Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Good Deed Goes a Long Way

Growing up, my neighborhood church did what it could to help those in need. Around the holidays a soup kitchen was set up to ensure no one went hungry. Participating in the distribution truly opened my eyes to the impact one’s generosity could have on another’s life.

I’ve also volunteered to help deliver food for the Meals on Wheels program when I was younger. This is a great organization. The elderly appreciate receiving a meal as well as seeing a friendly face. 

The number of children and seniors going hungry throughout this country is astounding. I don’t want to be “Debbie Downer” in this post. I merely want to help the hosts, Tina Downey and MJ Joachim, of this Holiday Food Drive Blogfest bring attention to the shortage at food banks across the nation this year.

Many of the individuals and families that receive meals from food pantries and food banks don’t qualify for government assistance such as W.I.C. or food stamps, yet are barely surviving.

For the past two years, I’ve donated money instead of my time because it’s easier. As my children get older, my husband and I plan to involve them in our charitable activities.

If you’re interested in helping out, I recommend donating food or your time to a local food pantry. Pantries usually have to purchase their food from a larger food bank, so if you donate to them directly, you cut out the middle man while saving a soup kitchen some money.

To find a food pantry in your area, simply click HERE

You can also check out Feeding America, a national food bank with local chapters throughout the country. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shadow of Uncertainty

My publisher sent me a special box. My first book, Kindred of the Fallen, in print. I was thrilled to hold one for the first time.

I'm nine months pregnant, so don't think the belly is from eating too many brownies, lol.
Once the high faded, uncertainty quickly replaced my excitement. When I signed with Samhain, my one complaint was their policy on releasing print books one year after e-books. They had great answers to my questions regarding this. Their philosophy of focusing on e-book sales and higher royalties for their authors seemed to make sense.
In hindsight, I do wonder if I made the right decision. I had another offer from one of the big six (I think there are now only five) traditional publishers, but it was for their e-book line with print on demand and I had serious issues with the editorial vision.
A one year gap between the release of the e-book and print book forces the author to do double promotion. Personally, I find it a hassle, but it does keep the book “out there” longer, offering the opportunity for greater exposure.
I’m not big on regrets, so I’ll concentrate on the pros of a delayed print release. For now, I’m finally planning my giveaway on Goodreads. I’ll be sure to let you all know when it starts.
Today, I’m co-hosting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. I’m off to visit my fellow co-hosts for this month: Huntress a.k.a. CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Michelle Wallace, and some other writers in need of support. If you’re a writer, definitely check out the IWSG.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Winners Lucky 13 Hop

Tomorrow I'm doing a release party over at Bitten By Books for Protector of the Flame. There will be another big giveaway. If you RSVP today, you get extra points:

Instead of one winner for the Lucky 13 Blog Hop, there are three because you guys were awesome:

Marie Hahn

Jessica Snow

Karen Arrowood

I will send out emails to the winners tomorrow because today has been beyond hectic.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Flame Buzz Party

Hosted by M PaxStephen TrempChristine RainsC M Brown
Twitter hashtag: #W4WS
Find W4Ws on 

Writers4Writers is an awesome network of supportive authors using social media to promote others and their books. I'm one of today's featured authors. Please be sure to visit the other featured author, Alex J. Cavanaugh.  

My second book, Protector of the Flame, officially releases tomorrow. 

I’ve learned from others to make this as easy as possible for those willing to help today.

Simply copy and paste one or more of the below to Facebook or Twitter:

New #PNR Protector of the Flame, #Book 2 Kindred Chronicles by @IsisRushdan. 4 Stars Romantic Times #W4WS

“He was her love, her life, and he had the power to tear her apart with his bare hands.” Protector of the Flame, win copy #W4WS

“This series will mushroom into a paranormal lover’s frenzy.” ~Night Owl Reviews. Protector of the Flame #W4WS

“He was a dangerous pleasure, a delicious addiction. And she couldn’t get enough of him, even if it could cost her life.” Protector of the Flame #W4WS

“A complex tale that deftly weaves mythological & paranormal elements” ~Romantic Times, Protector of the Flame,

A huge thank you to the hosts of Writers 4 Writers and to everyone helping me spread the word about my latest book. You guys rock!

