Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Guest, Vonnie Hughes

Well, let me just say that I am a huge fan of Vonnie Hughes' Regency Romance novels! And look! Her latest is a thriller! And it is set in New Zealand too -- one of my must-visit locales. I'm going to quit exclaiming now and let you all read the excerpt. Very tingly!

Lethal Refuge
by Vonnie Hughes 

Who can you trust if you can’t trust your own mother? Through the clammy fog, Celie Francis hears the chilling message. “I know who you are, Celie. I know where you live.” And in the terrifying aftermath she reconnects with her dysfunctional family in ways she had never imagined.

Abused and abandoned as a child, Célie Francis knows better than to trust anyone. But after she witnesses a murder, she's placed in the Unit "New Zealand's witness protection program" where she's expected to trust strangers with her life. It's psychologist Brand Turner's job to ease witnesses into their new identities, not to protect them, but Célie stirs feelings in him that are far from professional.

When it appears someone is leaking critical information that could endanger Célie, Brand will do anything to protect her. But first he has to convince her to trust him. Adrift in a frightening world, Célie would like to believe the handsome psychologist is everything he seems, but as witnesses are murdered and danger swirls around them, Célie must decide "can she trust Brand with her life?

Célie Francis ran faster than she ever had in her life. Fingers of fog rolling in from the sea grabbed at her as her feet alternately flew and stuttered over the uneven pavement of the ocean road. Where was he? How much time did she have?

The wash of the sea was a calm counterpoint to her harsh, frantic breathing. Above the sound of her thudding feet, the shriek of a bird pierced the air.

No, not a bird. Something was squeaking. Occy’s old bicycle. He had found her.

Faster, Célie, faster, shouted the little man on the treadmill in her mind.

I can’t, she sobbed. Fancy the consequences? No God, no! Then run faster. But her aching legs could not obey.

And on the roadway the relentless squeak, squeak kept pace with her. Frantically she zigzagged, seeking a haven in the fog. It was barely dawn on the lonely North Auckland cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.

No help anywhere. Have to hide. Have to hide. Her shoes slapped a rhythm. Salty sweat stung her eyes. Ignore it. The slap of her running shoes echoed then died in the mist.


Her brain, tumbling in an endless whirl of fear and futile questions asked—-why Occy? Why had he killed a man this time?

Up ahead loomed a deep grey cloud of mist. Thank you, God. She blasted into the fog bank and the squeaking receded behind her.

This is your chance, the little man said. Veering off the sidewalk, she streaked across a pristine lawn and crouched behind a lavender bush. Her chest heaving, she struggled to gulp another breath of sodden air.

Squeeeak. He was back. This was it. Eyes streaming, she curled into a ball on the cold ground and waited.

Something yellow zinged past her face and tickled her arm. A needle-sharp sting pierced her elbow, then another. Bees, irritated by her invasion, were trying to drive her out. No you won’t. What’s out there is a lot worse than what you can do, bees.

As the pinpricks tingled and burned, she pressed her lips together so hard that the muscles on the side of her face ached. Louder now, the squeaking advanced and receded. He was casting up and down, looking for her.

Please, please...

A sibilant whisper reached her through the clammy fog. “I know who you are, Célie. I know where you live.”

Available in both paperback and e-book from: The Wild Rose Press Amazon

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Guest, Samantha Combs

Today I have fellow Musa YA author Samantha Combs in the house!

I’m a Southern California author, with 8 published books, 4 paranormals and 4 horrors.  I’m a wife, a mom, a Risk Manager, a sister and a daughter.  I’m a life-juggler.  My blog at www.samanthacombswrites.blogspot.com is a hodge-podge of it all and a great place to get “aspiring writer” tips.  I also have a muse; a cocky, arrogant, diva-like entity named Musina.  Her greatest delight is making me stay up writing till 3am without giving me a CLUE where the story is going.  She’s an evil bitch, but I kind of love her.

Tell us about your book.

