The Crucible Series Book 9: Tempting Eternity Cover Reveal & Synopsis

The Crucible Paranormal Romance Series Book Nine: Tempting Eternity

As one of the first vampires created by the original five thousand years ago, time has taken it’s toll on Mathias, weathering him until nothing seems like a surprise anymore. Yet even he isn’t prepared for a chance encounter with a fae who proves to have a lover’s blood link.

For a vampire, such a connection is a fevered, hopeless fantasy. None have blood as sweetly enticing as the fae, but they’d never survive the turning, making it imperative to resist Isadora’s charms, otherwise put her very life at risk.

Yet distancing himself from the beguiling fae isn’t so easy.

Nearly killed by one of her own sisters, the last thing Isadora expects to hear is that a vampire saved her life while she was vulnerable—no being poses more of a lethal threat to the fae. Even more troubling is knowing she’ll have to seek his help to have any hope of saving her fae sisters from the control of a powerful witch.

But though the ancient vampire should be feared, Isadora finds Mathias compelling, pricking her innate curiosity in a way she’s never experienced. Ignoring such intrigue is impossible, and the more she learns, the more quickly her feelings turn into heavy attraction, tempting her to do the impossible—spend eternity with a vampire.

Estimated Release: Summer 2018

Flash Sale!

To celebrate Tempting Eternity’s cover reveal, from now until April 3rd, 10 copies of Strange Brew and Fated Fortunes are completely FREE (only at Smashwords)!

Author’s Notes

Let me start this by explaining the reason Strange Brew and Fated Fortunes are on sale with this announcement, and it’s pretty simple: their stories are the most closely related to this book’s. Some loose ends are going to be tied up in Tempting Eternity, and specifically, Fated Fortunes got this book (and what we see in the synopsis) started.

Now, let’s get a little more into the story. Those of you who’ve read this series know that each book features a different couple, and when I say different, I mean we get a different “species” each time. There’s been a lupine and a human, a draconian and a fae, a Perosian and a mage, and so on. But Tempting Eternity is going to pair two beings together that are polar opposites, and when I had the idea for this story, the very first thought that came to mind was “A vampire and a fae? That’s impossible.”

The second thought was, “Challenge accepted.”

Mathias was introduced in Fallen Hearts, and we learned that though vampires and draconians don’t get along, he’s good friends with Dalris Dra’Kai (Fated Fortunes). Isadora (from Light of Dawn and very briefly mentioned in Fallen Hearts) is also a close friend of Dalris, and that’s where it all begins. As for the reason Strange Brew relates so closely to this book, that’s something left to be seen! :D

There’s one other character who’s been mentioned pretty regularly throughout the series who’ll finally make an appearance in this book, and I can’t say I’m not happy to finally have the chance to write them into a story. So things are coming along, and I’m excited to share this book once it’s all done!

Cheers!

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Updates Incoming

So, I realize that after I posted about the release of Cast Into Shadow, I kind of up and vanished from this blog. There’s been a lot of stuff going on in my real life, however, and I kind of just wanted to focus on writing and whatnot because I’ve been feeling so stretched thin. But I wanted to come by here and post this notice up because I do have some things to share in the works, and they’ll be up pretty soon!

That said, get ready for a book sale! Free books incoming! :D

hm_po
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The Crucible Series Book 9 Teaser: Tempting Eternity

Technical Difficulties: Cast Into Shadow Release Delayed … Again!

Okay, so I have some good news, and some bad news–and I’m gonna start with the bad first because, well, it’s honestly annoyed me, which is putting it mildly. So here goes!

Smashwords gave me until January 6th to upload a formatted manuscript for publishing on the 9th, and I just got to that today, which is the 6th. But when I uploaded the manuscript, it said the soonest available publish date was a week from the 9th. I have no idea why, but I can’t adjust it despite being told the deadline was today and actually uploading it today. So sadly, my hands are tied with this issue, and Cast Into Shadow won’t be available until January 17th.

