Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Witch's Curse

A Witch's Curse, the next title from M.L. Stephens is due to hit the e-shelves October 13. Right in time for Halloween! Here's something I want to sink my paranormal teeth into. Wait. That might not be such a good thing. Vengeance. Black Magic. Smexy Love. This book promises to have it all.

A Witch's Curse out Oct. 13, 2013
Let's go show this author some love! She has some incredible titles out there in different genres, too, to keep your appetite wet for a few weeks. So, follow the Goodreads link below and browse other titles she's published.

Oh, and don't forget to come back and tell us what you think about A Witch's Curse.

And one more thing, don't drink the cauldron water. I hear it's got a Hekate of a kick.

From A Witch's Curse:

Hecate didn't dabble in dark magic. Watching her lover die at the end of another man's sword changed that. In a single act of vengeance, she turned her lover's killer into a werewolf and cursed him for eternity. It was A Witch's Curse to rival all others and it was her last act as a goddess.

Drago despised being a werewolf. He spent thousands of years searching for an antidote, only to discover that the witch who cursed him, also had to cure him. Unfortunately, that witch died lifetimes ago. Undeterred, he continued to search. Two years ago he found Hecate's remains lying in a crypt hidden deep within the Louisiana Bayou. Today, he watched a coven of witches bring her back to life.

He killed her lover. She damned him for all time. Can two souls who are destined to be eternal enemies, learn to forgive enough to live again?

Getting to know M. L. Stephens…

I'm always clicking away at the keyboard, but when I'm not, my family, two dogs, and a very peculiar cat keep me on my toes! There's never a boring moment at my desk!

Besides my obvious love for coffee and all things caffeinated, I love to travel. The occasional tourist stop is fun, but I'm a back road kind of gal. Take me off the beaten path. I want to meet the ordinary people behind the culture.

My crazy family includes a husband, four kids, two grandbabies, two dogs, and a cat. That's right! Life is totally insane! Now you understand why I write!

Speaking of writing, I've been spinning stories around the campfire, since I can remember. Poetry was second nature, and as a teen and young adult, short stories were constantly being penned. I'm an avid reader, who loves almost all genres. Let's face it! A good read is a good read, regardless of whether it takes place in the future, the past, or with ghosts.

Stay connected with M.L. Stephens

Read what readers have been saying about her other titles on GR

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mother may lose children if she can't find housing

You may have seen the posts popping up around Facebook.

A mom in need.

In danger of losing her two children if she can't find housing for the three of them.

The husband who is making it impossible for her.

With a court-ordered deadline looming like a guillotine sawing rope, cutting through the days she has left, I can only imagine the fear in that mother's eyes.

When Rachel Olson first PM'd me about this tragic situation, my heart immediately went out to her friend, Amy. Having grown up in a very similar situation in which my own father successfully incinerated the family finances (while insulating himself), preventing my mom from buying a house, forcing her to go back to work—for not one but two jobs—just to keep us kids fed and a roof over our troubled brows. I sympathize with Amy and her situation.

Divorce is ugly. The reasons each of the spouses has is valid. I don't care who did what, I worry about those kids. They are the ones who will be made to suffer, and that's just unconscionable.

Rachel and I went back and forth about her friend in a private chat. I asked her questions. She replied. I asked more. At one point, Rachel said she wanted to keep Amy's identity secret; she was concerned for her safety. I agreed.

If you've ever known someone in an abusive relationship then you understand the constant threat of fear, punishment, the barrage of hurtful words and restrictions, the toxic environment that shuts down good people. The future is bleak, without intervention.

It's nearing the end of September and Amy could use some help. It's been nearly a month since the judge gave Amy her deadline and she's trying like heck to get her kids out of her ex-husband's house and into a peaceful, loving environment with her. You may be asking yourself right about now who am I to judge this guy, and you'd be right, but ask yourself this question: Would you trust your kids with a spouse who is trying to make you homeless?

