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Friday, September 30, 2011

Interview with Author Nancy Holzner

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Author of the
Deadtown series, Nancy Holzner on her promotional
tour for Deadstone.

At the end of the interview there will be a link to take
part in the giveaway Nancy is holding.

A tour-wide giveaway- readers can enter at each stop.
Nancy is offering 5 book giveaways- 5 winners.
Each of five winners gets his/her choice of a signed copy of Deadtown, Hellforged, or Bloodstone.
This giveaway is open to US only

1. Who is Nancy Holzner, really?

I'm a former medievalist who's also worked as a high-school teacher, college admissions counselor, copyeditor, technical writer, and corporate trainer. I grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts, but I've also lived in Boston, London, Alabama, and the Finger Lakes region of New York (my current home). I'm a dog person, although I don't have a dog right now. I like reading, wine, going for long walks, and listening to classical music. I'm more of a night owl than an early bird, although I seem to do my best writing in the morning. I drink a lot of coffee.

2. Where did you get your inspiration from for the Deadtown series?

The inspiration came from several places. I was reading the blog of an agent who was listing some of her pet peeves in query letters, and one of the things she said was that she didn't like the phrase “So-and-so wrestles with his own personal demons”--because who else would wrestle with your personal demons besides you? I decided to take her rhetorical question literally and came up with the idea of a character whose job it is to kill other people's personal demons. (There have been days when I've wished there was a “Personal Demon Extermination” listing in the Yellow Pages!)
I knew I wanted my main character to be a shapeshifter, and I found the legend I wanted for her foundational mythology in the Mabinogion, a medieval collection of early Welsh tales and legends. Vicky is descended from Ceridwen a witch/goddess who could change her form into any shape she wanted. I chose Boston for a setting because I'd lived there and thought it would be fun to see what happened if that city suddenly had to acknowledge the existence of paranormals in their midst.
When I put together those three elements—a shapeshifting demon slayer descended from Ceridwen and living in Boston—the story started to emerge in my mind.

3.  Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?

I think that writer's block happens when a writer loses his or her perspective on the story. I tend to get stuck when I take too high-level a view, like I'm way above the characters looking down at them instead of down on the ground with them, experiencing what they're experiencing. To get back into the story, I'll reread the previous scene, asking myself what the characters are thinking and feeling, and taking notes. When I'm clear on what's going on with the characters at the start of the scene that's been giving me trouble, I can usually adjust the scene and get things moving again.

4. Bloodstone is the third in the series, do you have a fourth planned?

There will be a fourth book, and I'm putting the finishing touches on the manuscript now. It's called Darklands, and it's scheduled for release next summer. In it, Vicky travels to Annwn, the Welsh realm of the dead, to prevent the return of an old enemy.  I hope to continue the series for at least one or two more books after Darklands.

5. While working on a story, do you type directly onto the computer or are there notebooks and plot ideas jotted down in various places?

I work directly on the computer. For years, I freelanced as a copyeditor, and most of the editing work I did was electronic, not on paper. I got very used to reading and writing and editing on a screen. These days, I do most of my writing on my Asus Eee netbook, which is small and very portable,  and has a long battery life, so I can write wherever I happen to be.

6.  What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/ editing?

I listen to opera. I'm a real opera fanatic, especially Italian opera. I can't listen to opera when I write, because it demands my full attention—and sometimes makes me cry. I always say that, when I listen to opera, if I'm crying I know I'm having a good time.

7.  If you had one piece of advice for all those writers sitting out there procrastinating about making that first submission, what would it be?

When you say that someone is procrastinating, I'm assuming that  the writing is in fact ready to go—that it's been workshopped and critiqued and revised and polished and is truly as good as the writer can make it. If that's the case, the thing to keep in mind is that rejection is part of the process. All writers experience it. When a rejection arrives, think, “OK, this is part of living a writer's life” and (this part is important) send out the piece of writing to the next agent or editor on your list. A combination of care (that is, producing polished work) and persistence will eventually lead to publishing success.

8. Tell us about the Deadtown series in a paragraph or less.

Shapeshifter Victory Vaughn lives in Boston's Deadtown section, along with her vampire roommate; her teenage zombie apprentice; her on-again/off-again boyfriend, a workaholic werewolf lawyer; and several thousand other paranormals. Vicky spends her nights killing other people's personal demons for a living. But bigger, nastier threats are looming over Boston—and to conquer them, Vicky must face the demons of her own past.

