Guest posts

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Chase Guest Post by author Xyla Turner


Xena is an independent woman who recently started her own school in Brooklyn, NY. She is an introvert, does not go out much, but receives sexual maintenance from a neighbor whenever she wants. A chance meeting with Xavier, who is a rich play boy that likes to invade her space, bite and spank her. Xavier is a venture capitalist, who owns many businesses, buildings and has ties with people all around the country. He is used to getting what he wants from women and despite Xena’s defenses; he seems to wiggle in and momentarily traps her under his spell.
After their first meeting, Xena spent most of the time running away, but still somehow felt drawn towards him. Soon she gave in, liking that Xavier was possessive and showed her an abundance of interest. However, there were several times where he crossed the line. Eventually, his possessiveness goes from endearing to overbearing, and trust becomes an issue. Needing space, Xena heads out of the country to clear her mind. However, on her return she learns of Xavier’s hidden secrets that put her safety in jeopardy.
Will Xena be able to forgive and forget the wrongs that have been committed against her privacy. Will Xavier become the man that Xena needs and win the battle between lying to her again and telling her the truth? Will he risk giving up his obsession to possess her in order to prove how he truly feels?

About the author

Xyla Turner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has always been a writer, even as a teenager, she wrote short stories and essays that won awards and nation-wide competitions. Xyla is an avid reader of romance novels and a sucker for sassy females and dominant males. She is a lifelong learner, Vice-Principal at a Brooklyn High School and a pretty good Auntie. Outside of reading, Xyla likes to spend time with her family and friends, experiment with dangerous adventures and travel. She writes different genres, but her favorite is contemporary romance.

Xyla has her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Masters in Education Administration. She is also a web designer and a Life Coach. She will forever be an educator, innovator and entrepreneur.

Guest Post

Hey, my name is Xyla Turner and I am brand new to the Romance Literary World. I am an avid reader of contemporary romance novels, including some of my favorite, R.L. Mathewson, Kylie Scott, Maya Banks, Sylvia Day and Kristen Ashley. Currently, I worked at a high school in Brooklyn, NY as a Vice-Principal. My students are the best, funny, and keep me young. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education and in the near future, I plan to take some classes to start my Life Coaching Practice.

Even when I was young, I have always been an avid reader. In grade school, once a month, they would pass around the book catalog and every month, I would highlight each book that I wanted. As I grew older, I became an avid R.L. Stine and Babysitter’s Club fan. Even starting my babysitting business and charged my mom every time I had to watch a sibling. As you can see, I’ve always been business-minded and ambitious. Through high school and college, I read more for school and not for leisure, except the occasional Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey and Sistah Souljah.

In 2013, I made a major transition in my life, which required me to be on the road for extended amount of hours, so Audio Books would halp me get through the five-hour drives. Once I reached my destination, I would sit in the car to finish the book. At the time, I did not have cable or a television, so reading became my hobby again. When I stopped traveling, I finally started to use my iBooks app and spent probably over a $1000 on eBooks.

One evening, as I finished two Romance eBooks, I felt like I was not being productive. The Xyla Turner productive. So, I made a pact with myself that for every three books that I read, I need to write one. Well, after writing my first romance novel in four days with little sleep and aching fingers, I knew after 55,000 words, I could do this. I had come to learn after a few months, it was not the most well written novel, but it was done. After I finished this, I started writing another one that took me a week, then another that took two weeks and finished the fourth one that took three weeks. The more I wrote, the more I started to get better, develop the characters, fall in love with their stories and I found myself making time to write on the train, at lunch, in the car (audio), and parking lots. So, I guess there is no need for a pact anymore.

Now, I spend my time promoting and editing. I plan to continue writing between book releases, until I run out of stories. Two of these books will become a series and one of them, The Chase, will have a Part II. My writing will fit under the category of African-American Romance, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, and Interracial/Multicultural Romance. All of my books have social nuances embedded within them, because that is who I am as a person.

I foresee myself continuing to write, not just romance, but other genres, now that this has become a reality. Currently, I have nine semi-finished non-fiction books, a comedy and a memoir that I wish to finish by the end of 2016. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Shadow of the Unicorn Author Guest Post

Suzanne de Montigny

Award winning author, Suzanne de Montigny, wrote her first novella when she was twelve. Years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with writing. A teacher for twenty years, she enjoys creating fantasy and paranormal for tweens and teens. She lives in Burnaby, B.C., Canada with the four loves of her life – her husband, two boys, and Buddy the dog.

So what is it that makes people intrigued with unicorns? Is it their beauty, their majesty, their grace? Or is it their magic? But more fascinating yet is why is it impossible to find unicorns anywhere except as statues or on coats of arms? Find out when you read Suzanne de Montigny’s The Shadow of the Unicorn series.
Watch the book trailer for her award-winning novel, The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, book one.