Since then, Rachel has been trying to help her friend gather enough money to move out. So far it's been a difficult road. It shouldn't be, but it is. It's not easy asking people for money. We don't really know Amy. We're aren't friends. We aren't neighbors. We don't even go to church together.

The T-shirt drive Rachel hosted was a flop. The fundraising drive isn't going very well either. For whatever reason, Amy's situation isn't reaching enough hearts.

I have an idea. It may be a long shot, but I can almost bet that all of us have some gently used clothes, shoes, and toys and nicknacks that could find some new homes. Just like them, help Amy and her two children find a new home.

Have a tag sale. Have a yard sale. And send Amy these little angels to help her on her way.

Here's where to find more details about the fundraiser to help Amy and prevent her from having Christmas without them. God bless.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

High marks for Le Fevre's suspenseful tale

Wade Le Fevre
Right from the get go, Le Fevre draws the reader into a spine-tingling tale, filled with foreboding omens and one-way doors that lead down an ever-dimming spiral, down, down, and down even further, until all light has turned to darkness. I thought I knew how the character was going to come out of this, but, no, I did not. Because as you'll discover, hell has no roadsigns. I found myself reaching for every light switch in the house while reading, to remind myself that I could. Le Fevre's novel, Terrorizing Jude, is an unexpected flashlight with long-lasting batteries. Fair warning. Once you'd downloaded this story to your e-reader you'll never think about dull digital pixels the same way again, without rubbing a field of goosebumps first, and that's only after flipping on every light switch in the house, in the middle of the afternoon.

1. Before you tell us about your book, why don’t you share a little bit about yourself.
Well I am a huge film fan and avid reader. Before deciding to write books I had worked hard to learn to be a screenwriter. I took screenwriting classes at Mount San Antonio College and watched a lot of movies. I’ve always been good at English, even in high school my teachers were always impressed with my creativity.

2. Outside of writing, what sort of activities do you enjoy?

There aren’t many, I mostly read and watch movies when I get spare time. If I’m not hanging out with friends I can usually be found at the movies or sitting somewhere with my nose stuck in my kindle.

3. Do you have a favorite food, snack, and/or beverage?

If I had to say a favorite food I would probably say something Italian, like lasagna or baked ziti. I am however a huge fan of snacks. When I’m being bad I can plow through a bag of peanut M&M’s like you wouldn’t believe and I have never turned down a brownie.

4. Authors draw from a wide variety of experiences, from their own lives as well as the lives of others. Which is the richest source for you?
Mostly mine. My stories don’t come from too many people I know. I’ve never ever met anyone in my life personally who was physically and psychologically tortured at the hands of a madman. The bulk of my stories I make up the plots and characters, but to flesh out their lives and give them a little more detail and flavor I take a great many things from my own life. Childhood memories, favorite movies, belief systems, things like that. Then I’ll give another character the exact opposite opinions and belief systems and maybe imagine a life of someone I knew in the past.

5. Of the stories you have written so far, which is your favorite and why?
I guess of the three I have so far I would have to say Covenant which is the book that I’m releasing next year. Not to depreciate the other two in any way, I love them both, but I feel like with each book I become a better writer. I understand the medium more and I utilize its strengths and as I was writing Covenant everything seemed to fall into place so easily whereas with the previous two I really had to work to make things flow the way they do.

6. Embarrassing moment. Do you have one? Or better yet, are you sure you want to put it out there?
When I was in the fifth grade I played Prince Charming in the school play. Wore yellow tights and everything. I’m not entirely sure if I want that getting out, but honestly, there are video tapes and pictures out there somewhere so it might one day whether I want it to or not.

7. What genres do you write for? Are there any that you haven’t that you would like to explore?
Mostly so far I have written for horror. But part of the plan is that I would like to write on good, solid trilogy of science fiction novels. Not like a series but just three separate science fiction stories, but written from the horror point of view of the situation. I have all three ideas in place, it’s just a matter of getting to them, but switching genres at too early a juncture I feel is a bad idea. Probably won’t write the first one for another two or three years.

