FOR ONCE - A Sky Cove Short Story

FOR ONCE, a Sky Cove short story is FINISHED!

The story takes place sort of "between" ONCE AGAIN (Sky Cove #1) and ONCE AND FOR ALL (Sky Cove #2). Once it's published, it will be labeled as Sky Cove #1.5.

In ONCE AGAIN, we met Layla Bradford, new girl in Sky Cove, Maine, who quickly makes friends with Jessie Spencer. Jessie's a really smart girl, exceptionally good at all things science, and not big into the high school social scene. That is, until her new best friend, Layla, begins dating Sky Cove's most eligible guy, Lucas Ellis. That puts Jessie in close proximity to Lucas's best friend, Will Harlow, another of of Sky Cove's high school superstars. Jessie's harbored a crush on Will for years but figures there's no way he'd ever look twice at her. Fate has other ideas, however, and the phenomenon of reincarnation steps in to help these two overcome the preconceived notions they have about each other... and themselves!

Check back soon to see where you can pick up a copy of FOR ONCE... absolutely FREE!

And the winner is!

Thanks to everyone who emailed answers and participates in our Valentine's Party! It's now time to announce the winner of our virtual gift basket, worth approximately $50! 

And the winner is...

Melissa Keir

And for those who may be wondering, here are the answers to the 5 questions!

Amy's Question:
Where did Amy and her husband get engaged? The answer is, Cafe du Monde in New Orleans!

Marie's Question
What is Eli's father's name and where is he at? The answer is, Joshua Montgomery and he's in a mental institution.

Judy's Question
In the Silver Sage Creek series, Sam Coulson, the Comanche half-breed, had an Indian name. What is it? Answer is, Samarjit (I think)

Sheri's question
What does Nerys do to free herself from Gerard's grasp? Answer is: She pulls out a dagger and slices the ends of her hair away that Gerard had wrapped around his fingers.

Mary's Question
Mary's wedding wasn't your typical wedding, where was it? The Answer is: The were married at a University of Utah Tailgating.

Thanks again for participating!

Romance is in the Air Valentine's Party

It's Valentine's week and there is romance everywhere! To celebrate, several authors are joining together in a "blog party", and it's all about romance and love. Think of your favorite love stories from books, movies, or true experiences. Please post because we'd all love to hear! Here's mine...

Twenty years ago this February, my husband asked me to marry him. It was a very romantic proposal! He'd planned it all out so wonderfully. We were on a trip with our college choir, and during one particular day, we had time to sight-see in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He picked the perfect place... the Cafe du Monde, world famous for beignets and cafe au lait. I'll never forget it. We'd been talking about getting married for months. We KNEW we were meant for each other. It just wasn't "official" yet. So, when he said, "Will you marry me?" my response was "Are you serious?" Because I couldn't tell if it was the "real" proposal or just another instance of us dreaming about the day we'd say "I do". He responded... "Well, let's see." And then he pulled the ring box from his pocket! I was so surprised and elated that I nearly threw up my beignets!

We've been back twice since then, and I'd go back tomorrow if I could!

Here we are the day he proposed in February of 1994.

And here we are again in 2011, the first time we returned.

One lucky person will win this great gift basket, featuring gifts from all the authors! (Approx. $50 value.) Read on find out how to enter!

Marie Higgins: Download of Crazy for You and $5 GC to Amazon
Amy Durham: Download of Dusk and $5 GC (your choice Kindle or Nook)
Mary Martinez: Download of Honky Tonk and $5 GC to Starbucks
Sheri McGathy: Signed Print book Elfen Gold
(Please note the paper copy only applies to addresses within the USA. If you live outside of the United States, you will receive a pdf. copy of Elfen Gold in your e-mail.)
Judy Baker: Download of Better She Die and a $5 GC to Amazon

How can you win? You need to answer the five questions listed below using the links provided. Email your answers to one of the five participating authors. Deadline 2/14/14 midnight. Winner will be announced along with all of the answers on all blogs on 2/15/14. Good luck.

1. What does Nerys do to free herself from Gerard's grasp? Find answer
2. Mary's wedding wasn't your typical wedding, where was it? Find answer
3. What is Eli's father's name and where is he at? Find Answer
4. In the Silver Sage Creek series, Sam Coulson, the Comanche half-breed, had an Indian name. What is it? Find Answer
5. Where did Amy and her husband get engaged? Find Answer

AND... don't forget to post here with your own favorite romantic stories... from books, movies or real life!

Happy Valentine's Week!

BING! An Idea - Guest Author Vicki Batman

Today, I welcome author Vicki Batman! She's here to talk about where story ideas come from and tell us about her new short story collection, "Bug Stuff". 