Then watch her most recent release, The Shadow of the Unicorn II: The Deception.

What’s great about these books is that Ms. de Montigny donates half of all her proceeds to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye specialists who travel to third world countries delivering thousands of pairs of glasses and performing surgery for free. Ms. de Montigny was directed to TWECS by her ophthalmologist when she developed a visual impairment that has now been mostly cured as a result of good eye care. Because she has two foster children in third world countries, she knew how difficult it was to get the proper eye care she received, and so decided to give back.

The Shadow of the Unicorn also comes with a reproducible study guide for free download from her website. Second guide to come soon.

Purchasing Links:

The Shadow of the Unicorn II: The Deception

The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy

Barnes and Noble:



Muse It Up Publishing:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

H.A.L.F. The Deep Beneath by Natalie Wright Author Guest Post

Title: H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath
Author: Natalie Wright
Genre: YA Science Fiction

Some writers conceive a character first then build a story around them. I, however, tend to have an idea for a plot first then create characters to people my new world.

The plot for H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath came to me nearly whole in a flash while I was driving. I hurried home and jotted down my idea in a few quickly scribbled pages.

But a story is nothing without characters. I wanted the female lead character for H.A.L.F. to be very different than Emily Adams (the main character in my first series, The Akasha Chronicles). What fun is it to write the same character over and over again?

I started with physical traits. Where Emily is somewhat tall and lanky, Erika is small and scrappy. Emily has red hair and fair skin of Irish descent. Erika has dark hair (nearly black), brown eyes and mocha skin from her Latina mother.
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Emily Adams from The Akasha Chronicles

Emily runs for fun. Erika only runs if something is chasing her.

But the contrast between the characters doesn’t stop at physical features. While Emily wants nothing more than to fit in with her peers, Erika could give a rat’s hind end less what people think of her. Emily’s journey is to find confidence in herself. To own who (and what) she really is.

Erika knows who she is, and if someone doesn’t like it, they can kiss her …

Well, you get the picture.

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As I reflect on the two lead female characters I’ve created, I think Emily more closely resembles how I was on the inside when I was a teen (and perhaps still am to some degree). Erika represents what I aspire to be: self-assured and confident.

But both characters are brave as heroines need to be, and far more courageous than I will ever be.

The beauty of writing a series is the thrill of seeing how the characters grow and change. Erika has confidence in herself, yes, but sometimes even a self-reliant person needs to accept help.

And love.

Erika’s growth as a character has only begun. I’m excited to see where she’ll be four more books from now! ;-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mr. 8 - A Thriller by David Thirteen - Guest Post

Image result for David Thirteen Mr. 8Image result for David Thirteen Mr. 8

Title: Mr. 8
Author: David J. Thirteen
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Horror

Psychology professor Denton Reed has been pulled out of the classroom to find a killer. Bodies are turning up all over the quiet town of Bexhill. They are found dismembered and burned beyond recognition in a snow covered farmer’s field, by the abandoned mill, and under the train bridge. The only clue linking the victims is the bizarre figure eight patterns left behind in their homes.
Denton must use his unique profiling techniques to uncover the murderer, who the police have dubbed Mr. 8. As he begins to unravel the mystery, a strange pattern begins to emerge. Before their deaths, each victim was seized by dark obsessions and inexplicable changes in behavior. Whatever strange forces are affecting the people of Bexhill, they may actually be more dangerous than any killer.
As a wave of insanity sweeps the town, Denton will put his life on the line to get to the source of the madness and risk all to protect the woman he loves.
But is it already too late?

Author Bio
David J. Thirteen has studied English Literature, Film Making, and Media Studies. He has lived and worked in the technology field for twenty years throughout the North East, in both Canada and the U.S. Writing has been a hidden passion for most of his life.

Mr. 8 is his first published novel and will be in stores on February 5th, 2015. It was first written as a serial story on Wattpad, where it became a #1 ranked feature novel. He still writes and posts new stories on Wattpad every week.

David currently lives in Toronto, Canada and lives a bright life, while dreaming dark dreams.

Guest Post: Shifting Genres: Perils and Lessons Learned

When I began planning out my novel, Mr. 8, it became obvious that the story would experience a genre shift about halfway through. I couldn’t remove it or change it, since the plot hinged on this twist. But I knew this would not be easy to pull off and began to worry about dealing with it.

