach was loud, the water murky, and there were no weekend adventures as there had been in Destin.
Her father married her evil stepmother, Lilith, who Alexandra was certain was a witch with her long, black as midnight hair and pale-white skin as if she’d never seen sunlight. Her father had admitted he wasn’t in love with Cruella, as she had come to think of the witchy woman, but that he’d wanted Alexandra to have a mother and siblings.
Well, she definitely got that.
The king started staying out later and later at night, and the princess had to do excessive amounts of chores around her new castle. Her stepmother treated her like a pariah; certainly, she’d rather have the dogs at their dinner table. Her stepsisters were ugly inside and out and were forever jealous of Alexandra and her golden-blonde tresses. Anything nice Alexandra ever received mysteriously disappeared.
Alexandra knew something was wrong with her father, but she was too young to understand. Her father, forever the happy-go-lucky guy, had turned to drinking to drown his troubles. 
It sounds like your typical fairytale, but it isn’t. There are no furry creatures to help the princess prepare a gown for the prom, no fairy godmother to waive her magic wand and produce glass slippers. In fact, at age sixteen Alexandra found herself living on her own with no family contact and no prospects of a healthy, normal life.
Alexandra had only one advantage, if you could call it that. Alexandra was beautiful. But so far, her beauty had not opened any doors; actually, it had only caused her misery.
            The only people who welcomed Alexandra were the outcasts. The parents of other losers in school fortunately didn’t care who slept over and what they did when they stayed the night. So, Alexandra Nicole, now deciding to go by Nicky, as she was no longer a princess, found herself wandering from house to house throughout her remaining high school years.
            And then she met him…

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

I love being able to create characters that reach into a reader’s soul, making them feel as if they are living and breathing individuals. 

What genre(s) do you write?

Short answer: Romantic-Suspense
Long answer: I characterize my stories as modern-day fairytales, as they are overflowing with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of my novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Ending it. I fall in love with my characters and don’t want to let them go. I end up having to trim away scenes, so my stories won’t be too long.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantser without a doubt. Even when I write a whodunit, I’m not sure who did it until the end. J

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

For years, I watched as writers felt in order to tell a story they had to shock their readers with graphic scenes. My goal is to take you to the precipice in all areas of my writing. My stories do have violence and sex as they are a part of life, but I leave the best parts to your imagination, as I believe most readers have marvelous imaginations. That’s why they read.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
Above all, love and hope. My stories are about overcoming adversity and finding a way to live again.

How long have you been a writer?

My entire life, but I decided to see publication in 2010.

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

Approximately eighteen months.

What other careers have you had?

Sales and marketing for fifteen years. Editing ten years.

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?

Yes, but I won’t tell you which book or characters.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Sidney Sheldon
Iris Johansen
Nicholas Sparks
Jaime Rush

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?

Shocked the heck out of the ones I told. I kept it a secret for two years until I decided to publish. Yep, even my husband didn’t know.

Where are you from?

Florida native.

How do you come up with the titles?
Usually from a line in the novel that best describes the story.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?

Not really. I’m still me.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

Multi-task without a doubt. I have three in the stage of editing at the moment, and I’m writing two.

When not writing, how do you relax?

Is this a rhetorical question? Read, of course. J

I have two follow up novels my readers might be interested in.

Split Decisions is the follow up to She Belongs to Me
When Noonday Ends is the follow up to Land of the Noonday Sun
Love Like Crazy is my first young adult, which I believe adult readers will still enjoy.