8. What advice would you give new authors?
Don’t do too much at one time. If you can help it, find your audience and start marketing before you have a release date in mind. Take your time, it’s not a process you want to rush otherwise you’re going to find yourself doing too much at one time.

9. Now that we’ve had a chance to get to know you, tell us about the latest story you have out now?

Well, Terrorizing Jude is out now, but next month I will have Snipe Hunt out, which is a very different vampire story than I think most people will be used to. Very excited for that. Then next year I will be releasing Covenant which is my own variation of the haunted house story and currently I’m working on a first draft of an as yet untitled work about two pre-teens and a werewolf. So I’m keeping busy.

From Terrorizing Jude:

The plopping sound of dripping water reverberated through the room, bouncing off the tiled walls. There was a four second delay between drips, as the water slowly collected at the edge of the tap, eventually falling out of the faucet and landing in the water that filled the tub. The momentary collision of the two bodies of water as they became one caused a gentle ripple and a slight echo that would quickly die away.

The woman in the tub paid no mind to any of it. She had long since expired. Had she been at all alive she might have appreciated the peacefulness of her surroundings, maybe even have found solace in the majestic beauty of such a send off. As it was she had instead perished in a fit of explosive violence, the last thought rushing through her head one of horror, the last sound that of her neck snapping.


From Terrorizing Jude

“Jude is terrified. She lives in a constant state of fear of being home alone. She is so afraid that it is starting to affect her marriage. To overcome her fear she decides to spend a perilous two days alone in her apartment while her husband is at work. Her mind plays tricks on her from phantom sneezes to the television turning itself on. But is it all her imagination? Or…is there really something to be afraid of? Something as close as her coat closet?


Stay connected with Wade Le Fevre on Facebook

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Downing ties sexy spy knot in 'End Games'

"End Games"
Unabashed is the first word that comes to mind after reading Downing's sexy spy thriller, 
End Games. Brazen is another. Sinister, too. Flawed characters are my favorite. Altruistic or greedy, unstable or determined, the list goes on. The deeper I was drawn into the story the more I realized two things: I liked the characters, and I didn't want them to change. I didn't want them to overcome their troubles. I wanted them to remain who they were from page one, and I wanted them to kick the crap out of everything that crossed their paths, even each other, because love born in crisis can be a dangerous game to play. And I enjoyed reading every word of it.

1. Before you tell us about your book, why don’t you share a little bit about yourself.
My name is Mia Downing and I’m a lingerie model. ::snort:: Seriously, I’m the most boring person on the world. I’m married and have stayed at home with part time jobs to raise my kids, so I’m the strawberry blonde in the school drop-off line, cheering at the lacrosse games, hiding from the PTA because I do NOT want to bake for the sale. LOL

However, I love my secret life of being a romance author. No, most people in my real life don’t know, and since I work with kids teaching horseback riding lessons I’m fine with that.

2. Outside of writing, what sort of activities do you enjoy?
I’m a horse professional, so I love riding and teaching. I also knit, do decorative painting and read! My favorite thing is hanging with my family. My daughter rides, so we get a lot of quality time together.

3. Do you have a favorite food, snack, and/or beverage?
Coffee and Diet Coke are musts all year around. I drink unsweetened ice tea in the summer that I doctor up with fresh lemon and mint from the garden. Bananas are my go-to snack. I have yet to meet a slice of cheesecake I didn’t fall madly in love with.

4. Authors draw from a wide variety of experiences, from their own lives as well as the lives of others. Which is the richest source for you?
Well, I have yet to burn through the hell called childhood, so that’s a great resource for the angst-ridden characters. I often will use horses or something within the horse community, such as therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. I used that in a recent free m/m for the Goodreads M/M romance group. I recently took a course for my pistol permit to help with the shooting aspects in the Spy Games series. I just finished up a weekend in upstate NY on the Erie Canal. I loved seeing the town’s lift bridge and meeting with the bridge operator. I would love to use it in a story sometime!