You know, at this point, I’m just gonna blame all the trouble I’m having publishing this book on one of our cats. They’re plotting against me because they want a dedication or something.


It’s just a matter of figuring out which cat it could be!

As for Kindle readers, the closest date Amazon is allowing me to publish is on January 10th, but I’m not entirely sure I want to publish the versions so far apart. But as soon as I have the plan laid out, I’ll be back here to make an announcement!

Now, as for the good news: Despite being unable to buy the book, the first 25% of the story is now available to sample on Smashwords! So if you’ve been waiting, hopefully this will hold you over!

My apologies to everyone again! I’d really hoped to have this book out next week, but I guess you could say it’s better late than never!

hm_po
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Name Error in Fated Fortunes and Flash Fridays!

So, before I get into the actual fun stuff, I have a report to give, and a confession to make. Actually, the report is about the confession, which is pretty simple: I’m durpy–and here’s why:

I’ve been going over some of my book notes recently, and in turn, scanning through certain scenes to fact check. In doing so, I came across a glaring error in Fated Fortunes that I think needs to be called out. For that reason, I’m going to give a SPOILER ALERT! because I’ll be digging into a few things from both Fated Fortunes and Strange Brew here. So let me share the scene in Fated Fortunes where the error is contained.

The captain, an older man with long, stringy white hair and a bushy beard, stepped inside, holding the door for a middle aged brunette passenger following him.
“I know it’s an inconvenience,” the human stated, “but Lydia’s condition is delicate, and I can offer a higher payment.”
“It’s going to take a much higher payment, Mr. Rowden,” the captain returned, never once spying the elf standing next to the open door because her pendant had rendered her invisible.

And there you have it. I’m pretty sure people reading this are scratching their heads wondering what gives, but let’s just say the name “Lydia” is the one that’s inaccurate, and there’s a longwinded reason for it. But first, I’d like to mention that those of you who’ve read Strange Brew might recognize the name of “Mr. Rowden”, and wonder whether the person in question is Derrick Rowden, Aislinn’s estranged father.

I’ll confirm it here and now; it is, in fact, Derrick, and the name Lydia should actually be Sylva–as in, Sylva Abbott, the ghostly specter who possessed Aislinn in Strange Brew to open a magically sealed doorway into an old alchemy lab where a powerful tome was stored away.

I fixed the problem as soon as I found it, which was thankfully pretty easy to do considering her name is only mentioned once throughout the entire story. Still, I thought it would be a good idea to post a lengthy description of the issue if only because I know quite a few people have read Fated Fortunes now, in addition to Strange Brew, and would probably appreciate the clarification.

But why, oh why, did I call her Lydia from the start? And why did it take me so long to catch the error? Well that, my friends, stems from my development of Sylva Abbott and her backstory. My readers already know that Sylva was one of The Abbott Sisters, three witches in the 17th century who formed a coven called The Trine to protect others like themselves. What the story doesn’t mention is all three sisters’ names, being Sylva, Myra, and Lydia.

The reason gets a little more complex in terms of editing Strange Brew, but let’s just say, for brevity’s sakes, that I’m constantly getting Sylva and Lydia mixed up, to the point that even though I read that passage at least a million times while editing Fated Fortunes, I still didn’t catch the problem. Even when my beta readers went through it, it wasn’t noticed probably because I was referring to Sylva as Lydia aloud. UGH!

So! There’s a little clarification on this scene which I now realize must’ve seemed out of place to anyone who’s read the entire series. But yes, we’re getting closer to finding out what happened to Derrick and Estelle after they escaped at the end of Strange Brew, and I’m reeeeeeally sorry for all of the confusion (and my durpiness!).

