Sunday, February 26, 2012

Author Marva Dasef Joins Me today

Marva Dasef

Middle-grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Marva covers are eye catching as are the stories between the covers. Read the excerpts below and you'll become a fan also.

BAD SPELLING – Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim

A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home. 

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo.  A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her warlock brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way. At the Troll Kingdom, a young troll, Andy, joins the siblings in their quest to find the shaman and kill the curse.

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MIDNIGHT OIL – Book 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim

Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brushoff.

When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

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Twitter Handle: @Gurina

THE GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter wins their choice of either book in any of the available formats: PDF, PRC, or EPUB. In addition, anybody who’d like to download the prequel short story, “Spellslinger” (included as a bonus with Bad Spelling), can just click the following link to download the story for free.


Many (most?) fantasy novels based on Euro-centric mythologies use runes in their plots, be it a tattooed rune on the hero’s chest, the discovery of a runic tablet that leads a worthy band of heros on a quest for dragon’s gold, or a villain who casts his dark spells in the ancient runic language. All very cool stuff.

In the Witches of Galdorheim books, I decided to use runes as the magic language. I call it Old Runish. Kat, in Bad Spelling, just can't get the pronunciation of the runes right. The results are often spectacularly wrong. In other words, she is a really bad speller.

I researched runes and found a few I could use to give some depth to the magical language of the witches. Runes are like hieroglyphics in that each run stands for a word or concept rather than a letter. I found a handy phrase chart and stole what I could. Elder Futhark is the oldest known runic alphabet. Each rune has a name. Each rune is a word of power. The Rune markings in the graphic match the interpreted Elder Futhark (the Runes in spoken form).

Following are excerpts from both books that show the use of the Old Runic language in the Witches of Galdorheim series.

Excerpt from Bad Spelling

(Kat’s aunt Thordis want to have a talk with Kat’s almost-dead father.)

Thordis lit the candle, rang the bell, and prepared herself to chant the spell to wake Boris. She’d never talked to him when he was alive, since he was a mundane, and any non-magical person was simply not worth her time. Now, she had to find out a few things. Specifically, why was her niece so powerful, yet so incompetent as a witch? If her spells just fizzled, she could believe the girl just wasn’t trying.

Instead, they failed spectacularly, and often messily, like her recent attempt to transform the rabbit. Perhaps she could get some answers out of Boris, even though she doubted he was intelligent enough to even realize he had them.

When she felt her magic to be at its peak, Thordis opened the book to the chapter titled Speaking to the Dead. The incantation woke the dead, so waking Boris should be a piece of cake. It also provided translation services. After all, why try to speak to the dead if they can’t understand what you’re saying?

“Þat kann ec iþ tolpta,

ef ec se a tre vppi

vafa virgilná:

sva ec rist oc i rvnom fác,

at sa gengr gvmi

oc melir viþ mic.”

But nothing happened. She slowed down and spoke the spell with precision, putting as much magical force as she could into it. Finally, she felt the spell break through the barrier.

“Boris, do you hear me?”


“Good. Your daughter is having…trouble becoming a proper witch. Of course, I believe it’s your fault; well, maybe fault is too strong a word. I suspect her poor performance has to do with having a mundane father, but now I feel…something more.”

Excerpt from Midnight Oil 

(Kat is getting a ride from her Orca friend, Salmon. She doesn’t want anybody to see her riding a whale

Kat kept a lookout for any boats between Salmon and the Norwegian shore. He’d have to carry her to land, instead of dropping her offshore as he had the last time they’d traveled to Norway. She was worried someone would spot a girl riding on a whale’s back and get a little too curious. 

She smacked the heel of her hand on her forehead. “Duh, Kat! I keep forgetting I can cast spells.” She mentally ran through the list of spells she knew. “Where is that invisibility spell?” she muttered.  Recalling the spells in Old Runic, the magical language, she still had to translate them to reveal the use of each. The spells neatly cataloged themselves in her memory for fast recall. Unfortunately, they alphabetized by the Old Runic characters, which she had a hard time remembering. Finding the ‘Invisibility’ section wasn’t that easy.

Kat finally found the spell cataloged under îsaz. “Ice? What does…? Oh, I get it. Ice is clear…invisibility…okay.” Retrieving the entire Old Runic spell, she cleared her throat and began:

“Ni’s sólu sótt ok ni îsaz stæin skorinn.

Ni læggi îsaz mannR nækðan, niþ rinnR,

Ni viltiR mænnR læggi ax îsaz.”