5. Of the stories you have written so far, which is your favorite and why?
You never ask a mother who her favorite child is! I love them all, for different reasons. All of my books have some shred of me in them, so if you know me well enough you can see what part of my life an aspect came from.

6. Embarrassing moment. Do you have one? Or better yet, are you sure you want to put it out there?
When the hubby and I were first dating, I had shoved a condom in my pocket just in case things might get frisky that afternoon. I was talking to his mother, reached into my pocket to give her something and pulled out the condom instead. I am hopeful she thought it was candy. I never asked. LOL

7. What genres do you write for? Are there any that you haven’t that you would like to explore?
I write erotic romance, and I have written m/f, m/m and m/f/m. I do lots of kink bordering on BDSM (but not hardcore) as well as some suspense elements. I write a lot of conflict, so even my short stories are packed with angst. I plan on writing an m/m/f, a m/f story with a bit of a steampunk feel, and a kinky cowboy.

8. What advice would you give new authors?
Write, write, write. The key is to have a backlist to offer a reader when they love your first one! Write different lengths, try different publishers, do a few self-published. Variety will reach more readers. The other piece of advice is to not see every opportunity as a promo op, especially on Facebook or other social media sites. Let people see how awesome you are and they’ll buy the books faster than if you’re promoting every second.

9. Now that we’ve had a chance to get to know you, tell us about the latest story you have out now?
Endgame is the third (and final unless there’s a novella) book in the Spy Games series. If you haven’t read the series, it starts with Trained for Seduction, where we meet Chase Sanders, the boss for his elite group of spies. Jake Anderson is his best friend and stars in the next book, Lethal Limits. Endgame features Jake’s brother, actor Aaron James and spy Charlotte Smith. It’s a fun wrap-up to the series and we see a little of how everyone has progressed. There are secrets, danger, guns, hot sex… Need I say more?

From Spy Games: Endgame

Sexy spy Charlotte Smith doesn't go by the code name Dragon Queen because she's sweet and cuddly. She's cold, hard, and mean and has been training for the past five years to take down the men who destroyed her soul and left her burning for revenge. But when she meets her next assignment at a wedding, her body protests there's much more to life than kicking asses and taking names. Actor Aaron James is witty, hot as hell, and he smells divine. But women with suicidal endgames don't indulge in casual sex, and they definitely don't fall in love.

Since meeting Charlotte at his brother's wedding, Aaron's life has been nothing but trouble. He's plagued by memories of the kiss he stole from her, and he senses underneath her aloof nature and frosty glare is a woman with passion and fire. When Charlotte is assigned as his bodyguard after a botched kidnapping attempt, he's psyched. What better way to get in her panties than have her pretend she's his girlfriend? Until Aaron realizes too late he wants more than into her panties...he want's Charlotte's heart.

Contains: Explicit language, really hot sex, anal sex, toys, light bondage, very light BDSM, a really hot actor and his kick-ass spy bodyguard. M/F

From Spy Games: Endgame…

“All tied up like a gift, you are. Delightful. I’m going to take the hood off now and have a peek at my present. I love Christmas, but I don’t like to wait.”

“Such a pretty gift, all wrapped up, so close to Christmas,” she breathed, her cheeks denting with a dimple as she smiled at him with mischief. She wrinkled her pert nose. God, could a woman’s skin get any creamier than that? Pale and flawless except for the scar under her left ear he noticed when she turned slightly, cocking her head as if to listen for something.

She did the unthinkable and straddled his lap, her face inches from his, looking into his eyes, the heat from her crotch searing his shaft. He should be afraid. Terrified. But something told him this wouldn’t be like his first time. If she just rode him into oblivion, this time he’d enjoy every moment of it.

“So handsome.” She touched his cheek with a gloved hand, her fingers warm through the leather. Her sleeve rode up and a tattoo around her wrist was exposed, a delicate chain of daisies with a yellow butterfly. He knew that, from somewhere, too, but didn’t remember seeing it on her when they danced. She wiggled on his lap, the ridge of his cock angling against the heat of her crotch through those thin black pants of hers.