With that said, I have one other thing to make an announcement on. For the past several weeks, I’ve been having Flash Friday’s over on my tumblr blog, which is a pretty simple thing, but also pretty cool for anyone looking to take a risk on a “new” book! So here goes:

Every Friday, I pick a book in my series at random, and offer a coupon to get it for free from Smashwords! The coupon is only good for 5 redemptions, however, so it’s first come, first serve! At some point in the future, I may increase the number of redemptions, but that all depends on how much interest is generated!

So feel free to follow my tumblr blog if you’re currently using it!

Thanks so much everyone! Cheers! :)

hm_po
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Cast Into Shadow is Releasing January 17th, 2018!

Cast Into Shadow will release on January 17th at the following retailers:

• Nook
Kindle
• iBooks
• Kobo
Smashwords

Goodreads
Download a PDF Excerpt!

Synopsis: As an intelligence agent for The Bastion, Jennifer Kivsey usually works behind a desk, assisting other operatives from afar by supplying information whenever it’s needed. But the one time she volunteers to travel during an investigation, her journey takes her much farther from home than anticipated.

After discovering a random portal, Kivsey is unexpectedly pulled through worlds and stranded in the dark, underground caverns of Ithelyon. In immediate danger, she’ll need help if she wants to survive long enough to return home, and a random encounter with a Dok’aal Warlord could provide just that.

The problem? She’s part elven, and Dok’aal are notoriously leery of elves.

Mikail is a Warlord serving the hidden, subterranean city of Satorala, and his highest priority is the safety of his people. So allowing a stranded human to wander about and potentially discover the location of his home is out of the question, meaning he has no choice but to help her find her way.

But despite their inherent differences, Mikail quickly discovers that Kivsey isn’t the helpless human he’d expected. She’s clever, witty, compassionate, and soon has him wondering if she could be the woman he’s been dreaming of. Likewise, Kivsey finds the Warlord as sexy as he is suspicious, but how could a union ever be possible with two worlds standing between them?

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Cast Into Shadow Delayed for Publishing

As much as it breaks my heart to do so, I wanted to offer some notice that I won’t be able to publish Cast Into Shadow in December as I’d wanted. Currently, it’s starting to look more like this book won’t be out until sometime in January (or possibly February depending on circumstances). I also wanted to offer some (potentially vague) reasons for the delay.

I’d posted some hiatuses up on my social media accounts a few months ago because things in my personal life simply aren’t great right now. Basically, I’d promised to be around, but probably not as active as normal, and if you take a look at the dates on my previous posts here, you’ll see that’s pretty much what I’ve done. Currently, I’m most active on my tumblr blog, which honestly isn’t saying too much when it’s easy to simply scroll down the page and reblog a post of interest from time to time.

I wish I could say more about what’s going on, but a good bit of it is private. Health issues (both my own and those concerning family) have been up in the air, as well as financial burdens which have been taking a huge toll. Due to the inconveniences these issues have caused, it’s been hard for me to write as much as I would like, and Cast Into Shadow has fallen behind in productivity.

That said, I do have most of the story written out and prepared for final edits, which I’ll start working on in the next week or two, and as much as it saddens me that I won’t be able to publish this book as soon as I’d wanted, I’m not skimping on the quality of the story just to have something ready sooner rather than later. The people who enjoy my books deserve the best story I can possibly craft, and no matter what, I’m going to put as much effort in this story as I can.

So I really do apologize to anyone who’s been waiting for this book, and I hope you can understand! I do, however, have something on a higher note to post about, which I’ll get around to in the next week, so keep your eyes peeled! :)

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Halloween Book Sale! (Up to 75% Off)

We all know Halloween is a time for ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and other things that go bump in the night. But it’s also a good time to curl up with a good book, and since I have a whole list of Paranormal Romances to offer, I thought I’d put ’em on sale for everyone! It’s not exactly candy, but hey, Trick or Treat! :P

So from now until Halloween, each book in The Crucible Series is only $1.00! This sale is available through Smashwords, and you can check the book list for more information on each title! :)

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Cast Into Shadow Excerpt

So, after an admittedly long silence on this blog, I finally have something to post! But right before I get to that, let me throw out an apology over how long it’s been since I’ve swung by here to say more than a word or two on anything. Life’s been hectic on the downside lately, and things haven’t exactly panned out the way I would’ve liked for them to go in some places. This includes my progress on writing Cast Into Shadow, which is coming along, but it’s going more slowly than preferred.

