Friday, March 7, 2014

Double the action, Double the pleasure ...

My first blog/book tour for She Kissed a Vampire has come to a close. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, friend-ed me on Facebook, followed me on Twitter, commented on the posts, and purchased the books. Thanks to the amazing sites that hosted stops on the tour and took the time to read and review the series. I'm happy to report that every review was either the always coveted 5 STARS, or the next best 4 STARS. That warms my writer's heart! 

If you didn't get a chance to take part, no worries. I plan to share some of the posts, interviews, and other items of interest right here. I will be announcing the winners of the BIG GIVEAWAY any day now. Just waiting for final contact information for one of three readers who won:

An eBook copy of I Kissed a Dog, book one in the Werewolves of the West series. A copy of She Kissed a Vampire, book two, a $10.00 Amazon gift card, and a cool key-chain featuring the covers of my books. I'm sure a bookmark might find its way into the prize pack as well. They have a way of doing that, you know. 

One of the things readers and reviewers are enjoying in She Kissed a Vampire is the fact that there are two heroines featured. In this case ... two are indeed better than one. Actually, Two = Ten times the action! Learn why:

Heroines Times Two = Action Times Ten

When I was in the plotting and planning stages for She Kissed a Vampire, I was having a difficult time determining from whose point of view (POV) to tell the story. I knew, without doubt, I had to continue with Chloe and Zane’s relationship. After all, they’d yet to get their Happily Ever After. I’d also ended I Kissed a Dog with a major cliffhanger and a tasty teaser for book two. For these reasons, Chloe Carpenter just had to return, but in what role? Not to mention she was a ‘love her/hate her’ kinda gal. If you think I’m exaggerating, take a peek at some of the old book reviews to see exactly how divided readers were (still are) over my feisty, frequently frustrating, leading lady! Because of her sassy, brassy, sometimes bitchy behavior, I wanted her to grow up in the second book and become more levelheaded. She also needed more sexy-time with her alpha werewolf.

What to do next? Who else to feature? Those were the questions begging for an answer.

So many urban fantasy/paranormal romance books are told from the first person point of view. Others jump between the hero and heroine, a format I do enjoy, and then there are some with the need to cover a lot of ground with multiple viewpoints in third person. On occasion, you will find a mix and match of third and first persons. So many choices for today’s writer! Where certain stories demand a first person telling, others desperately need several third person points of view to carry a complex story-line with numerous locations and subplots.

With all the various options spread out before me like a scrumptious buffet, I was uncertain, frozen by indecision. I wanted to do something different, something fun, and make my paranormal fantasy adventure unique in a market overflowing with new and delicious books just waiting to be devoured by hungry readers. I didn’t want to do the back and forth between-lovers-dance, and I’d already started off book one using Chloe to tell the tale in first person. But now I found myself with two primary female characters with equally important roles and romances to share.

Why not let them share the spotlight?

That was my thought, and I stuck with it. Doing something I hadn’t really seen a lot of. I decided to reveal my world from the first person viewpoints of two female characters (best friends who’d drifted apart) and had come together again in a time of crisis. The result: two intertwining stories, two romantic journeys, two plot lines that crisscrossed and built on the other in order to reach a shared and climatic conclusion. Did it work? You’ll have to tell me!

Ultimately, I believe having two heroines increased the romantic elements, added more depth, created deeper conflicts, and triggered more action and adventure. In my mind, that’s good stuff! Two Heroines equal Ten Times the action … that’s an equation for supernatural satisfaction.

I hope you will join Chloe and Melanie as they struggle to fix their friendship, redeem their relationships, and, of course, save the world. You can read their stories in She Kissed a Vampire. Oh, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. They both kissed vampires, but only one of them takes a bite

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Tour Day One is off to a Superb Start!

My Book Blog Tour with Bewitching Book Tours is rolling out tomorrow. However, one of the wonderful blog sites has already published their post. Head over to Diane's Book Blog to read an Author Interview, Book Excerpt, and enter a new Prize Pack Giveaway that you won't want to miss. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 7, 2014

Werewolves of the West Updates and Excerpt

My book blog tour with Bewitching Book Tours is just around the corner. I'm so excited to share my series with new readers and bloggers, some all the way across "the pond" in the UK. Too cool! I will be posting the schedule of blog stops soon. In the meantime, I'd like to share the dates, some of the fun book swag prizes for the accompanying giveaways, AND a new excerpt from She Kissed a Vampire, book two in the Werewolves of the West series

1. Mark you calendars! Great Giveaways, Excerpts, Interviews and more along the way. 

2. Check out the amazing key chains! Make sure to enter the upcoming giveaways associated with the blog tour. Don't worry. I'll post more details on how to win. 