He groaned through his gag. If she just rode him, even while he was bound and gagged, he’d be more than grateful for the gift. It was a new experience, to be so damned aroused over a woman, under such extremes. Maybe that’s what the problem was—this was way too extreme. He’d fought feelings like this for years. Now they were punching him in the gut as hard as she ground against his cock. 

“Happy to see me again, are you? These ropes excite me, too. It’d be more exciting if it were the other way around. I love a good bondage session.”

He groaned again. He didn’t like kinky shit, but he did like Charlotte. Way, way too much.

Find Spy Games: Endgamon Amazon

Stay connected with Mia Downing!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Howen's tribal, supernatural blend a surprising weave across time

S.r. Howen
Few stories have the ability to suspend me from reality and transport me, almost as if I am held in a bubble, without time or place, or need to reason. But I have to admit, Howen's  release, The Chief of All Time, was a pleasant find, a gem I randomly discovered while sifting through the digital library that is Amazon. It was such a treat to read. And while I am not usually a fan of horror, I found this book to be an unexpected blend of just the things I like in a good story: an invitation into an unusual world built on some solid research and relatable characters. I say unusual because I can't ever recall hearing or reading a story about Native Americans in which it was overlapped with horror. Folklore, yes. Cautionary tales, yes. But horror? Read it for yourself, and judge for yourself. Time may not be as relative as you think.

1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve done about every job you can think of, milked cows, worked on the family farm, waitress, cook, bar tender, forensic clean up, Christams tree farm, canning factory, mink ranch, wild life rescue, fast food manager, convience store manager, and teacher. I’ve always told stories. It wasn’t very popular with my parents and my teachers in grade school—but once I discovered that if you wrote your “lies” down no one cared and they called them stories and oooed and ahhhed over them . . .my path was set. I would be a writer. Who knew you could get paid for telling lies?

2. Besides writing, what other activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
People have spare time?I sleep about 5 to 6 hours a night, other than that I am non-stop on the go. We have the wildlife rehab and a cat rescue, plus 2 dogs, and our own cats, I also edit and do mentoring, I host for a tour company, run a writer’s group and I do like to read and give reviews. So basically my life is very full from sun rise to sun set and beyond.

3. Describe your daily routine, once you have an idea for a story?
When a plot bunny invades, and often they invade in hordes, I sit at the keyboard, shut off the screen, put on whatever music seems to fit the story, and I type frantically for hours, weeks and days. Most novels of 90k take me about 45 days to write. I do have certain things I must have while I write, a stack of colored index cards, post it notes, a notebook, a spreadsheet I use to track word count, and of course a new package of pens. I don’t outline, I have no idea where the story is going any more than a reader picking up the book would, I discover the story as I go along. When a new character walks into the book, I note them on an index card, and if something about a character hits me that isn’t going to be known to the reader yet, then I will jot something on a post it note, like John, he thinks this or that while talking to the police. I have giant white board (a 4 x 8 smooth panel that was made for the purpose of use in a bathroom) and it ends up full of notes and so on but only after I have written a scene, if I work out the story before I write it, my muse rolls over and plays dead, since I have already “written” that story.

4. People are inspired from a variety of places. Where do you get your ideas from?
I don’t know. Isn’t that an odd and ambiguous answer? I can sit an analyze and try to come up with that one spark that gave me an idea, something I saw, heard, felt, but in the long run, they just come. I can hear a song on the radio, or even a TV ad and there it is, the idea stirs.  And since I have no idea what I am going to write before I do, I just sit and write and see what happens with that feeling. So more than ideas for stories, I get feelings for them. 

5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite, and why?
Wow, I don’t have a favorite, I have one that I think is one of my best works, and I have one that is my least favorite—but most favorite?  If I didn’t love all my books to some extent then why would I bother to market them or to even finish writing them?