But the good news is that I finally have an excerpt to share! At first, I thought it would be fine just to post this excerpt as text here, but then I realized the formatting is off and it’s kind of hard to read. So instead, I decided to post a downloadable PDF file! This will require adobe acrobat, but at least your eyes won’t cross! Haha!

I hope you enjoy, and as always, the following is still considered a work in progress that’s subject to change before the book’s final release! :)

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Trashy Books, Enjoyable Reads

Hi guys! I hope everyone’s summer is going well, and that you’re perhaps lounging by the beach, or somewhere equally appealing, with a good book in hand enjoying an escape into another world. I also hope whatever book you’re reading isn’t trashy because, well, no one wants a trashy book. It could ruin the reading process and break glass when you throw that eyesore of a story out the window.

And nobody wants to fix a broken window, am I right? I mean a trashy book just isn’t worth it.

Still, as I wrote those last few sentences, I wonder just what, precisely, people thought of when I said “trashy”. I mean, what’s the basic definition of trashy anyway? Let me see … ah! Here it is!

trash·y
ˈtraSHē/
adjective

(especially of items of popular culture) of poor quality.
“trashy novels and formulaic movies”

I find it humorous that google’s definition gives an example of “trashy novels” here. Still, this definition of the word trashy is basic, and doesn’t fully answer the question of what people may have thought when I mentioned the word. I mean, we can define a word all we want, but that definition will take on a new perspective when personal opinions get involved.

For example, my idea of a trashy novel is one that just doesn’t quite satisfy. Perhaps it’s not well written, the characterizations are badly managed, the plot is full of holes big enough to encompass the state of Alaska, and/or the plot devices are contrived and nonsensical. These things, to me, make a story of poor quality as the definition noted above implies. You just don’t read these stories without complaining over every little aspect and perhaps wondering what the author was thinking when writing it.

But that’s my idea of a trashy book. This perspective may also be shared with several other people, however, 7 times out of 10, someone seeing the word trashy in relation to literature will automatically think of one genre before any other; Romance.

Despite being a billion-dollar-industry, the word “trashy” has been used in relation to stories written for this genre since, well, long before I was born. Even one of the biggest community websites for romance novels has the word Trashy in its name (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books). This isn’t meant as a disparagement by the chicks who run the website, but as stated, romance novels have been called trashy all across the board so often that us fans have come to employ it in our own vernacular as a playful way of suggesting sure, we’re all reading trash, and we enjoy it!

Still and yet, there are plenty of instances where this is meant as a disparagement, particularly when it comes from people who’ve never read a romance, or only read one romance and think every story is just like it. Even some romance readers call their books of choice trash because they’re ashamed and consider reading romance as being a guilty pleasure.

Recently, I saw a post on tumblr where someone was trying to articulate a request for book recommendations, and initially, they couldn’t quite bring themselves to admit that romance novels were their focus of interest. They started out by saying they’d been reading a lot of “easy thinking stories” lately, then finally admitted what they wanted by stating “trashy romance novels”.

I won’t lie, I legitimately felt sorry for this person as this is a very obvious case of internalized misogyny. This is a reader who’s found enjoyment in the romance genre, but has heard so often that romances are just dumb and trashy that they don’t feel as if they’re allowed to enjoy it without receiving a negative backlash. So they’re ashamed and can’t bring themselves to ask for more without bashing it in order to alleviate that shame and make it seem as if “I’m on board with the haters, I just enjoy a little “light reading that doesn’t break my brain” once in a while.”