9. What is your favourite scene in the series so far? 

I can't say that I have a single favorite scene. Some of the scenes that have been the most fun to write are those that take place in Creature Comforts, a monster bar in the New Combat Zone, which is the no-man's land between the checkpoints into Deadtown and human-controlled Boston. I also really enjoy writing scenes that show Vicky entering clients' dreams to kill the demons that cause nightmares—anything can happen in a dream.

Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today, Nancy!  J

Thank you very much for inviting me to stop by!

By Nancy Holzner
Book 3 Deadtown Series
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release date: September 27, 2011
ISBN-10: 044102100X
ISBN-13: 978-0441021000

Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.

As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…

Follow this link to enter the draw:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stop by Tomorrow

Stop by tomorrow for an interview with
author of the Deadtown Series, Nancy Holzner.


On the news front, I have a month long
tour coming up for both Dreams and Curses

The October Newsletter is also up

Dreams is now available in print!

And because today is Thursday as in Excerpt Thursday and I've remembered that it is..
Here's an excerpt from the third story in Dreams - After the Dream

“Okay.”  Tess tried not to think about being in here in the dark.  “What’s ten feet?”
“This comes out ten feet up in the air.  Dom’s working his way up to it, or was until I told him about the grate, he’s gone back to the truck to get something to get through it.”
Her throat suddenly felt tight.  “How long?”
“Few minutes. Can you zap us out of here?”
She fought the panic that started with her chest tightening.  “No. I still can’t feel it.  I don’t know if I can do much longer, Brody.” His body moved closer to hers.
“Hey, I’m right here.  We got this, Tess.” 
His breath brushed up against her cheek, making her realize how close he was now.  “I’m trying. As long as I was moving I was distracted and didn’t think about it, but now . . .” she felt his breath against her mouth.  Where the idea came from she’d figure out later.  “Distract me,” she whispered, her lips brushing against his.  Before she could think about it any further she kissed him quickly.  He didn’t pause for a second before his mouth covered hers in a rough kiss.  Heat replaced the fear she was feeling as his hard mouth took control over her own and demanded she focus only on him.
With a growl he lifted his mouth from hers long enough to pull her tight into his body and roll to his back. One hand grasped the back of her head as his other slid down over her hip to press her body into his.  When his mouth attacked hers again, she could only kiss him back with the same fevered movement.  She didn’t care then where they were, only the feel of his hard body beneath hers and the wicked things his tongue was doing to hers.  Lifting her mouth, she drew in a breath but before she could find his mouth again, his lips moved down over her throat until he found that sensitive spot that turned her bones into mush.  Gasping, she gripped his hair and held onto him.
With a groan, he dropped his head and moved his hand away from her.  She wasn’t sure what he was doing until he cleared his throat.  “Yeah, got it.”  Reaching down he depressed the switch and let out a slow breath.  “Dom will be up here in about two minutes.”
Where they were and what they were supposed to be doing rushed back at her.  “Oh.”  Lifting away from the heat of his body, she moved back to lie on her side in the tiny space.  She listened to how hard he was breathing and thought he may have cursed a few times under his breath, but she couldn’t be sure with how loud her own breathing was.
Brody moved around onto his side and placed his mouth right beside her ear.  “This isn’t finished, Tessa.”
It sounded like a warning more than a statement.  Keeping her voice quiet so Dom wouldn’t hear if he was near the top she leaned her face into his throat.  “We work together. . .”
“And so do Dom and Jenn.”
“They have that mind connection—we don’t . . .”
“Oh, we have a connection.” He grasped her hip and ground his still hard body into hers.  “It’s just much more on the physical plane.”

Jacqueline Paige

Friday, September 23, 2011

Winner of Dreams

The free copy goes to Vampsrule!!!
I'll be emailing you shortly.

Don't forget all that commented will also
be entered in the New Releases contest
draw for the prize package.
From August 25 to October 10th any that comment 
(and leave an email address) whether on my regular 
blog of during a guest post or interview will be entered 
in my New Release Contest!  I have a basket of prizes 
to give away to one lucky winner.   
In the basket I've managed to fit the following:  
Book tote  
signed copy of Dreams 
Book marks  
CD with PDF of sneak peaks 

Jacqueline Paige

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sign me up for a little piece of serenity please

I completely missed Monday - again!   I did get home
on time from my little escape, but then Monday morning
arrived and I was lost in the getting up to speed at
work all over again.  

Our little break was wonderful, so much so that I didn't want
to come back.  Looking out the window and seeing tranquility
was a hard thing to walk away from.  We've already planned
out return trip for the spring and maybe one during the winter 
if life allows it.

Below are a few pictures of the silence I had to leave behind...