6. Funny moment. Do you have one? Better yet, do you want to put it out there?
I can’t think of anything.  My sense of humor comes out pretty well on Facebook, and in my everyday life. I am WYSIWYG.

7. Are any of your stories inspired by true life events or from your imagination?
Yes to both. A beta reader read my latest erotica story, and she said wow, I didn’t know this was going to be semi auto biographical. My reaction was huh? So while I don’t set out to write stories that are based on my life or experiences I think they leak in, I think that’s true of any writer. You can research, and look into, but if you want the emotion of the experience to come through then the only way to really make the reader feel what the character feels is to have felt it yourself.

8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name, and if so what is his/her name?
The first thing that jumped into my head was: Relentless Bastard. You can bleep that if you want. But my muse is no walk in the park, when it wants me to write and has given me that feeling, I go for days with no sleep, while it keeps cracking the whip.

9. What other genre besides the one you are writing in would you like to try?
I always wanted to write mystery, I read a lot of mystery. But every time I started one it never worked, I was trying to hard I think. My latest erotic romance started out as a chance encounter of two damaged people taking place in 1985. It ended up being a mystery. Next, I like the idea of a hard boiled type detective novel. 

10. Who are your favorite authors?
I read a lot of JD Robb, but not her books under her own name Nora Roberts. Sue Grafton, JA Jance, Tony Hillerman, Sue Henry, Anne Rice, Stephen King, RR Martin, Mike Reshnick—I don’t have any one favorite.

11. Do you have a favorite female and male character in your books?
In the Medicine Man series it would be the MC Shannon Running Deer’s grandfather. He is based off my own grandfather and my dad. In my upcoming erotica under my pen name, Shaunna Wolf, it would be Kat, the female lead. She is beaten down, and never had love or anyone that accepted her for who she is, and in Life Flight, we see how strong she is.

12. Is there an aspect to writing you find difficult?
Making other people understand that when you are writing you are working andthey need to leav you alone. After that, marketing and promotions. They are killer.

13. Do you have any advice for new authors?
You hear so many new writers talking about the rules being old fashioned, from grammar ot needing an editor. Don’t listen to that trend. Yes, big name authors break the rules, but they didn’t when they started out, to break the rules you have to know them in the first place.  Learn everything you can about grammar and story structure, then write. And always remember that writing is a job, it’s not your baby, so when reviewers or people don’t like your story it’s not personal. If everyone liked the same book, there would only be one book.

14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you imagine yourself doing?
I’d probably be living in the woods somewhere, living off the land, but sine I like ot write, and publish I need tech, and to have tech I need to live in the civilized world.

15. Describe your perfect romantic getaway?
A camping trip through the wilderness.

16. Now that we've had a chance to get to know you a little bit, tell us about the story you have brought with you today? 
Medicine Man I: The Chief of All Time, while part of a series, it is a stand-alone book as well.  The book is a supernatural horror story based on a Blackfeet story, with an element of romance, and dark adventure.

Publisher: Wild Child
Genre: Ethnic (American Indian)/Paranormal/Horror with historical and romance elements
It is strictly believed and understood that a child is the greatest gift from Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery, in response to many devout prayers, sacrifices, and promises. Therefore the child is considered "sent by Wakan Tanka," through some element—namely the element of human nature.

Robert Higheagle
Tenton Sioux

Shannon Running Deer left the present behind to live 2000 years in the past. He's accepted his role in 33BC as The Chief of All Time. But life in the past is not as easy as he would like it to be. His wife, Morning Dove, is ready to deliver his child, and the spirits have shown him that all is not right with the coming birth.

So many years in the past, his people should be safe from the ravages of the Europeans. But when time's fickle finger pulls him into her web once again, he comes face to face with a person who shouldn't be on the North American continent for several more centuries.

Pursued by an ancient evil, and confronted with things that don't match the history he knew, his mission to change the past, to save the future, may have already failed . . .
From Book 2 of the Medicine Man series, Raven

“Always in a hurry.”