            A genre shift is nothing original. There are many examples in literature although it does tend to be a rarely used device. It occurs when a story starts out fitting neatly into one category and then because of a twist in the plot, it diverts into an entirely different set of tropes. A classic example is Psycho (the novel by Robert Bloch or the film by Alfred Hitchcock, take your pick). It begins with a noir tale of an embezzler on the run but quickly changes to horror, when she is brutally murdered.  And it stays horror for the rest of the story.
            In my own novel, things start off in the vein of a traditional crime mystery. An unlikely but skilled sleuth, Denton, gets mixed up in a series of murders that the police are attributing to a serial killer. But in the process of tracking down the culprit, he uncovers something unexpected and the plot turns toward the supernatural.
            There was a big risk in doing this. A genre shift has the ability to surprise and shock an audience, but it can also frustrate and alienate them. One of the key aspects of genre fiction is that there are certain expectations about what can and can’t happen; by flipping genres those expectations become subverted.
            Knowing the peril of pursuing this story, the fear of a possible negative reaction became as much a part of the writing process as plot, characterization, and scene setting. I knew I had to work out a way that readers would accept the twist and stay with the story. What I started to focus on was making sure the reader was in Denton’s shoes every step he took. Every surprise, discovery, revelation for Denton had to be felt just as intensely by the person reading. It pushed me to look at the narration in a way that I never had before. Getting in the head of my characters was nothing new, but trying to glue the reader into Denton’s head was.
            So what happened when the shift occurred, when the detective story was gone and the inexplicable took over?
            My main concern was that readers would not believe it. The story had been grounded in reality up until that point, so it seemed that introducing a supernatural element would only pull people out of the story and cause them to scoff at the ridiculousness of the situation. I needed to change that. I needed for the reader to accept it and to continue on with the story. They solution ended up being simple: Denton doesn’t believe it either. He is sceptical—despite overwhelming evidence he fights for the rational. He fears that it might be real…but it can’t be…can it?
            By anticipating a readers’ reaction, I was able to get out in front of the problem. The identification with the main character acquired depth from not just telling the audience what they should feel, but by mirroring their own feelings back to them.
            It was a hard fought lesson to learn, but once I got to the end I realized that it is a lesson about good storytelling that goes beyond just dealing with genre shifts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guest author post "Mysticism and Myths"by 6 authors

Title: Mysticism & Myths
Genre: Paranormal Collection (Sampler) by Jaxx Summers, Karen Perkins, Margo Bond Collins Dormaine G., Perri Forrest,Abby Vandiver
Have you ever wondered about different myths of the world? These include the stories that so many cultures live by and the ones that of the best movies are based upon? You do know that these interesting concepts haven’t just appeared out thin air, right?
Introducing Mysticism & Myths, a sampler by six authors of varying genres. Each author has chosen a legend or culture from various regions, and embellished the details. Webs have been spun, and fantasies have been built in an effort to deliver to a collection that is sure to be entertaining.
The worlds captured in these stories are many! From ghosts and vampires to sea dwellers and shapeshifters, and even ancestral rebirths! There’s something for everyone.
For detailed synopsis, please visit:

What is this desire that many have with books? Whether we choose to read in a traditional state by way of tangible works or by way of an electronic device, the ability of mere phrases to transform is astonishing. Can anyone think back to the first time they fell in love with a book? My first enticement was in reading “Wuthering Heights” at about eight years old. Sure I’d read more age appropriate titles before that time, but there was just something about the language that seduced my young mind. And then, I moved from Emily Bronte to Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”. With either book in hand, a dictionary in the next and notepad (with pen) on my bed; I became bedazzled by great writing. I would sniff each book, inhaling the musky aroma because they held a promise of life – a life that I could claim whenever I read. Talk about imagination! I would consider each unfamiliar term, look it up in the dictionary, write it out and use it in a sentence to make certain I understood its meaning. I was desperate for stories, and felt my life too simple. And would you know, any life at all would do. I tried not to limit my reading because you never really know what treasure you might find within the pages of a book. And so I read the wonderful “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, and a book that I am not sure of how I ever got hold of, “Dianetics.” All that mattered to me was that I was reading. Oh, for the love of words!
I’ve grown since then and continue to enjoy words, books, learning and even my own writing. I still know how to appreciate great reading and remarkable words. But these days, I read on my tablet. It has a built in dictionary, I’m able to highlight and comment on my thoughts. Boy, do I take full advantage of those features. This enables me to daydream and hold my spot at the same time. You see, each book offers a life of its own. And for those writers that gift us with work that serves up the deepest most intimate thoughts of their characters, I thank you for feeding my needs. Thank you Paulo Coelho for every single book that you have ever written! And thank you to the newer published authors that have fed my need for words.
As for with my work, I strive to do the same. It’s about what a writer includes and how they include it all. I love to be seduced by remarkable characters, clever wording, and believable circumstances. But then, there is also that need for a story to captivate all of my senses, keeping me alert and aware at every moment. I strive to give this to my readers. I write to make that connection as real as possible. Oh, for the love of words!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Fire Mages Author Guest Post