3. Take a minute to read another excerpt from She Kissed a Vampire:

Melanie Larson
With a giant on both sides and Ava trailing close behind, I made my way down the faery equivalence of a Hollywood red carpet, my bare feet sinking into the squishy-soft fabric. If moss and velvet mated, this carpet would have been the result.
 I was grateful for Ava’s sound advice. She’d suggested that I go barefoot to show my respect for nature, something faeries valued, and more importantly, so I wouldn’t fall flat on my face. I was glad I’d listened. For some reason, I felt almost powerful. Ready to react to whatever misadventure found us. I’d been warned, again by Ava, that this would be a night to remember, and not for its quality comforts and peaceful prattling, but for its raunchy revelry and gross indulgence. The atmosphere already hinted at the debauchery to come.
Frighteningly beautiful creatures, scantily dressed, lounged around tables overflowing with obscene amounts of food. They stopped their celebrating as I was paraded by with my own unique entourage. My appearance causing them to murmur and giggle amongst themselves. For most, their eyes remained cold and hostile contrary to their blinding smiles. They found me interesting, perhaps even intriguing, but that was as far as their favor extended. I was an unwelcome outsider who’d caught the fancy of their prince. Though honoring me was required etiquette, liking me was not.
Ava had made certain to explain the importance of this event. I was the honored guest of Prince Kellen, The Dark Court’s future sovereign. His father alone outranked him. From what I’d learned while she completed my dazzling hair design, Kellen had always been domineering and indulged to the extreme by daddy-o, the Unseelie King. No one knew for certain whom his mother was considering the current king preferred young men in his bed.
According to Ava, he’d bedded the previous queen and then banished her to the human realm following the birth of their son. Others believed Kellen was an adopted child, possibly negotiated away from the Seelie Court and their light worshiping brethren. It was rumored that he bore resemblance to the light court twin, Nox. The other light twin, Lux, had been missing since early childhood. One more unsolved faery mystery.
I didn’t have time to ponder further. An elevated dais, featuring one grand table laden with colorful foods and floral arrangements, rose up in front of the room. Kellen had risen and extended his hand, waiting for my arrival.
 A hush fell over the rowdy room. The gleam in his strange swirling eyes told me everything I didn’t want to know. He found me far more appetizing than the exotic foods. My heart stampeded and I trembled in his presence. My heightened senses, though somewhat decreased since my initial reaction to Ava’s blood, still intensified my responses.
Kellen looked like a golden sex god. His hair tumbled over sculpted shoulders and seemed even longer than I remembered, its length doing nothing to diminish his masculinity. He was shirtless, his lean form rippling with muscled perfection. I heard Ava gasp behind me, equally taken by his untamed sensuality. Even with my bond to Alcuin and Ava’s blood donation, I wasn’t immune to his appeal. He’d managed, with the help of his father’s magic, to turn up the dial of his desirability to a whole new level. If they succeeded and somehow found a way to break my blood bond, I’d be doomed for sure.
He helped me up the few stairs onto the platform and kissed my forehead chastely, making me shiver. Heat spiraled down my legs, and I swayed toward him. He chuckled and ran his finger over my cheek. I leaned closer to my sworn enemy, disgusted by my body’s betrayal. I was beginning to doubt my faery helper. What if her blood had made me more susceptible to Kellen? I had a terrifying feeling that I might have been conned by the one faery I’d so wanted to trust.
“Ava, you outdid yourself this time. She is exquisite. You have earned a place at my table this evening, as an equal.” Kellen gestured for her to join us.
Her sharp intake of breath told me this pronouncement was unexpected and highly unconventional. “My Lord?” Her voice shook.
“Please, you have earned it.” He directed her to the seat on my left, forcing another fae to move aside.
The king, who appeared no older than Kellen, clapped his hands together three times. The crowded hall erupted into conversation and music, surprising me. I hadn’t realized just how quiet the room had become. With everything back in motion, the king directed his attention toward me.
“She is indeed lovely. Breathtaking even. Maybe I should make her my queen and extend my reign. What do you think, son? She would produce a remarkable heir.”
The whole table paused, all eyes on their king. The audience suddenly silent again, seemed to collectively hold their breath, their shock tangible. I was as dumbfounded as the rest. This was a turn of events I hadn’t anticipated.
“Father …?” For the first time, the prince looked like a lost little boy about to lose his favorite toy.
“Don’t look so surprised, Kellen. You have assumed that I am ready to step aside and transfer my kingdom to you. Unfortunately, you are impulsive and have little skill in governing. How would the humans say this? Ah yes … ‘it’s all about me.’ In this case, it’s about you. It’s always about what Kellen wants.” He sniggered at his humorous attempt. The others laughed on cue, but were clearly made uncomfortable by his puzzling comments.
Glancing between the two faeries, I wasn’t sure who was the lesser of two evils. Kellen was a known commodity. His father, especially after his outburst, was a mystery.
I decided to test the water and bowed my head. “You flatter me, your Lordship.” I lifted my eyes in what I hoped was a coy demonstration of my approval.
The king’s face blossomed with light, his pleasure evident. “Kellen, move next to Ava. Melanie will sit at my side. I find her a refreshing breath of air.”
The prince’s mouth had fallen open, and he looked ready to cry. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost. Ava looked pleased and winked in my direction. I wondered what she was up to now. Maybe she was on my side after all, though I didn’t doubt that her personal satisfaction would always come first.
“A toast!” The king rose.
 Everyone clamored to their feet, goblets raised. Unsure what to do, I followed along.
“We drink to my future bride!”
Refusing to drink, Kellen glanced between me and his father before snapping his fingers. An assortment of fae separated themselves from the audience, swords drawn.
“I’d hoped to avoid this awhile longer,” Kellen said and then shrugged. “You should have left what is mine alone.”
“What is the meaning of this?” the king sputtered. “Sit down, son, before I have you removed. I will forgive this transgression with the understanding you think you’re in love or some other nonsense.”
Kellen made no move to obey. Instead, he glowered at his father who was beginning to look alarmed. Ava tapped my leg and pointed under the table. Together we slid beneath.
The last thing I heard before the clashing of metal was a swooshing sound and a loud thud. Turning toward the thud, I found myself looking into the still aware eyes of the king—the king’s head minus his body to be more exact.
Holding back my scream was impossible. I wailed like a banshee and grabbed for Ava as my forced engagement feast erupted into a Dark Court civil war.