Once the steam cleared, my grandfather’s face came into view. His favorite blue-checked flannel shirt, his long white braids–one over each shoulder, and his classic “old Indian” wrinkled face, the same as always. The last time I’d seen him had been when I’d been elected Chief of All Time.


He dribbled more water onto the stones, less this time. “Do I look like your grandmother?”

I let out a small laugh. Yes, he was the man I’d known most my life as my grandfather. In reality, he held the position of Napi, creator of all the Blackfoot people knew. If he were actually my relative, it didn’t matter. He’d filled the role of grandfather to me for so long I had a hard time thinking of him as a “god.” But, here he sat across from me, after he’d vanished half a year ago.

“I see you still have no use for the spirit’s gifts to you,” he said. He settled on the woven floor mat and leaned a bit to the left and passed gas.

“Good to see you as well, Grandfather.”

He made a sound--half grunt, half snort, and dribbled more water on the rocks. I didn’t have any idea if the sound meant agreement or simply discomfort from the hard ground.

Medicine Drummer came back in and placed a large gray stone on the pile. He dribbled water over it, watching me closely. He glanced around the sweat lodge, his gaze darting into the darkest edges, before he took a deep quick breath and left.

“Now, that one, he has use for the spirits–use for their gifts.”

“He’s a good student,” I said, avoiding the trap I’d once regularly fallen into of arguing with him every time he insulted me. A person could learn a lot from him, if they kept their mouth shut and listened for the wisdom in the words–if there were any to be found.

“Well, then, maybe they should have made him chief and let you go back to that modern world you love so much.”

It became my turn to suck in a breath. I thought the issues between my grandfather and I had been resolved. It had seemed he’d found respect for me, and I’d found understanding and acceptance of the old ways he preached to me throughout my youth. I shut my eyes and chanted the words to the spirit guide calling chant. His appearance, spouting his old views of me, only served as a reminder–unless I did everything properly–I wouldn’t receive any guidance.

“Awfully hot in here,” he said.

Trying to ignore him, I chanted louder.

“The spirits aren’t deaf,” he told me.

He wasn’t going away. I opened my eyes. “Grandfather, I am honored by your visit. What is it you wish to tell me?”

“Hurry, hurry, hurry.” He adjusted his position again. “Brother sweat lodge may have crouched on the earth to allow us to find what we needed, but I doubt he meant a person had to sit on rocks.”

To illustrate his point, he held up a large jagged rock. He tossed it over his shoulder where it made a sodden sounding thump against the wall behind him. I’d personally searched the ground for any rocks and debris that would make the floor of the lodge uncomfortable. He found another rock and tossed it across the lodge. I jerked to the side, narrowly avoiding the missile.

I didn’t doubt he could call rocks up out of the earth if he wanted to, but I didn’t want to be their target.

“Grandfather, please.”

Holding a good sized chunk of stone in his hand, he paused mid-aim and stared at me.

“No more rocks. I am listening to you.”

“Phah, I doubt that.” He lowered the rock. When he set it on the ground, the earth opened up and swallowed it. It occurred to me then that the lodge no longer concealed me in total darkness. A small oil stone lamp rested near the pile of heat giving rocks. I glanced toward the doorway, and, when I looked back, fire danced where the rocks had been.

We now sat in a small lodge, with many furs on the floor. Baskets hung from the lodge poles and parafleches lined the northern edge. Where I had to crawl in the sweat lodge, I could have stood to my full height of seven feet in here. I didn’t try it. In a vision state, I would most likely knock my head on the framing of the sweat lodge.

His stomach rumbled.

“Wife,” he called. I expected the woman who had raised my wife–the woman whom my grandfather had married to make her a respectable woman, to appear.

“Wife,” he yelled, louder this time. He shouted for her three more times before he shook his head.

“Where is that woman when a man needs food?” He used a stick to poke at the logs in the fire before he moved off to the side and began to open the parafleches, one by one.

