Monday, July 29, 2013

~ Indie Book Buffet ~ Rafflecopter! Aug 1 - 15

Win, Win, Win!  Just scroll down to enter!  You could win any of my ebooks, or you could win a $10 gift card to Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, or Kobo.  And can you believe it?  For $10, you can own all five of my books.  Now that's a jackpot!  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

#WeekendWritingWarriors Snippet from Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot

Welcome all you Weekend Warriors!  Today I'm going back to the beginning of my Phantom Series to Book One, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot.  This scene is near the middle of the book when Jase takes Stevie out to the field to show her where the small plane had crashed.  However, something doesn't want her there . . . this is what happens (Lady is Jase's dog):

          That’s when it began to rain, right out of the clear blue sky. The rain was not water, but tiny balls of gray jelly. They stuck to our clothes, tangled in our hair, and sizzled when they touched our skin, but they didn’t burn. At least I didn’t think they had, until I looked at Jase and he looked at me and our mouths fell open at the same time. Both our faces were dotted with little round marks the exact size and color of pencil erasers.
           Lady had high-tailed it for the barn as soon as the drops started to fall. She knew this wasn’t your typical cats-and-dogs type rain.
           “What is it?” I shouted as we dashed toward the barn.

 For more WeWriWa Snippets, go HERE!

Okay, that's all for today -- the books are all on sale for .99 cents each!  And if you come back August 1st, you will be able to enter a cool Rafflecopter giveaway for a $10 Gift Card from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, or Kobo. The contest is sponsored by Indie Book Buffet.  See you then!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Conjuring - 3 Screams Review

First of all, I'm old.  That's my excuse for giving The Conjuring 3 out of 5 screams.

Truthfully, though, I'm only middle-aged, if I live to be 110 that is.  But that's old enough to have seen a dearth of horror movies.  I've read most of the classic horror novels, too. . . and that leads us to the problems I saw in The Conjuring.

Don't get me wrong, it was scary, heart-thumping, and suspenseful, but true?  I don't know about that.  I didn't research it before we went to see it; that takes all the fun out of it for me.  Besides, I got suckered in to that silly movie that was set in the woods, The Blairwitch Project, way back when, and sat through the entire movie with my eyes half-closed not from fright but from motion sickness because of the single camera (or whatever) that they used to make it look "realistic."  Blech!  That has made me very skeptical of horror movies that claim to be based on fact.  Sorry.

But I will say this . . .  it was a nice change from the profanity-laced slasher flicks that usually try to pass themselves off as horror.  Okay, that's all the soap-boxing I will do.  However, being such an old biddy, I also have to say that to me, this movie was sort of like a mash-up of several horror classics such as The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist (still the most frightening movie of all time for me--of course I read the book as a tween so that may have embedded itself in my psyche--such an impressionable age, you know), The Changeling (NOT the one with Angelina Jolie--the one from 1980, with George C. Scott and that spooky ball), The Birds, that Hitchcock classic that made us all fear the grackle, and last but never least, The Sixth Sense--one of the jumpiest movies I've seen--you know, the kind that makes you jump even though you know you're about to see something SCARY.

Now, if you are not middle-aged, or you have been living in a monastery or under a rock somewhere--and you haven't seen the aforementioned movies, then you could be in for a real treat with this one.  Just don't expect logic--I mean, wasn't the FLASHLIGHT available in 1971?  Who uses matches to explore a walled over cellar?  And what happened to the poor dog?  No one seemed disturbed by that little detail at all!  But I won't give any spoilers, just go see it with an open mind.  And if you've seen all the aforementioned movies, try not to sit there and compare, if you can!

Afterthought: What did you think of the movie?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

#WeekendWritingWarriors -- Phantoms!

Hello Peeps!  Sorry I missed last week, life has been kinda crazy.  Tonight, after a delicious Rosa's meal of fajitas, tamales, queso, roasted jalapenos, and soapy-pillows, we played kickball in the front yard with the grandkids.  The weather was perfect.  Love those amazing clouds--they make the best cooling shadows!  Will someone come and pry me from the bed tomorrow?  My back is already talking to me . . . and all the words consist of just four letters!  #Ouch!

Okay, enough of that, this week's snippet comes from Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.  I love this book--the characters are so unpredictable!  They took me down many unexpected paths as I rushed to get them down on paper.  That's why I'm lowering the price to 99 cents.  I want everyone to have a chance to get to know Jase and Stevie-girl.

In fact, I'm going to make ALL THREE PHANTOM BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR ONLY .99 EACH for the rest of the summer!