More than any other book or story I have written, Waterdancer is the most autobiographical.  While there are parts of “me” in all my works, this book takes the biggest pieces from my teenhood.  And I am more like Bailey that I would care to admit.  New to the area, the school, and in a new marriage of her mother’s, Bailey is just trying to find her place in the world.  It doesn’t help that as she approaches her 16th birthday, a super secret family trait begins to show itself.  The story is about how she deals with that, and rebuilds relationships in her life she felt long past resurrection.

If you could only have one vice what would it be?

Gluttony.  I would like to be able to eat anything I want and not have any repercussions.

Who is your favorite character from one of your books and why?

I am partial to a cocky, confident chick in my 2nd book.  Sixx is the main character’s best friend, but she has a reckless passion for life and not caring what anyone else thinks of her.  Her confidence is intoxicating.  She reminds me of a friend from my teens.

What are you working on now?

My 9th book, The Deadlies, is with a publisher, hopefully to be accepted.  My 10th book, Wingspan, is a departure from what I normally write.  Dystopic in a way, of course paranormal, with lots of action, I am writing my first car chase, my first government conspiracy and *gasp* my first sex scene.  It is a challenge.  It was a NaNoWriMo project but I abandoned it when my father-in-law fell ill.  Back at it, I am more than 2/3 through and shocked daily by the plot twists and turns my Musina is taking me on.

 What’s your favorite quote?

An old Persian proverb:  Now that the barn has burned down, I can see the moon.  It’s a take on the “silver lining” thing and has sailed me through more of my own Bermuda Triangles than I can name.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration as soon as I open my eyes in the morning.  I am a marinater.  This means I roll things around in my head until they gel.  Like jello.  Liquid at first, but given time and patience, super tasty jello.  And diamonds, hiding inside the rock.  Get it?

by Samantha Combs

For Bailey Wasserman, being Bailey has recently become an incredible challenge. It's not enough that she must come to terms with her mother's new husband, their new life, and a new surfer boyfriend. When she meets her real father for the first time, she discovers a secret family trait that will alter the course of her own life and those she loves…maybe forever.

Bailey and her mom have always met life’s challenges as a team of two, more like best friends than mother and daughter. But her mom’s recent marriage has changed all of that, and having her little brother Landry is the only good Bailey can find in that union.
The move to wealthy Del Mar from their humble beginnings has turned Bailey sour, until a chance meeting with surf hottie Jack West. Then Bailey's father, with his annoying Zen-surfer lingo and a talking turtle he claims is no less than her spirit guardian, reenters her life and threatens the only relationship Bailey thinks is working in her world.
She soon finds out that’s not all his arrival will do. His presence and their shared family trait could ultimately force Bailey to make a decision that will alter the course of her own life and those she loves…forever.

Check out all EIGHT of Samantha's books!


About Samantha Combs:
I am a Southern California author with eight published books, the Global Ebook Award-winning debut title: SPELLBOUND, currently in print and in production with Audible.com, and GHOSTLY, both YA paranormals, SPELLBOUND's sequel, EVERSPELL, a middle grade horror called THE DETENTION DEMON, and three adult horror collections, TEETH AND TALONS, WAY PAST MIDNIGHT, and HELLOWEEN. WATERDANCER, a new YA fantasy, released in September of 2012. I enjoy writing YA paranormal romance and supernatural fantasy, but I also dabble in the horror and sci-fi genres as well, and writing for the Middle Grade audience. I have plans for many more books in the future!

When I'm not writing, I work full time and enjoy spending time with my husband and two children. My guilty pleasures include reality television, the Food Network channel and shoes. I truly believe I can accomplish anything if I have the right pair of shoes. And I adore totally inappropriate earrings.

I love writing and publishing my work and I am in awe of the technological advances of our lives. Ereaders and similar gadgets are bringing the written word to a generation that might never have discovered books otherwise and every time I see a kid pick one up to read something it fills me with joy to be a small part of that process. If a child can connect with literature because he or she did so electronically, a connection still was made. I am excited to see what our world has in store for literature and thrilled to be along for that ride.