In the first, he found small pebbles. From the second, he withdrew a handful of what looked to be finger bones. From the third, he picked up a live kitten. Its tiny mouth opened and closed in a silent pantomime of meowing.

“Not time for you, yet,” he said and stuffed the kitten back into the hide container.

Find THE CHIEF of ALL TIME at these stores: 

As you can see, S.r. Howen is very active online. There are many ways you can stay connected with her. Follow the links below:
Facebook Author’s Page: 
Blog: Critters at the Keyboard
Author Web page:

Beautiful Imposter BLOG TOUR starts tomorrow!

Whoo-hoo! Last week's launch party was a huge success. Nearly 200 friends and friends of friends stopped in for a quick hello or visited for a little while, posted a comment, cracked a joke, wished me well or gave me a clap on the back after buying my debut short story, Beautiful Imposter. I know how busy all of you were with your day-to-day so it was a real honor for me that you took the time to remember, and hang out.

But . . . just because the launch is over doesn't mean the celebrations have ended. It's time for the AFTER PARTY!

Tomorrow, I kick off a three-week blog tour of my adult contemporary short, and it's full of great stops with incredible book bloggers. Props and shout outs to them now for hosting me! I've got a blog tour banner on my personal page that bloggers have agreed to share on their pages. Very cool of them!

If you're just catching wind of the tour, be sure to check my FB pages for updates. And, if a calendar wasn't awesome enough, one or two of these awesome bloggers are keeping the details of my stops a secret from me. Which if you know me at all is like telling me I have the option of choosing what's behind Secret Door No. 5. How I love me a good surprise!

I'm a curious person by nature. As a kid I'd go off on some wild adventure, all suited up. Depending on the afternoon, I would either be slaying dragons and rescuing damsels, or flying into outer space and blasting through enemy lines, or unloading a six-shooter into the tyrant preying on the decent folk of a dusty frontier town.

I'm a far cry from those nostalgic years of my youth, but the quest for adventure remains no less the same. Beautiful Imposter marks my first departure from writing adventure, fantasy and science-fiction stories, none of which have seen the light of day. 

I may publish something in that genre but for now I'm focusing my time on getting the word out about Beautiful Imposter!

Since its release, it has garnered great reviews on Amazon (US and UK), Smashwords, Goodreads, Facebook, and on book blogs.

One of the aspects of the story ARC readers seem to comment on most is the "initial BANG" and the unexpected "twist." It's shocking, but then again, it's all part of the drama these characters endure for the sake of love. As you'll discover, Beautiful Imposter is more than a story about infidelity. It is a story about love, anger, grief, forgiveness, and compassion.

Reading those early reviews and the reviews since have given me a great boost. Gave me a wry smile too. In case you've got the a bug of curiosity buzzing around your ear, read what some of those reviewers have had to say:

"It was Captivating, Heartbreaking & Tragic.. ..a story of Surviving, Healing & Forgiving......learning to move forward with Friendship, Love & Hope. Truly Touching in every way!" — Amy. 
"This is a short story, a novella, full of sadness, sweetness and an interesting story. I read it last night in about an hour, it was a page turner from every point of view." — Sue McG. 
"Beautiful Imposter is a short and sweet story that gives us a little taste of everything. All in all, I enjoyed the book; but I enjoyed it more the second time. This is a quick read so I encourage you to feel the book as you read it, and reread it to discover things you didn’t see or understand before." — Joe Cool Review.

Here's the calendar:

Sept. 3 ➤ TeaWithTheBookNerd
Sept. 4 ➤ Mia Downing
Sept. 6 ➤ Melissa Toppen
Sept. 9 ➤ Shooting the Breeze
Sept. 11 ➤ Crash the Party
Sept. 12 ➤ Delisha's Place
Sept. 16 ➤ Tara Mill's Romance

If this is the first time you and I are meeting, let me say thanks for stopping by. Don't be a stranger. I've got a personal FB page here and a FB author page here