The Fire Mages - Cover 500x800
Author: Pauline M. Ross
Genre: Epic Fantasy Adventure / Romance
Kyra has always been drawn to the magic of spellpages. She is determined to leave her small village far behind and become a scribe, wielding the power of magic through her pen. Halfway through her training, she has a mage as patron and her ambitions are within her grasp. But a simple favour for her sister goes disastrously awry, destroying Kyra’s dreams in an instant.
Devastated, she accepts an offer from a stranger to help her find out what went wrong. The young man sees growing power within Kyra, potentially stronger than spellpages or any living mage. The answers to unlocking that power may lie within the glowing walls of the Imperial City, but its magic is strong and the unwary vanish without trace on its streets. Thirsty for knowledge and desperate to avoid another accident, she feels compelled to risk it.
While she focuses on controlling her abilities, a storm of greed and ambition boils up around her. Kyra is a pawn in the struggle for dominance between unscrupulous factions vying for rule of her country. Trusting the wrong side could get her killed–or worse, the potent magic she barely understands could be put to unthinkable evil.

Author Bio

Pauline lives in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland with her husband, her grown up daughter and a mad cat. She likes chocolate, whisky, her Kindle, massed pipe bands, long leisurely lunches, watching TV with her daughter, chocolate, going places in her campervan, eating pizza in Italy, summer nights that never get dark, wood fires in winter, chocolate, the view from the study window looking out over the Moray Firth and the Black Isle to the mountains beyond. And chocolate. She dislikes driving on motorways, cooking, shopping, hospitals. ‘The Fire Mages’ is her second published work. ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ was published in September 2014.


Oh no! There’s romance in my fantasy!
Or should it be: there’s fantasy in my romance? Fantasy romance (or romantic fantasy) is a difficult genre. I can’t even decide what to call it, so that’s not a great start.
I used to get flummoxed when people asked what genre my books are. “Well, it’s sort of fantasy,” I’d say, floundering a bit. “Swords and magic and stuff. And then there’s romance…” And then I’d get asked about werewolves and vampires and such like. But fantasy romance is much broader than that. The urban setting with non-humans and the feisty young woman is just one aspect. There are more and more authors now writing stories that are very much in the tradition of epic fantasy, with kingdoms and wars and quests for the magic McGuffin, but which also have a romantic subplot more developed than the princess produced in the final chapter for the new king to marry.
I love reading epic fantasy stories that also have romance in them, but for me, they need to have three things to work well:
1.    Deep, thorough world-building. That means all the details of the background world need to be properly worked out, and need to be consistent. I find it much harder to get into a story if there are moments that have me going: but wait, why are there dragons here, but nothing else? What do they live on when there are no questing humans passing through? And why is this world entirely forest or desert, right up to the city walls? Where are all the farms to feed the population?
2.    The characters have to be fully fleshed out and feel like real people, with believable motivations and reactions to events. And sometimes this clashes with the romance aspect. I’ve read books where the tension ramps up and up, and war (or some other major catastrophe) is imminent, and what do the characters do? They put on their party frocks and have a ball, that’s what. Erm, really? Wouldn’t they be sharpening their swords, perhaps? Checking they have enough arrows and boiling oil? I realise that authors love to have the big romantic moment, but please, be a bit creative. Place that romantic moment while our doughty couple is sheltering from a hail of arrows on the battlements or hiding from the bad guy.
3.    The romance needs to be more than a perfunctory insta-lurve. As in real life, love at first sight is a bit rare, and it’s not always the best foundation for a lifetime of happiness, so I find it more believable if the couple are also friends, or at least have something in common. The prince marrying the peasant girl? The farm-boy marrying the princess? Not going to work. Or at least, it will take more than eyes meeting across a crowded room to convince me.
My own books are fantasy through and through. There’s a world still recovering from a magical catastrophe, there are numerous different countries, all with their own social customs, there are border disputes and tensions and the occasional outbreak of war. But at the heart of it are people, with all their emotional hangups and dreams and insecurities and fears and needs. It’s inevitable that they fall in and out of love, but they tend to do it slowly, gradually getting to know each other.
The romances I write are of the three steps forward, two back variety, and it may even be the very last chapter before the heroine realizes that this man is truly for her. And although I love a happy-ever-after as much as the next romance fan, I also like it if my characters decide for themselves just how that’s going to work out. Don’t want to get married? No problem? Don’t want to choose between two men? Still no problem. Don’t want to give up the career or the man? Absolutely fine.
Just so long as it all works out well in the end. Because that’s what romance is all about, even when there are sword-wielding guards outside the doors, images in the basement and dragons in the sky.