Lots of ice in that spell. Kat hoped she’d pronounced every word correctly and didn’t just doom herself and Salmon to a life as ice cubes. In a few seconds, the top of Salmon’s head faded. At first, she thought he was diving but didn’t feel any downward motion. The ultralight turned misty and then disappeared. Holding up her arm, her stomach fluttered with excitement. She couldn’t see it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Author Marion Webb-DeSisto

Today's guest is Author Marion Webb-DeSisto. Please join me in welcoming Marion today.
Marion Webb-De Sisto was born and grew up in England, but spent many years working and raising her family in the USA. After taking early retirement in 1999, she was finally able to find time to write and began pursuing a life-long dream. Marion believes her writing career was inspired by her passion for reading from a very early age. She describes herself as a people watcher. The duality that exists within each person fascinates this author. She uses her many years of working and communicating with people as a blueprint for 'fleshing out' her fictional characters. Marion’s Fantasy novels are filled with angels, demons and mythical creatures, while her non-fiction books offer information on metaphysical subjects. At present, she lives in the Greater London Area of England with her American husband. Visit Marion at:
Final Retribution: Book Three of the Angelic Chronicles
Samael’s hand moved up to her hair and removed the comb. As her long tresses draped around her shoulders, he informed, “I have no desire to further discuss the Source. Instead, let me show you how pleased I am to have you back here with me.” He tilted her chin, brought his face close to hers and thought-whispered, “Do you know how to kiss, Angel Manah?"
Now, pure panic took hold of Manah. Angels had told her about the different ways in which humans expressed affection, and she had seen Toa and Belu kiss. Therefore, she knew it was an intimate action. The seraph squirmed away from the archangel, pushing against his arms and wings, trying desperately to get off his lap. “Let me go, Lord Samael! I know how humans kiss and I do not want you to do that to me.”

He kept a tight hold on her with one hand while he cradled her head with the other. As his face drew close, Samael declared, “But I wish to kiss you, my little angel.” He slightly tilted his head and his lips touched hers. At first she could barely feel any contact, and then suddenly there was probing pressure. Manah wanted to fight against this unfamiliar intimacy, but as it continued she became a part of it. She pressed her mouth against his and was consumed by waves of unleashed emotion. Her lips parted, as did his, and she felt his tongue exploring the contours of her mouth. The angel’s consciousness screamed at her to stop, but she had never before felt so blissful. Manah was trapped by the closeness they were sharing.
The ardent kiss continued on until the archangel finally lifted his mouth from hers and, looking steadily into her eyes, he remarked, “That was even more pleasurable than I could have imagined. I believe I have awakened a passion within you, little angel. We are well-suited to be companions.”
Suddenly, a full realization of what had just happened filled Manah’s thoughts. She had revealed her inner desire for this evil archangel. He now knew she felt drawn to him and it could prove disastrous. She must try to convince him that what she had offered was not genuine, but was instead a result of some form of sorcery by him. Manah almost thought-screamed, “Let me go! You have beguiled me with your archangelic magic. I cannot imagine anything more repulsive than kissing such an evil being. You must have cast an enchantment upon me.”
The first archangel appeared shocked. He opened his wings and released his hold on her. As she jumped up, he declared, “I have practiced no sorcery on you. My kiss was a true reflection of my feelings for you and I thought you were responding in kind. I did not know you think of me as repulsive. On both occasions, when you have visited me, I have attempted to show how much I care about you. I know I have perpetrated much wickedness, but my interest in you is real and has no hidden motivation.”
Samael’s thought-words seemed honest and she wanted to apologize for her harshness. Yet she feared he would wish to hold her, again, if she did. Manah snatched her comb from his open lap, pulled back her long tresses and secured them with the hair adornment. She sat back down on the chair and replied, “I cannot accept what you have stated as truth. You are devious and deceitful so why should I believe you? If you try, again, to behave so intimately with me, I shall immediately end this visit, my lord.”

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome Author Barbara Ehrentreu

Today as my guest I have YA author Barbara Ehretreu.
Barbara, a retired teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Writing K-12 and seventeen years of teaching experience lives with her family in Stamford, Connecticut. When she received her Masters degree she began writing seriously. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara’s first YA novel, was inspired by Paula Danziger. Barbara is a NY Literature Examiner for with several articles for them. Her blog, Barbara’s Meanderings,, is networked on both Facebook and Blog Catalog. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children's story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online She writes book reviews for and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity Café. She is a member of SCBWI. Writing is her life

Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn’t help. When she is paired for a math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain. With Carolyn’s crush on Jennifer’s hunky junior quarterback, Brad her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school. When Jennifer is the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer’s silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can’t be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to spend the night to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer’s secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer’s secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?

     Feeling my old hatred of gym, I glance across the locker room and see Jennifer in red designer shorts and a tight sleeveless shirt to match. She's standing in front of the only mirror in the room turning back and forth.

     Becky and I slide into our loose camp shorts and a T-shirt, and once they're on, we race onto the gym floor. Always better to be early for gym the first day. You never knew what kind of teacher you'd have. My athletic ability is zero, so I don’t take chances. Once I was a few minutes late, and the gym teacher in middle school made me run around the gym ten times. It took me the whole gym period.