Monday, October 14, 2013


The annual Spooktacular Hop is one of my favorites and I try to participate every year. A big thank you as always to I AM A READER for hosting this mega hop! 

This is an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY. The hop runs from Oct 15th – Oct 31st. My rafflecopter will open on Mon the 14th and close on Fri Nov 1. THREE winners will be announced on Nov 1.

To ENTER, you MUST use the Rafflecopter below.


I'm giving away an e-copy of the first book in the Kindred Series:

“This book took me on a whirlwind of emotions…definitely put a new spin on the paranormal genre.” 
GraveTells Reviews  

"“A compelling new series.” ~ Library Journal

4.5 Stars Night Owl Reviews/ Reviewer Top Pick

PLUS, the e-ARC of the second book, which comes out October 22:

"...a complex tale that deftly weaves mythological and paranormal elements into a vastly different contemporary setting"


AND a $10 Amazon or BN gift card or $10 worth of books from the book depository.


One book of choice from the Kindred Chronicles and a $10 gift card.


One book of choice from the Kindred Chronicles and a $5 gift card.

Use this Rafflecopter to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lucky 13 Blog Hop

Halloween is a special time of year for a paranormal romance author such as myself. I don't write about zombies and humans struggling to overcome their um...differences as they fall in love or your typical vampires.

Nonetheless, Halloween is the perfect time of year to celebrate all things paranormal.

Thanks to Heather Long, I'm one of the fortunate authors participating in her Lucky 13 Trick or Treat Blog Hop.

First, I'd like to share a quick Halloween drink recipe for a Dark & Stormy Death Punch. I chose this drink for three reasons:

It's yummy.

The name suits the type of emotional ride I take my heroine, Serenity, and hero, Cyrus, on in the second book of the Kindred Chronicles, PROTECTOR OF THE FLAME.

The lychee-cherry ice cubes look like freaky eyeballs and can easily be used in a different drink.

One 20-ounce can lychees in heavy syrup
1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
16 brandied cherries
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces dark rum
Three 12-ounce bottles ginger beer
Ice cubes
1.      In a small saucepan, bring the lychee syrup and ginger to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
2.     Meanwhile, stuff 16 lychees with brandied cherries. Set each lychee in the cup of a mini muffin pan or in an ice cube tray. Strain the lychee-ginger syrup and pour it over the lychees. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
3.     Meanwhile, in a pitcher, stir the sugar into the lime juice until dissolved. Add the rum and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
4.     Unmold the lychee ice cubes into a small punch bowl. Pour in the lime-rum mixture. Add the ginger beer, stir gently and serve in ice-filled glasses.

                                     Participating authors are divided into two groups.

  • Tricks – Paranormal, Science Fiction, BDSM or Suspense
  • Treats – Sweet romance, inspirational, contemporary or historical

I never thought I'd say this, but apparently I'm a trick, lol.

This is an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY and a winner will be announced on Mon Oct 28th.

To enter my personal giveaway for this hop, simply sign up for my newsletter. See "Join My Newsletter" in the right side column. 

I'm giving away an e-copy of the first book in the Kindred Series:

“This book took me on a whirlwind of emotions…definitely put a new spin on the paranormal genre.” 
GraveTells Reviews  

"“A compelling new series.” ~ Library Journal

4.5 Stars Night Owl Reviews/ Reviewer Top Pick

The e-ARC of the second book, which comes out October 22:

"...a complex tale that deftly weaves mythological and paranormal elements into a vastly different contemporary setting"


AND a $10 Amazon or BN gift card or $10 worth of books from the book depository.

To enter for a chance to win a grand prize you must use the rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sucker for Mythology

I’m a sucker for most things involving mythology. I have been ever since I was old enough to comprehend the meaning of my name. Thanks again Mom!