Welcome Vicki!

Hi, Amy and thank you so much for having me today.

I've written a lot of short stories and am always, always asked, "Where do you get your ideas?"

Sometimes, it's in the smallest things. Sometimes, it's in what someone says. Sometimes, it's taken from a real event and fictionalized.

I've put together a short story collection and each one began in a different way.

In "Bug Stuff," I walked into the kitchen one evening and Handsome remarked there was a big bug in the sink, scurrying around. I said, "Kill it." He said, "I can't. Bug guts everywhere."

My head could not let go of the "Bug guts everywhere," especially from my big strong man who likes to shoot guns and played rugby in college. The phrase had to go in a story.

From "Just Desserts," Handsome dragged me to a political dinner. We met a lot of people we didn't know and probably would never see again. As we moved from the salad course to the entrée, a woman across from us left our table, not to return. The man to her right snagged her plate and ate her food as well as his own.

I was astonished. I had never, ever seen anyone do this in public before. I looked at Handsome and his face had the same look as mine. And the man continued on! He took the dessert from the man to his right after he left the event, too.

This bothered me so much, I had to fictionalize it, too. The results are too funny.

Sometimes, Handsome takes me to his college alumni events. We had just returned from an out of town trip and had one night at home before leaving the next day. With an early departure time, I had to pack quickly.

Once at our destination and in the hotel, I unpacked and discovered I'd forgotten my little black dress!! I had to go shopping in a college town for something to wear because not going was not an option. The result is "With This Ring."

Have you ever wondered where story ideas come from?

Bug Stuff…and other stories Blurb:
Three short and sweet romantic comedies ~

"Just Desserts": a political dinner gone disastrous brings together a reluctant attendee and her handsome seat-mate.

"Bug Stuff": A cute accountant unites with his co-worker to fight a pesky adversary.

"With This Ring": When a wife forgets her little black dress, all turns into something utterly romantic and unforgettable in the end.

Find Bug Stuff…and other stories at Amazon

and other online retailers.

Natalie Wright: Emily's Heart, book 3 of Akasha Chronicles

Today I welcome fellow YA author Natalie Wright, as she discusses her new release, "Emily's Heart". Please read on and get to know a bit about her and her writing. And don't forget to enter her giveaway with the Rafflecopter entry at the bottom of the post!

“Amidst chaos and ruin, can love blossom in Emily's Heart?”

That was the story question I had as I began writing Emily's Heart. What a challenge! On the one hand, I had to create a believable apocalyptic world in contemporary America. On the other hand, I had to write a love story. It's hard for a character to feel romantic when a simple trip to the grocery store can result in death!

When developing my Apocalyptic World, sadly the real-world daily news provided plenty of inspiration. Some of my "Apocalyptic World" chapters are pulled from bits and pieces of news stories I had read. My goal was to create a world that felt so real to readers that they'd put the book down, go outside and worry that they were going to be taken by the "Dark Mob." Good people gone bad and bad people gone worse.

Yet amidst chaos and darkness, I had to find a way for Emily's love story to emerge. Sometimes hard times can bring people closer.

From the Back Cover:

Seventeen-year-old Emily Adams unintentionally unleashed a shadow god's dark energy power into the world and started an Apocalypse. But Emily is also the only one that can end the dark god's reign. Though the powerful faerie magic of the golden torc is still coiled around her arm, self-doubt threatens to undo her. Emily wants nothing more than to feel the soft kiss of her one true love, but he won't even speak to her. Her first crush is still quite dead and her best friend remains a prisoner in the dark god's house of nightmares. A growing legion of black-eyed shadow people, devoid of conscience, roam the streets. Emily needs help now more than ever, but redemption seems far off indeed as she faces the expanding darkness alone.

Emily will need an army of her own if she is to save the world from being taken over by pure evil. But will a small band of Lucent geeks and freaks be enough to send the dark god packing?

Amidst chaos and ruin, will love blossom in Emily's Heart?