This week, I pulled from the latter part of the book.  Stevie ran off in a huff, and now she's lost in the woods.  Worse yet, something is following her.  Here we go -- from Stevie's POV:

            The blackness under the bushes was the perfect shadow-cave.  I couldn’t really see anything—
            Then, suddenly, I could. 
            I could see sharp, white teeth in a black snout.  A feral smile . . .
            I began to run.  Not only did my feet unfreeze, they took on a life of their own.  It was all I could do to keep from crashing headlong into low-hanging branches and forearm-grabbing brambles.

Afterthought: That's all for this week.  For more WeWriWa Snippets, go HERE!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Meet Lara Nance, author of Murder in the World Below

Meet Lara Nance

Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites through the South. She started out with a career in business/marketing for twenty years and then went back to school for a masters in nursing and is currently a nurse practitioner in Virginia Beach, VA.
From ghosts, witches, and energy vampires to thrilling mysteries and Steampunk tales, she is willing to explore a variety of compelling adventures full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.
Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.

About Murder in the World Below

Murder in the World Below introduces a tight-knit community of second and third generation survivors of a government institutional system that went horribly wrong at the hands of people in control.


A Haven Mystery

In 1922 the federal government built the largest facility for handicapped children in the country, hidden in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. It was closed forever in 1960 amid horrifying stories of deplorable conditions, overcrowding, illegal testing and sexual abuse of the young inmates.

Sixty-one years later, the academy is now a community college, all trace of its evil past swept away. Or is it? For under the campus of renovated buildings, escapees from the academy and their descendants still live in an elaborate series of tunnels and caves, hiding their differences and fear of the upper world.

Haven, as the residents call their underground home, is a happy, thriving community until they learn their source of power is about to be cut off. A resourceful young woman named Awen sets out to find an alternative source of energy. But someone in Haven is murdering people and sabotaging her efforts.

Aided by a professor from the college, Awen is in a race to expose the killer and hunt for a source of energy that will save Haven. Unfortunately, the murderer now has their sights on Awen as the next victim, and time is running out for the world below.

Billy Two flung aside the tarp and stomped into the small cave Awen Four used as her bedroom. She jumped, startled. Her rat, Coco, squeaked then dove into the crook of her arm.

“Damn it, Billy!” She huffed. As usual, the young boy disregarded Haven’s rules of privacy.

“Old Harvie’s dyin’.” He grimaced then flopped into a battered armchair, his face grim, rounded cheeks streaked with a layer of perpetual dirt. “Shit’s gonna hit the fan now.”

“What? I saw him this morning. I thought he was better.” A chill crawled over her skin. They couldn’t lose Harvie. The Boss. He was the heart and soul of Haven. “It must be a rumor. People are scared.”

She stroked Coco who'd poked her head out, blinking dark sparkling eyes at the boy.

“Nope, he’s dyin’. Now Kinnik’ll take over and you know what that means.” He pressed his lips together in a thin line. He took off his newsboy cap and smacked it against his knee. He pulled open a much patched wool jacket, revealing layers of several T-shirts, two button-up shirts, and a sweater vest.

Awen stared at him askance. Maybe it was denial, but Harvie seemed too integral to Haven to die. A part of their secret world would diminish in his absence, and she feared it would be the best part.

“Heard it from Pop himself,” Billy insisted. He rubbed a hand under his nose and planted his cap over matted brown hair. “I overheard him talkin' to Joe outside the group room. He’d come from Harvie’s place ‘n said the Boss was going downhill fast. He went lookin’ for Kinnik to tell him.”

“Oh, no. This is horrible.” Her heart lurched. Harvie wasn't just important to Haven, he was the dad she never had. She ran a hand through her hair. What were they going to do?


Lara Nance’s writing shines brightest when she’s building new worlds. Murder in the World Below will draw you in where her characters win your affection. Her story takes you on a grand adventure, and you never want to leave.” - Author, Laura Kitchell
Buy Links

Amazon print:

B&N Print:
Memories of Murder:
1. Best paranormal romance 2012 - NEC's Bean Pot award- a readers choice award.
2. Award of Merit for Best book by a Virginia Author in VRW's Holt Medallion contest in 2012

DraculaVille - New York -
3. Rudy Award for best novel with strong romantic elements 2013, Chesapeake Romance Writers, Finish the Damn Book Contest.

Find Lara Nance

Amazon Author Page:

Monday, July 15, 2013

First Reviews Are Important Because . . .

Hello all ~ Sorry I missed the Weekend Writing Warriors bloghop this weekend.  We were attending a family reunion in another town.  It was going very well until a mysterious virus swept through the grandchildren.  I swear, I've never seen such a fast acting virus...hopefully it's a short lived one.  Temps spiked almost to 105 in a couple of the kids!