I learned about Siv Maria Ottem’s Norse Gods Blogfest from my blogger buddy extraordinaire Alex J. Cavanaugh.  

Siv is celebrating the release of her new book, Secrets of the Ash Tree, and celebrating a birthday today. Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Siv!!

So, which Norse God is my favorite?

It’s never easy to choose only one when there are many fantastic choices, but I went with the goddess Frigg (also Frigga). I chose her because she had a lot in common with the incredible Egyptian goddess Isis.

They were both foremost amongst the other goddesses in their pantheon. They were associated with love, marriage, childbirth and seen as great mothers/wives. 

Frigg was Queen of Asgard, wife of Odin and stepmother of Thor. 


She had the gift of prophecy, specifically knowing the destiny of everyone. She foresaw the death of her son, Baldur—the god of light, beauty, joy and considered the best of the gods. Although she knew she was helpless to alter his destiny, she tried anyway. I’d expect nothing less from a mama bear. The clever goddess made all things (creatures, objects, forces in nature) promise to never harm her son. Unfortunately, she overlooked the mistletoe plant, thinking it was too young or insignificant to hold to such an oath.

Leave it to the trickster Loki to find Baldur’s one vulnerability and kill him.  

In some versions, not even death stopped Frigg, another similarity to Isis. Depending on which account you read, I prefer the happy one, Frigg struck a deal with Hel to have Baldur returned to Asgard. In the lighter and far less common version, once Baldur was resurrected Frigg lifted the curse she placed on mistletoe, changing it to a symbol of peace and love and promising a kiss to all who passed under it.

If you're interested in the darker tale, it's easy enough to Google.

For a list of other participating blogs, please see below.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CassaStorm Release by Alex Cavanaugh + Giveaway

Today I'm delighted to help Alex J. Cavanaugh celebrate the release of the third book in his best selling science fiction/space opera series, CassaStorm.

I had the opportunity to ask Alex one question about his new release.

IR: Are any of your characters similar to you? If so, which ones and how?

AC: None of them are based on me. I probably share Byron’s perfectionism and desire for privacy, but that’s about it. And he’s devoted to his mate, Athee, just as much as I’m devoted to my wife.

Awww! Alex is such a sweetheart. I do know he has a mega crush on Kate Beckingsale, but I'm sure Mrs. Cavanaugh has nothing to worry about.

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

"An exciting, nail-biting read which sweeps the reader off on adventures in another galaxy." 
- Nicua Shamira, Terraverum

Don't miss your chance to win a cool prize!!!

Comment on Alex's blog between September 16 and 20 to enter. 
(Ends 6:00 pm EST Sunday, September 22.) 
Prizes include: 
Cassa mousepad
Cassa Universe poster
Cassa magnet
Cassa mug
Autographed copy of CassaStorm
One person will be randomly selected each day and the five names will be drawn from a hat – first person gets first choice and so on.

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera

Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019

$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:

Alex J. Cavanaugh:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Letting It Show

When Alex J. Cavanaugh started the Insecure Writer's Support Group two years ago, I thought it was a brilliant idea and I still do. At the time, I was living in England. I’d set aside time from 1130 to 1pm to directly respond to each commenter on my blog and to visit as many other blogging authors as possible. Since everyone else was just putting up their post as England is five hours ahead, it was a fantastic system where I felt like I was on top of everything.

My system is far more erratic today. I don’t visit nearly as many buddies as I’d like. However, my enthusiasm over being a member of this group and my love of writing has only grown. So on the two year anniversary of the start of the IWSG, I'm letting my immense gratitude and a little something else show.

I released my first book, Kindred of the Fallen, with all of my friends in the cyber world cheering me on back in January. I’m thrilled to share the cover of the sequel, Protector of the Flame.

Thank you for the support, kindness and generosity you’ve shown me over the last two years.