We had a few minutes until class – or longer if our prof never showed up. We were shootin’ the shit about sports when I felt my phone, tucked inside my bag, wedged between the pages of my notebook, vibrate.
I dug the phone out and checked the caller ID. ‘Gabriella Hoffman.’ I didn’t know any Gabriella. But Hoffman. Could it be?
“You going to answer that?” Tristan asked.
“I’m not sure who it is.”
“They can’t beat you up over the phone, man. Answer it.”
I hesitated another second, but when it rang again, I hit the answer button.
“Yeah. Who’s this?”
“It’s Greta.”
“Greta Hoffman.”
Hearing that name was like a punch in my gut. I was suddenly clammy, and my stomach seized into a knot.
“Jake, are you there?”
I tried to respond, to tell her ‘yeah, I’m here’, but my mouth was full of cotton. I hadn’t seen Greta for almost a year. The last time I saw her, she was walking down that hill in the cemetery, going her way, and I went mine. None of what happened was Greta’s fault, but she’d been there. She was a part of the nightmare I’d tried so hard to forget. When I heard her voice, it was like a rush of horrific images flooded my mind. It made me want to puke out my French toast.
I finally managed to squeak out, “I’m here.”
“Phew, I thought you’d fainted or something for a minute there. I’m glad you picked up. I need to talk to you.”
“Why? You haven’t ever needed to talk to me, Greta. Not BA, and not for the past year.”
“I think it’s pretty obvious why.”
“No. No, it’s not obvious.”
“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there’s a friggin’ Apocalypse going on out there. That’s why.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” I touched my still-sore ribs, all the reminder I needed. I doubted perfect, pretty, rich and mighty Greta Hoffman had a set of broken bones or bruises to match mine.
“Well? Don’t you want to do something about it?”
“I’m pretty busy trying to stay alive. Besides, why are you calling me? I’d suggest you contact the redhead with the magic arm bracelet.”
“I have talked to her.”
She had talked to Emily? Greta Hoffman had voluntarily talked to Emily Adams? That was even more improbable than the God of Dark Energy taking over our planet. It made me instantly nervous.
“And she has agreed to join with me to recruit people to fight the Dark Energy followers.”
“Jake? You still there?”
“Yup. Let me get this straight. You and the witch want to create some little band of light knights or something?”
“Ooh, I like that. Light Knights! Or maybe Lucent Knights. What do you think?”
“I think you’re nuts.”
I looked over at Tristan and mimed a ‘she’s crazy’ motion with my hand around my head. He smiled at me and went back to whatever it was he was doing with his phone.
“Why am I nuts for wanting to fight back?”
“Haven’t you noticed that you can’t fight against this darkness? Oh, you probably haven’t noticed anything. Your daddy probably has a driver take you to school and pick you up and shelter you from all the shit going down.”
“How dare you! You don’t know anything about what I’ve gone through. I was there, or have you forgotten that?”
“I’ve tried to forget it all, but so far haven’t been able to expunge you and her and the whole damned circus from my mind. Well, Miss Hoffman, because you were there, you’ll remember that Ciardha single-handedly took down a Goddess with nearly infinite power. So I’m thinking you, me and the redheaded witch don’t stand much of a chance.”
“So you’ve given up? I always thought you were a nerd, but I never thought you were a loser.”
“Loser. That the best you can come up with?”
That one did sort of sting, though. Was Greta right? Had I become a loser?
“Whatever. Look, class is getting ready to start, so I’ve gotta go. So fabulous catching up with you Miss Hoffman. Take care of yourself.”
“Jake – wait! Don’t hang up yet.”of 
Desperation in her voice. Interesting.
“What, Greta?”
“Before you say no, just come meet with me. One time. Meet with me and hear me out, then you can say no and good-bye and never have to see me or talk to me again. I swear if you meet with me one time and say no, I’ll never hound you again.”
“And if I don’t meet with you?”
“I’ll be like wet toilet paper stuck to your shoe.”
Lovely thought. I knew Greta. She was totally capable of being wet toilet paper stuck to my shoe.
“Okay, fine. I’ll see you. Once.”
“Great. You name the time and place.”
“My last class is over at 3:00, and I have to be at work by six. So meet me here, Wheaton Community College, room 21-A at 3:15. I don’t have much time, so don’t be late.”
“I’ll be there.”
I pushed the red ‘End Call’ button with relief that it was over. For now.
“What was that all about?” Tristan asked.
“Old business.”
He raised his eyebrows at me. “You need my help?”
“Nah, not yet anyway.”
“You need me, holler.”
“Thanks, man,” I said. He put his hand out, and we fist bumped.
It was just a meeting with Greta. I was pretty sure I could handle that. I’d meet with her, tell her to hit the pavement, then get back to my routine of avoiding human contact like it was the plague, ’cause it pretty much was.

Author Bio:

Natalie is the author of The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult paranormal fantasy trilogy. When not writing, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Wattpadding or eating chocolate, Natalie nurtures her young daughter, plays with her two young cats, and feeds her dog too many treats.

Natalie enjoys walking in the high desert, snorkeling in warm waters, travel, and excellent food shared with family and friends. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, now lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a big city high rise.

Natalie enjoys chatting with readers, so stop by and say hi:


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