Before I dig any deeper into this, allow me to state something up front; there are trashy romance novels out there, just as there are trashy sci-fi stories, and trashy mysteries. Trashy dramas, trashy horrors, trashy thrillers. There’s trash in every genre because not every book is a shining example of a good story for that genre. World building is unbelievable, mysteries are transparent, character responses are overly dramatic, and the thrills are cheap.

But if you’re a fan of the genre, you don’t throw the entire thing out because you read one bad book. Yet somehow, this happens with the romance genre frequently.

Bad romance stories are just like any other bad story; poor world building, weak plot devices, unrealistic characters, etc., and even fans of the genre will find a book they hate and call it trash. I’m no exception to this rule, and hell, I find some books I adore and some I hate within the same series. Here’s the best example I can think of on short notice; One of the most entertaining books I’ve read in recent times is Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole (the IAD Series). However, and on the flip side, one of the biggest disappointments I’ve read in recent times is Lothaire by Kresley Cole from the same series. Would I call that book trash? By some standards, I have to say yes, I really would.

But that book didn’t make me throw out the series, nor does a bad romance story make me throw out the entire genre and refuse to come back. After all, even a bad romance can serve a purpose in showing a reader what they don’t like, what doesn’t work for them, and help them to evolve their tastes so they know more precisely what it is they’re looking for.

So why is romance so consistently bashed with the trash stick? Well, the biggest reason is, in all honesty, misogyny–and before you throw your hands up and exclaim I knew it!, give me a chance to explain because I have two different points to make here, and one of them may not be what you’re expecting.

So first, let’s look at the way any and all things created by women for women get treated. These things are typically thought of as girly, and what do people usually associate with the word girly? Weakness, ineptitude, immaturity, frivolity, and even vapidness. So naturally, a genre that’s predominantly written by women for women must be filled with books that encompass these same qualities, right? They’re all shallow reads with no greater thought required than “character A hooks up with character B and that’s the story.”

Still and yet, you’ll hear women (as mentioned above) calling romance trashy, and while this can be attributed to internalized misogyny, that’s not always the case when you have books in every genre that are, in fact, trashy–which leads me to my second point.

These women’s opinions are based on a long standing reputation that wasn’t earned by the idea that romance is girly, but because thirty-forty years ago to be precise, quite a few romance novels employed a number of misogynistic plot devices to deliver a story, and they’ve given several women a damned good reason to hate romance.

For example, many heroines were never given a choice over whether or not they had sex with the hero. The reason is that female sexuality is apparently one of the greatest taboos the world has ever seen. A woman isn’t supposed to like, want, or enjoy sex, and if she does, she’s a slut/whore/harlot/tramp/slattern/etc., and women during that time period had been raised to believe such things about their own human needs and desires.

So it was harder for them to identify with female characters who had no shame over their sexuality, and readers could more readily accept a heroine who’s never given the chance to show their desire for sex by eliminating the possibility of giving consent altogether.

In turn, many people call romance trash because they think this is the continued standard of current novels on the market. So though (thankfully) this is much less commonly seen today, not everyone realizes just how much the romance genre has evolved since then. I mean look at women’s lib; the idea that women should be treated as equals was just the first step taken in feminism. But women weren’t elevated to a man’s status over night, and we’re still struggling for human rights in several regards. So the next step was learning how this is achieved, and the history of treatment female characters receive in romance novels is proof of the progress being made.

Decades ago, heroines weren’t given much choice, and today, you’ll find fifty books in a single search featuring heroines who’ll readily jump in the sack with no apologies because she’s not afraid to take what she wants. Or, on the reverse, you’ll find her refusing to have sex, saying no and actually being respected for her decision.

So yes, this “trashy” business is really just a lingering reputation that we’re all trying to get past. Some readers have, others just believe the caliber of romance is continuing on along the same lines. But unless what you want to read is a bad romance novel, I’d suggest not asking for trashy romance in your rec requests, and instead, just asking for good books that might tickle your fancy. :)

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