     Becky and I sit on the low seats in the bleachers, but Jennifer and her group saunter into the gym and choose the highest seats avoiding the rest of us. Miss Gaylon, the gym teacher introduces herself and gives us a few minutes until the last stragglers come from the locker room. For those few minutes, I almost feel comfortable. My breathing returns to normal. I hear giggles from Jennifer and her group, but I ignore it.

     "Maybe it won't be so bad this year, Carolyn."
     Becky always tries to cheer me up now. This wasn’t true a few years ago. I had to cheer her up a lot. Becky’s brothers are just turning five, and they’re both in kindergarten. Her mom remarried after being divorced for ten years. Becky was just getting used to her new stepfather when her mom got pregnant. I remember how miserable Becky was the first year of middle school when her mom spent so much time with her twin brothers and didn’t have enough time to help Becky with her homework. Luckily, Becky’s stepfather is a history teacher, so she got very interested in history and current events.

     "Right, Becky, and maybe I'll learn to be a gymnast in ten minutes. Reality check, remember last year?"
     "Okay, I'm hoping it won't be so bad."
     "You mean like the dentist finding you only have one cavity and filling it the same day?"

     "You’re so lame, Carolyn. Since we're all older, maybe she'll treat us differently. People change over the summer you know."

     "Look at her, Becky."

     Becky turns to look over at the group at the top of the bleachers and then turns back to look me in the eye. “You know you have to put that stupid day behind you.”

     I pretend not to know what she’s talking about. “What stupid day?”

     Like I don’t remember every detail.

     “The zip line day.”
     “Oh, that day,” I say with a combination grimace and smile. “The day I wound up having to climb off the platform. I wanted to bore a hole into the ground so I wouldn’t have to walk past them but couldn’t, and everyone screamed at me: ‘Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.’”
     “You have to admit it was funny the way the gym teacher ran up the ladder like a squirrel to rescue you. Everyone laughed at how stupid she looked. Jennifer got the whole class going with that ridiculous ‘breathe, Carolyn, breathe.’” Becky looks behind her to Jennifer. “You know I wanted to run over and punch her, but I couldn’t because I was still on the platform, and it was my turn to go.”
      “Yeah, if I had a few more minutes, I would have been able to get up the courage to grip the zip line and hook myself to it. Stupid teacher didn’t give me a chance. This not breathing thing when I get nervous really sucks.”
Becky nods because she knows me so well.

     “So then Jennifer started with that horrible chant, and of course, the whole class followed her, like always.” My eyes fill with tears as I remember, and my breathing is getting worse by the minute.
      “I thought it was a dumb idea to do ropes course stuff in school. We did it at my camp the summer before, and no one was forced to do it. Anyone could get nervous with Jennifer in front of them,” Becky comforts me.
     I continue talking as if I’m in a trance. “Remember how last year whenever I ran into Jennifer she would whisper ‘breathe, Carolyn, breathe,’ so no one could hear it except me. Once she did it just before I had to go up in front of the class in math. Sometimes she would do it in front of everyone and, of course, get a big laugh while I wanted to turn into a piece of furniture.”

     Becky grabs my arm. “Do we have to go back over this again? You need to forget about it.” She takes her hand away from my arm as I continue to speak.
      “Becky, I can’t. The thing is it’s this bad movie in my brain looping the same horrible scenes. The funny thing is, most of the time, she would ignore me. I would never know what she was going to do. You have to admire someone so single-minded she managed to get to me at just the right time.
You remember don’t you? And today did you see how she wore the same outfit as me? It’s spooky.”

     My funny breathing returns as Miss Gaylon tells us to line up on the yellow line alphabetically. I hope there will be someone to go between Jennifer and me. No luck. Jennifer is going to be behind me all year. I hold my breath. I couldn't stand more of the same this year. I pray for the day to end soon. A glance at my new watch shows me fifteen more minutes left of the period. Is Miss Gaylon's voice getting lower? What is that pounding in my ears?
Jennifer turns to face me, and I hear, "Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Then my world turns black.
     The hard topics of bullying, self-centeredness, serious health issues some young girls deal with, and so forth was all told so well I could go on and on, but I don't want to give away spoilers. The story left me smiling, certain more teenagers are actually like Carolyn, Jennifer and the rest, capable of doing the right thing, and because of that this novel is on my treasure and re-read pile. In all honesty, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is one of the best novels about teenagers I've read. AMAZON REVIEWER...READ FULL REVIEW
     Author Barbara Ehrentreu takes readers both adult and teen inside the mind of two young girls: Carolyn and Jennifer in her outstanding debut novel "If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor." Ehrentreu brings to light the pressures and issues teens face when trying to fit in, dealing with bullies, weight problems and just surviving in high school. This is one novel that all teens and YA's should read. AMAZON REVIEWER...READ FULL REVIEW

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Author PJ Sharon

I am excited to welcome YA Author PJ Sharon to my blog today. PJ's Heaven is for Heroes is one of the most powerful books I read last year. Though she is a YA (Young Adult) author her stories cross over and have many adult fans. Her new release On Thin Ice is just as powerful.