Back to reality here ...  I dived right into edits when I finished
unpacking, nothing kicks the brain back into work mode like
edits! The second story in Curses - This Ring - is well into being 
transformed into readable and I should have a release date for
that in the next few weeks.

Now onto giving away an e-copy of Dreams ... all you have to do
is comment on this blog (with an email address) to be entered.
I'll draw the winner on Thursday!

The view from our little deck in the morning

From the dock below our deck
(very appropriately named "Clear Lake")

The reflections in the water were like this all day, it was

And now back to my regularly scheduled reality...

Jacqueline Paige

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dreams is now available!

The Kindle version of Dreams is now up on Amazon.
The Print will be available in a few weeks (or sooner).

I'm so excited to have all three stories from A Dream
inside one cover.  After the first two, it felt like the 
story wasn't complete, so the third story After the
Dream had to be written.

I'm taking a short three day holiday for a much needed rest after the summer madness and writing craze.  I'll be back on Monday and then I'll be giving away an e-copy of Dreams here on the blog.

A Dream series - three steamy tales of romance, suspense with unexpected paranormal flares
IN OUR DREAM:  She’s a small town cop.  He’s an inmate undercover.  They meet in a dream.

FROM A DREAM: She wakes up in a dark hole, alone.  He’ll stop at nothing to find her.

Brody believes he’s a normal man.  Tess has felt like a freak most of her life- except when she’s around one man.

Jacqueline Paige

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Interview with Author Rachel Firasek

Today I'm interviewing Author Rachel Firasek
while on tour for her series Curse of the Phoenix.

  1. Who is Rachel Firasek?
I think I’m still trying to figure this out. I’ve had to answer this question on most interviews and each time it changes. Today, I’m a referee, a chaperone and a barmaid. It’s Sunday. My daughter has a boy visiting, my son likes to wrestle with said bf, and my husband is watching football. I turned in my last project so I find myself without stress today. Lol.
                But, for a more formal bio, I’m a 30+ native Texan, scratching my place in the world on a     small spread of land. I have three kids, a wonderful husband, and a great network of friends.  Oh, and I write stories.

  1. Where did you get your inspiration from for the Curse of the Phoenix series?
I play with tarot and oracle cards for inspiration. When I decided to start a new series, the first card I came to was the phoenix. Naturally, that led to research and I found Osiris. There is an amazing story behind that god in the Egytian mythology.

  1. Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Not normally, but if I do, I try to keep writing. Even if it looks like this.
Boy meets girl, blah…blah…blah…. Girl is a witch, blah…. Blah…..
Seriously, I’ve had stories with long stretches of work like this. Usually, somewhere in one of the blahs, I’ll find a spark to go on.

  1. The Last Rising is the first in the series, what’s lined up next?  When will we see it released?
The Last Awakening is next and is due out in November. It’s Ari’s and Grey’s story. I can’t wait to share it with you.

  1. While working on a story, do you directly onto the computer or are there notebooks and plot ideas jotted down in various places?
Yeah, I’m so not a plotter. I will keep a scratch pad nearby. If I need to research something, I’ll jot it down and keep going. But, mostly I just have my laptop with me.

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/ editing?
Hmmm… I like the occasional scary movie. I’m a big horror buff---my own personal adrenaline rush. I’ll read for pleasure. I play ball with me kids and hubs. Pretty much the normal stuff.

  1. If you had one piece of advice for all those writers sitting out there procrastinating about making that first submission, what would it be?
The first rejection is the hardest. Get it over with. After the first one, they get easier, so quit fretting about it and just do it. You’ll never know if you’ve written the next “great American novel” if you don’t try.

  1. Please share your favourite scene with us from The Last Rising with us.
Oh, this is easy. It was actually an added scene. There’s this one really hot exchange between Ice and Turner in an icecream freezer. Hot, cold, sexy Texan, and a woman that can touch the sun. You have to read the book, to find out if they melt the ice.

Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today, Rachel!  J

Thank you for having me. It’s been so much fun answering your questions. I hope everyone has a great time and enjoys The Last Rising.


Title: The Last Rising
Author: Rachel Firasek
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: September 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-28-2
Mobi ISBN: 978-1-937044-29-9

Book Description:

After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary Phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment.

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.


“Why is it I can’t get you out of my mind? You say we haven’t met, but my dreams remember you.”

Oh yeah, he’d dreamt of a woman for months now. She resembled his dream woman in so many ways, but he’d never seen his fantasy lover’s face.

She struggled against his clutch. “Mr. Alcott, I assure you we haven’t met. And for your other question, I don’t know why, but you need to release me.”