Would you like to read more? If so, you can find She Kissed a Vampire at the following online retailers. Paperback is coming soon. 

And don't forget to leave a review! I value your thoughts and opinions, and, more importantly, so do other readers who are trying to determine what to read in this vast market of reading choices. Ratings and reviews left on Goodreads are also much appreciated!

More to come ...

Friday, January 10, 2014

She Kissed a Vampire on Sale!

Just a quick reminder:

She Kissed a Vampire is on sale during the month of January 2014 for 
Kindle, Nook, and KOBO! 
Click a link below to get your copy now! 
(Scroll down for a tasty teaser)

Hope you enjoy this sample from Chapter 16. Melanie Larson, one of the book's two heroines, is an unwilling guest in the Fae world's Dark Court, also referred to as the Unseelie Court. 

Chapter 16
Melanie Larson
Cupidon’s ocean excursion did indeed compare to flying and made my earlier dolphin experience seem like a bike ride with the training wheels on. He’d also provided a twist to our travel methods that made any snorkel or oxygen tank seem obsolete.
At first I thought he was planning to kiss me. I’d resisted when he tilted my head back and pressed his lips to mine. Instead of pressing for some tongue action, he blew a stream of air into my mouth. Before I could think to exhale, he spun around, positioning me below him. Face down in the water, I started to panic. He didn’t respond to my unease as I might have expected.
Not even close.
With a flip of his tail, we torpedoed into the ocean’s depths following a path of sunlight. Forget Dorothy skipping along the Yellow Brick Road; I was chasing a one way sunbeam straight to Davy’s Locker. It took several long and terrifying minutes before I realized breathing was no longer necessary. The air he’d shared had altered my lung functions. I could now see with perfect clarity. The salt water had ceased to burn my eyes.
We dove deeper. Acting as my merman guide, he pointed out a sunken vessel that looked like an ancient pirate ship. He showed me an array of vibrant fish, species so incredible I wished for my underwater camera. Some rubbed against me, tickling me with their feathery fins, their own curiosity getting the best of them. Others, malformed and sinister, kept to the shadows where they belonged. All the while, Cupidon kept one arm circled around my middle, supporting me safely through the watery wonderland.
We’d explored the ocean’s mysteries for what seemed like hours when my gurgling stomach alerted us both to my human need for sustenance.
Altering our course, we dropped further, and soon I spotted a castle. Even more amazing than the elaborate structure were the mermaids and other mermen that hurried to greet us. Their smiles were as blinding as Cupidon’s and they swam with such unequaled elegance I couldn’t stop staring. The females were beyond beautiful with their multicolored hair flowing behind in waves. Like human women, their uncovered breasts varied in size and shape, while their tails featured different shades and textures. I could have watched them for hours as they twirled through the water in a synchronized performance of acrobatic grace.
Once inside, I was shocked to discover everyone reverted to their human forms, and despite the lack of sealed doors and windows, the ocean remained outside, as if blocked from entering by an invisible border. I had to admit it felt good to be on solid ground even if I was at the bottom of a faery ocean.
My enjoyment was cut short by Kellen, who appeared from one of several side entrances, a sneer and narrowed eyes distorting his handsome features. “Enjoy your little sea adventure?” He turned to glare at Cupidon who’d taken several steps back.
The festive atmosphere had turned fearful as the merfolk inclined their heads acknowledging Kellen’s authority. An older man sailed into the room, his massive tail immediately replaced by two muscled legs. He radiated power and confidence in spite of his unwelcome visitor.
“Prince Kellen, to what do we owe this honor?” He approached to stand eye to eye with the prince.
“King of the Unseelie Sea, your son has violated our agreement.”
The king’s expression darkened. “Cupidon?”
“No, Kellen, he saved me!” I grasped at the prince’s arm. “I was drowning. I don’t know how I got out from my chamber. I swear.”
He shoved me away. I landed with humph on the floor. Cupidon dropped to his knees beside me.