My next paranormal romance releases October 22. If any blogger buddy, new or old, would be interested in hosting me on their site Oct 21 - Nov 22, I’d greatly appreciate it. It could be something as simple as a shout-out on release day or more in-depth like an interview or guest post. Just send me an email saying you’ll squeeze me in:

Thank you and don’t forget to let me know what you think of the cover.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Slogging Through A Swamp

My pregnancy brain is in overdrive these days. To remember anything, I have to write everything down. It’s so bad, I’ll walk from my bedroom to the kitchen and forget why I went by the time I get there. Was I hungry? Thirsty? Did I feed the dogs? Oh yeah, needed to take my prenatal vitamins before I forgot. On a good day, it’ll take me two minutes to slog through the swamp of my mind to remember. On a bad day, it can take much longer.

Sticky notes are my key to survival. It’s the only way I make deadlines, appointments and succeed at accomplishing anything non-routine. For every day sort of things, like taking vitamins, I have to make it a habit. Sticky notes have a short shelf life for me. After a few days, my eyes glaze over the same note and by day seven it might as well not even be there.

Thankfully my mind has a couple of safety zones. When it comes to my son or plot details for a story my brain functions perfectly and I feel like my old self. I know my little boy’s schedule inside and out. I even have an internal alarm that goes off every time he needs to potty (we’re going through the dreaded training early, but he’s doing awesome).  As far as writing, my characters are very much alive in my head. They kick, scream and cajole until I get something down on paper for the day.

Time is still an issue and will be for the next couple of years with my little girl due on Thanksgiving. I might forget to feed the dogs or take ten minutes to recall why I entered a room, but at least I know my son and fictional babies are safe from drowning in the swamp of my pregnancy brain.

What is your best multitasking tip? Do you ever have problems remembering items on your to-do list? Are there things you never forget no matter what like birthdays, anniversaries or to feed your beloved pet?

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for another month of IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fledgling in Flight

Although I’m now a published author, I still feel like a fledgling. I only have one book out, Kindred of the Fallen, with the sequel, Protector of the Flame, soon to release in October. Yet I’m still learning so much about the industry.

I haven’t gone to any writer conferences, but would like to attend one or two in 2014. How to do face-to-face networking at those conferences is still a question I haven’t answered.

Developing my online network is a work in progress. However, every break I take from blogging, tweeting and Facebook puts me even more behind the curve. I’ve also only skimmed the surface of Goodreads. I don’t fret over this too much because my number one priority is my family, no matter what. With an active toddler and another bundle of love due on Thanksgiving (ah yes, the beautiful product of our family vacation in Puerto Rico), sometimes blogging and other online activity has to be put on hold.  

In addition to learning more about the industry and building my networking connections, it’s important to make time to learn more about my craft. When I was actively in the military, professional development was critical to advancement and becoming an expert in your field. The same can be applied to many other careers, especially writing. Sharpening my writing skills will only pay dividends in the future.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? If so, how do you cope? For those writers out there, do you think you’ve mastered all you need to know in this field? Are there any areas where you want to learn more?

Thanks Alex J. Cavanaugh for another month of IWSG.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Best & Worst Movie Remakes Blogfest

Oh how I love movie blogfests!!

Thanks to the hosts:

Alex J. Cavanaugh
Stephen Tremp
Father Dragon Al
Livia Peterson

Objective: List the best remake you’ve ever seen and the worst. Added bonus, list the worst and/or best song remake you’ve ever heard.

Worst Remake: This one was a tie.

The Stepford Wives

The original was creepy, chilling and made a sociopolitical statement for the 70’s. I saw it when I was 12 or 13 on VHS. To this day, I vividly remember the horrifying ending.

The remake was a cheesy, hot mess!

Conan the Barbarian

I love the original, despite the fact Arnold Schwarznegger has like 15 lines (maybe that’s a good thing) and flexes throughout the whole film (definitely a good thing).  I was so excited when I heard about a remake. Then I saw it.

The movie was dreadful. Actually, it was horrendous.