Why did that quivering bottom lip make him suspect she was lying? Turner rested his forehead against the top of hers and sucked in her scent. “Please, tell me I’m not losing my mind. Tell me you don’t visit me every night and I’ll promise to leave you alone. I just need to know.”

He sounded like a crazy man but she had to tell him. She was the only one who could put a stop to his mind’s constant fantasizing, and this feeling of déjà vu every time he saw her.

Ice wriggled in his arms, her thighs chafing against his slacks. “Mr. Alcott, you need to let me go.” She glanced around his shoulder. “Brodie is probably staring out that glass window and I would hate for him to get the wrong impression.”

She was right. He needed to get ahold of himself, but he didn’t have the strength to walk away. His hands traveled up and over her shoulders, stalling on her neck. Brushing his thumbs against her jaw, he pressed her head back and stared into hard eyes—no emotion. Couldn’t she see the battle he fought?

He teased the corner of her mouth with his thumb and her breathy gasp pleased him. So, she wasn’t completely immune to him. He dropped his head until his mouth hovered over hers.

“Mr. Alcott—”

“Shhh. I just need a taste of the sunshine.”


Title: The Last Awakening
(Curse of the Phoenix, #2)
Author: Rachel Firasek
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: November 2011
ISBN: 978-1-937044-44-1
Book 3 coming January 2012!

About the Author:

Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales, before she settled on a blending of the two.
Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves.
She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interview with Author Joseph Devon

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Author
Joseph Devon.

While doing a little research about Joseph and his
books, I got lost in his website.  I know many
authors and it's a constant boggle what we should
or shouldn't put on our websites - Joseph has probably
the most spectacular website in all those author sites
I've been to.  Some put too little information, but on
Joseph's - what was supposed to be a quick look ended
up being a long visit while I read through everything - all
of it entertaining!!

1. Who is Joseph Devon?
That’s me!

You probably wanted a little more detail than that, huh? Joseph Devon is a wise-ass who grew up in New Jersey and has an absolute love of anything that can tell him a story. He likes to wear clever t-shirts and jeans. He is very hungry for ribs right now. He plays too many video games. He is described as “very weird” by a lot of his friends, in a good way...he thinks. Someone once called him a subversive and he liked the sound of that, but secretly he doubts he’s cool enough to hold that title. He grew up working in the family scrap yard and appreciates the power of hydraulics, steel, and heat. He is one of many people trying to tame the self-publishing business model into something easily usable by all those writers out there who deserve to have their work find an audience.

He is starting to enjoy writing about himself in the third person.

2. Where did you get your inspiration from for The Matthew and Epp Stories?
A giant purple alien landed in my apartment and handed me a stack of typewritten pages that had the books on them. All I really had to do was enter them into my computer word for word.

No. That’s silly. How would an alien even land in my apartment?

What really happened was that a few years ago I took on a writing project where I wrote a short story every two weeks for a year. By my third story I had zero ideas left. Two weeks is *not* a lot of time to write a short story, or it didn’t seem like it anyway, so I just started throwing crap together. I decided I wanted to try a story where a guy makes a deal with the devil and then things go all wrong. That sort of thing, right? But then that seemed too formulaic and I had already written a story like that in college and I wanted to try something different. So I starting thinking of ways to twist that story idea into something new and I got it into my head where the “devil” character in that set up is actually the good guy. Where the person who brings you troubles is doing it to help you. That’s the core idea of these books. That’s what the main characters do, they’re dead people who stuck around on earth and they give humans trouble and then push them to grow from that trouble instead of crumbling under it.

With that core concept in place the world of Matthew and Epp just started rattling along and getting more and more added to it.

3.  Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
I constantly have problems with writer’s block. I think self-doubt is a pretty common problem for most artists and I’m no exception. Sitting down to an empty page can be terrifying. Annoyingly there’s only one way to get through it that I know of, and that’s to push through and get your writing done. You have to sort of gag that scared voice in your head. There are times when deeper underlying problems with my plot or a character is the problem, and I need to recognize that and figure it out before I go back to writing, but that’s the rarity. Ninety five percent of the time the way to get past writer’s block is to get those first few words written. Then the next few. Then the next few. And so on.

4. I really noticed the covers for your books, they stand out with all of the bright flashy covers.  Where did the idea to use the very effective black and white covers come from?
Ha...that was almost entirely by accident. Well for Probability Angels it was. Putting together a cover isn’t as easy as it seems and I was having some problems with borders and bleed. So at one point I stripped everything out to just the cover image and the words. I was planning on tinkering some more and then re-adding some color but I took one look at the now totally white cover and knew it was perfect. I liked the look and, as you mentioned, going low-key makes it stand out amongst a sea of flashy covers. For Persistent Illusions I already knew I was going to do the same thing so I was able to have a lot of fun finding the perfect picture for that book. I really love that cover.