Author Bio
PJ Sharon is author of several independently published, contemporary young adult novels, including HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES. Her stories have garnered several contest finals, including two awards for ON THIN ICE, and a place in the prestigious Valley Forge Romance Writers and the Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm contest for SAVAGE CINDERELLA.
Writing romantic fiction for the past six years, and following her destiny to write Extraordinary stories of an average teenage life, PJ is a member of RWA, CTRWA, and YARWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband and her dog in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.
PJ's website: PJ Sharon.

Excerpt from On Thin Ice
     Miss Montgomery sat up and put her feet on the floor, rolling her chair in behind the desk as she leaned toward me. She folded her hands and rested them on her desk as if she were going to say a prayer or maybe send me to the principal’s office, that thing that adults do when they expect you to listen up and pay attention. Her gray eyes peered at me hard. “Anything you say to me is confidential, you know that, right?”
     “Okay.” I folded my arms across my middle and leaned back further in my chair, studying the stacks of files on her desk.
     “I want to help you, Penny, but I need you to be honest with me. Can you do that?” She had blue-gray eyes that seemed ancient and wise, the kind you wanted to trust.
     I hesitated. “I’ll try.” Since lying hadn’t served me well recently, maybe some truth wasn’t a bad idea.
     “Good. Do you know why you’re suffering from bulimia?”
     Her words hit me like a slap. My heart raced and my stomach flopped over like a landed fish. “What do you mean?”
     Her sad smile returned and she sighed. “You know what I mean. You are rail thin and you have scars on the backs of your knuckles from forcing yourself to vomit.”
     “I don’t…” My fists curled and I wanted to crawl under the desk.
     “Do you want me to tell you what I think?”
     Speechless and as scared as I’d ever been, I hesitated and then slowly nodded. The truth was I didn’t know why for sure. There were all the usual suspects. My skating coach telling me I was fat, my mother putting all the expectation of her unfulfilled dreams on my shoulders, my father not ever having told me he loved me, blah, blah, blah. But down deep, I didn’t know why I couldn’t be strong enough to fight against all those things and simply choose to be healthy and normal. It wasn’t like I didn’t know what I was doing, but stopping now seemed like a failure somehow. I thought I had it all under control…but…maybe…
     “I think that you don’t believe you deserve to be alive, to be happy and healthy.”
     My breath caught in my throat and I stayed very still, letting her words sink in, trying them on like a new skin. In that one sentence, I realized that she’d spoken the truth in a nutshell. No lie could cover it. I couldn’t argue or smile my way out of it. Whatever line of defense that remained in place crumbled.
     “Maybe I don’t,” I whispered. I leaned forward and lowered my head into my hands. When I looked up, my eyes found hers, “My mother is dying. What am I supposed to do?”
     “Do you want to die too?” Her face had lost any hint of amusement and I thought how she looked like an avenging angel at that moment, serious and on a mission. Her golden hair flowed in waves over her tanned shoulders, those ancient blue-gray eyes seeing past my flesh and into my soul.
     “I…I don’t know. Maybe it would be easier.” My head dropped down again and my forehead rested on my palms. Tears dripped onto the carpet below me, as steady as a leaky faucet. The knot in my stomach loosened—such a small release. The truth shall set you free. The words rang clear and true in my head like a lighthouse bell clanging in the fog. I’d been a prisoner, living in a cell where the four walls were made up of darkness and lies. And she had opened a door. A tiny crack of light seeped through. I had the sense that I simply had to step through to the other side to find the light that would lead me to safety.
     Fear reached up from deep inside me and gripped my heart, choking my words, and trying to keep me locked in that dark room. I knew then that if I stayed there, I would die. I lifted my head from my hands and said with as much conviction as I could, “No. I don’t want to die.”

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Friday, February 3, 2012

The Excitement Builds

Dear Readers,
I have just been offered a contract from MuseItUp Publishing for the second Book in the Jake Carrington Series, Burn in Hell. The publisher said and I quote, "I love your feisty characters and my editors love your writing style..." I'm still floating after that comment, Thank you, Lea.

The proposed release date for Burn in Hell is January 2013. I've already started book three Mated for Life, A Jake Carrington Mystery. Can't wait to see what Jake is up to in this book.

The release date for the first book in the series, If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery is September 2012.

Next week on Thursday, February 9th my guest will be YA author PJ Sharon. Have a great weekend.