Needless to say, our trip was short, but when we got home I found this lovely review of Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.  First reviews are so important.  They help to ease the author's mind about the finished book.  I wonder, are we all filled with insecurity, or is it just me?  Whatever the answer, I was so tickled, I just had to share it.

5.0 out of 5 stars
 Thank you, Mae Clair!
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchanting Mystery! July 13, 2013        
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
A few days ago I picked up the novella Stevie-Girl and the Phantom Pilot, when Ms. Swann offered it as a free read. I was immediately smitten by her writing style and the characters. Why hadn't I picked up this book before? I found the late 1960s setting riveting. I was a bit too young to remember it well, but much of what she touched upon resonated with me. Most of all, I was blown away by a step back into childhood, including the enchantment and whimsy of those magical years.

I was thrilled to learn this was a continuing series, skipped the middle book (though I fully intend to go go back and read it) and moved on to Stevie-Girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge. Once again the author transported me to years of discovery and adventure. This time, Stevie and her best friend Jase accompany Jase's parents on a camping trip that leads them to a mysterious bridge complete with the legend of a crying baby and a woman in white. The descriptions of the camping trip - from cookouts around the fire, to swimming in the lake, and trekking through the woods -are so vibrant it's like experiencing them first hand. There's fun, danger, adventure, and plenty of mystery. I love Ms. Swann's ability to make me experience childhood all over again.

As a kid I always had a fondness for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, stories of spooky houses, wandering ghosts and things-that-go-bump in the night -- without them being too terrifying. The Stevie-girl stories have that same feeling of mystery and wonder. You can't help but be caught up in her life, and that of Jase. These two are perfect together, from friends to the flush of a first kiss, shared in this novel. I hope to see much more of them and their wonderful adventures. Ms. Swann has definitely made a new fan!

Okay, that's all for this post...except for the AFTERTHOUGHT: If you are one of the other purchasers of this book...and I know you're out about taking a moment to chime in with your Amazon review?  Like the doc always won't hurt a bit!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

GHOST STORY GIVEAW*Y! July 9 - 13, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot!

That's right, Book One of The Phantom Series, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, is FREE July 9 - 13. Just a little something to introduce you to the series because Book Three, Stevie-girl and The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge has just been released.  All three books are appropriate for ages 10 to 110 (my youngest reader is 11, the eldest is 90) although some scenes may be too frightening for younger readers.

Here is a snippet from each book (my hubby's favorite is Book Two...I'm not sure why):

Book One, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot (FREE) :

Jase is Stevie's new best friend.  This scene takes place after the small plane crashed behind Jase's house and he encountered the silver-haired pilot.  Then his dog, Lady, disappeared and now Jase is in his father's ranch truck, looking for her.

            I put the gearshift into drive and eased my foot off the brake. I couldn’t go home without my girl. I drove slowly forward, circling the crash site, hoping for another glimpse of her familiar, loopy gait.
            Instead, what I saw was the sullen glint of moonlight on silver as she led him away, across the darkest shadows of the field.  

Book Two, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student: 

In this scene, Stevie is getting ready for school while thinking about a nightmare she had the night before.

             It was beginning to really freak me out, this feeling that the person in the mirror was someone else standing in another bathroom that was almost, but not quite, the exact opposite of mine.  I closed my eyes and began to pull the brush through my hair.
            When I opened my eyes, I almost screamed.  The reflection in the mirror was looking away from me.  It was looking toward the door.
            My flesh tried to crawl off my bones.

Book Three, Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge:
In this scene, Stevie and Jase visit the bridge for the second time...
            The bridge was ghostly in the last light of day.  The far end was shrouded in woodsy darkness and the sound of the creek lapping at the thick support posts was very clear in the quiet early eve. 

            We stepped onto the bridge cautiously, gauging the strength of the slats with each careful step.  When we got to the middle, we stood side-by-side looking down over the railing, watching the path of the waning light on the crinkly water as it bounced over the rocks.  A cool breeze tickled our arms.  A night bird called in the distance, and the smell of the clear-running creek reminded me of spring rain.
            “Do you think that was really a baby crying?” I murmured.
            Jase shrugged.  “I figure there’s probably just a loon nearby or something.  I’ve heard loons can sound like a person crying.”
            I shivered and moved closer to his tall form.  “I hope we don’t—”        
           “Waahhhmaahhh.”  The sound whispered toward us like an invisible firework.

Afterthought: Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you had a chance to grab your ghost are always welcome!