5. While working on a story, do you type directly onto the computer or are there notebooks and plot ideas jotted down in various places?
I do all the writing for the actual story at my desk on my computer. But sometimes, to figure out a character or plot point, I’ll sit somewhere else with a legal pad and do some free-writing. That’s a great writing exercise. Just write with a pen for an entire page straight through without letting yourself pause and then never read it again. No idea why but for some reason it clears the head. I’m also constantly emailing myself things. A lot of times a perfectly worded quote will pop into my head while I’m out. Smart phones are an awesome tool for writers because I can type it out, send it off to myself, and forget about it. Then when I’m back at work I’ll go over my emails and pull out all these great little nuggets that I wrote while I wasn’t writing.

6.  What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/ editing?
I’m a television junky. There are an astounding number of great shows on nowadays and I can spend a whole rainy Saturday burning through my DVR or Netflix discs. I love photography, though I purposely keep myself from learning to much about it because I have a bad habit of taking things I enjoy and turning them into work. But I have a digital camera and I enjoy wandering around the city and snapping tons of pictures. I like cooking, but don’t get that much opportunity to do it. Cooking for one is kind of boring. And of course there are drinks with friends in New York bars.

7.  If you had one piece of advice for all those writers sitting out there procrastinating about making that first submission or committing to self publish, what would it be?
I don’t know if I would feel comfortable about giving advice to anyone about self-publishing. This is a very raw process right now and I’m constantly changing my site and tweaking things and signing up for the next social media gizmo to try and stay on top of my game. I guess that would be my advice? To keep in mind that it’s still work, there’s no magical publishing machine where you put your book in and it spits money out.

That being said I would absolutely encourage you to get your work out there in some form or another. Get it read, start finding fans. The experience of having my stories loved by complete strangers has been one of the highlights of my life so far. It completes the creative process in a way that I don’t think I can quite explain but can not recommend enough.

8.  Please share your favourite scene with us from Probability of Angels and Persistent Illusions.
I’ve been asked this a lot, but the nice thing is that my favorite scenes are constantly changing so everyone has gotten a fresh answer so far. On the other I have to worry about now I’m over-thinking this.’s see. I’m in a Bartleby sort of mood today. 
This is a minor spoiler but he becomes a bit of a firebug in the earlier parts of Probability Angels. And by that I mean that he’s constantly lighting on fire and incinerating things accidentally when he loses control. He struggles to manage and train this power of his throughout the books. Anyway, there’s a scene when Kyo wants somebody followed from a secret meeting. The meeting is taking place out in the desert, so Kyo plans the meeting near an oil refinery and has Bartleby watch over the meeting while hidden *inside* the refinery’s overflow fire.

I chuckled when I wrote that.

Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today, Joseph!

Blurb for Probability Angels:

Matthew Huntington’s problems seem to keep growing. Not only is he seeing things in garbage cans but his mentor doesn’t think he’s working up to his full potential, his best friend can’t offer any solace but drunken confusion, and his wife is dying in Central Park.

Of course, the fact that Matthew himself died over two decades ago isn’t helping things.

And then things start to really go wrong.

Come explore the world of Matthew and Epp and see what a samurai from
Feudal Japan has to do with the course of modern physics, what a two-thousand year old Roman slave has to do with the summit of Mount Everest and what a dead man from Brooklyn has to do with the fate of the world.

Blurb for Persistent Illusions:

In Probability Angels, we were introduced to the world of Matthew and Epp. Back then, Matthew thought he had his hands full just learning how to be an undead tester of humanity, but then Hector staged an uprising and everything Matthew thought he could take for granted fell apart.

Yet, over the past few months, a strained peace has settled over his world and Matthew is starting to feel like he can finally get back to training at his usual New York haunts.

However, things are more fragile than they appear. Nobody can see the stress lines already clawing away at the new peace. Nobody has guessed the toll that was taken on those at the forefront of their war. And, when a new tester wakes up with the power to possibly unravel the universe...well that's when things really start to get interesting.

Come see how a zombie can protect and serve, a photographic memory can earn you a permanent place on Mount Everest, and a teenage drug addict can hold everyone's fate in her nail-bitten fingers.

Author Bio:

Joseph Devon was born in New Jersey and has been a pioneer in the
field of self-publishing since his first book, The Letter. He is known
for his world-building literary style, instantly accessible characters
and poetic dialogue as well as the "26 Stories in 52 Weeks" writing
project from his website at

Find Joseph on the web:
twitter: @josephdevon