The special effects sucked.

The story and acting lacked heart.

They completely butchered Valeria’s kick-ass warrior character.

In the original, she saves Conan more than once and even comes back from the dead to help him because of how much she loves him.

In the remake, the character was a simpering, screaming cliché.

Best remake: This was tough! I almost had a tie.


The Thomas Crown Affair

The original with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen was edgy and stylish for the time period. Faye Dunaway was gutsy and sexy. Steve McQueen was cool under pressure and the last thing you wanted was for him to get caught, but it lacked the depth of its contemporary counterpart.

The remake was glamorous and sensual and I completely fell in love with Rene Russo and Pierce Bronsnan. I believed their love story. The writer, director, and costume designer did a great job.

Although the ending in the remake was more fulfilling, the original ending was true to the Thomas Crown character and more fitting. If the remake had maintained the original ending, then this would have tied for best remake.

Best: The Great Gatsby

The original movie starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. I saw it years ago. It did a satisfactory job of conveying Fitzgerald’s novel, but it was flat and lifeless.

The remake blew me over with all of its glitz, audacious music choices, stellar acting and special effects that actually worked. Never thought this story could be depicted in such a lush manner. DiCaprio was brilliant as Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann pulled off this bold remake successfully, even if it did have a few minor flaws.

I was going to do worst soundtrack remake, but I came across a remake of a song that I loved and wanted to share it.

Jack White’s version of U2’s Love is Blindness is outstanding. Don’t get me wrong, I adore U2, but White’s rendition makes me feel like the title should be changed to Love is Madness. Absolutely stellar.

Have you seen or heard any of my choices? Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review Copy from Theresa Rizzo

A buddy of mine asked me to help spread the word about her new novel.

Free Review Copy of He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo
Hi all,
I'm giving away 50 digital review copies of He Belongs to Me, to the first 50 people to request it, in exchange for honest reviews to be posted on Amazon, Goodreads & Barnes & Noble.
Catherine Boyd will do anything to regain custody of her young son . . . Even reconcile with the husband accused of killing their son’s twin.
For more information and a chance to review He Belongs to Me, click HERE (
Happy Reading,
Hope you guys take advantage and help this lovely author out. Reviews are so important. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sweet Satisfaction

There’s nothing like the sweet satisfaction of meeting a deadline early. Last night, I turned in the sequel to Kindred of the Fallen, now officially titled Protector of the Flame, to my excited editor. I’m thrilled to work with someone who loves my world and characters. I should get notes back from her in about a week.

Also, my release date has been moved up to Oct 22. For a paranormal author to come out just before Halloween is a good thing and makes promotion a tad easier. So this Insecure Writer's Support Group post is one of celebration.

Since I turned in book two, I actually have extra time to visit some of my fellow writers on the IWSG list that might need some support today.
Thanks to Alex for IWSG.
What are you celebrating today, writing related or not? Any issues bugging you? We could all use support during the highs and lows, so don’t be afraid to share.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Quickie: Hot, Hot Summer

May is just around the corner, right along with the release of some of the biggest summer movies. A ton of good flicks are scheduled to come out, too many to name.

Here’s my list of what I’m anticipating the most.


Iron Man 3: Who doesn’t love RDJ as Tony Stark?

The Great Gatsby: So psyched about this one. Leo looks like the perfect obsessed Gatsby in the trailer. New one below.

Star Trek Into Darkness: The villain in this trailer reminds me of a young Alan Rickman.



Man of Steel: Time for a good remake. Hope this is it.

World War Z: Zombies and Brad Pitt. I’m sold.



The Wolverine : Am I the only one who has been waiting for a Wolverine storyline set in Japan?



300 Rise ofan Empire: Have no idea if it’ll be as good as the first, but my fingers are crossed.


Elysium: If you’re into Sci-Fi, check it out. Looks promising.

Any summer flicks you're looking forward to? Which ones can't you wait to see? If you could only pick one, which would it be?