“On your feet, Merman!” Kellen ordered. “Face your execution like a man, or a fish.” An evil snigger followed, making Kellen the ugliest, most revolting creature I’d ever laid eyes on.
“Let us reason. The human has stated my son rescued …” the king started.
“Silence! You old fool. Do you wish to join him?”
Something stronger than hatred was slinking through my mind, polluting every thought about forgiveness I’d entertained. Kellen’s temporary kindness last night had been a farce, another ploy to gain my affection. He’d given me food and a fancy room and I’d been impressed, relieved to avoid a less hospitable jail cell. I wouldn’t question his true nature again, and if possible, I’d kill him. The killing him idea was becoming a common occurrence. Perhaps all the vampire blood I’d consumed was messing with my beliefs on violence, or maybe the faery food had some bonus adverse effects. Either way, anyone who dared cross the new me was in for an unpleasant surprise. No more plain, average, nice girl Melanie.
 “Any last words? I’d like to know why you disobeyed a direct order,” Kellen questioned Cupidon, ignoring the king’s call for reasoning. “Please, do enlighten me.”
Squaring his shoulders, Cupidon, who now appeared far younger than I’d first thought, faced the prince. I realized that he, too, was a prince in his own right. A prince of this fantastical water kingdom nestled in the midst the dark faeries’ court. As far as I could tell the merfolk were gentle and gracious. Why they weren’t under the authority of the Seelie Court was mind boggling.
Cupidon glanced at his peers, several gave encouraging smiles. “Prince Kellen, all I wanted was to see an actual human. I asked a fire pixie for help. She owed me a boon. Through the flames she reached out to Melanie, who willingly accepted her invitation.” He gave me a sorrowful look and continued. “I created a life-threatening scenario so I could rescue her, be the hero.” His eyes pleaded for my forgiveness. “Sorry about the dolphins.”
He just didn’t get it. Despite the great time we’d had, he, too, had violated my trust. Something I could no longer tolerate and refused to put up with.
Unaware of my latest vow, he ended his explanation with an odd confession. “Once I had her, I wanted to keep her. She’s unlike anything I’ve ever beheld.”
Keep me? Like a pet. The whole thing sounded creepy with him starring as the creepiest creeper.
Kellen had calmed himself and appeared amused by the drama unfolding. “I understand your fascination, but other than the Unseelie royals, no one is to interfere with humans. Not until matters have been settled to our satisfaction.”
“I am a royal,” Cupidon offered hesitantly.
I could see Kellen’s eyes darken. He shook his head. “I was prepared to change my mind and present you with an alternative to execution. Unfortunately, what you just said is treason. You are a water royal, not a full blooded royal.” Kellen turned to the king. “What have you been teaching your people? Do you need a history lesson?”
“You shouldn’t be a royal! You’re harsh, dishonest, and …”
“Silence, son!” the king bellowed. “You’ve done enough. You’ve shamed our family and your court.”
Kellen was far from finished. “Why don’t you tell our guest what mermen do to humans after all the swimming and picnics on the beach are over? Tell her what your true intentions were.”
Cupidon looked stricken, refusing to speak. With death assured, his decision to remain silent no longer mattered.
Kellen stared at the merman. “I’d be embarrassed to tell her too, so instead, I’ll leave that to your father.”
The king faced me, his face hard, menacing even. It occurred to me that my first impression might have been wrong. Maybe there was a reason they were part of the Dark Court. His next words confirmed why.
“We breed with human females. Once a female has delivered our offspring, we feed her to the children as their first meal.”
“Would you kill her and then feed your young?” Kellen pressed.
I glanced at Cupidon. His head hung and he’d turned away from his father.
“No, your highness. We’d rip off pieces of her flesh and internal organs with our teeth, while she lived. It is tradition, and most nourishing for the babes.”
“Show the nutritious human your teeth,” Kellen commanded.
“Father … no!” Cupidon pleaded.
Kellen backhanded him.
Furious, the Mer-King hissed; his jaw unhinged and his mouth expanded into a gaping maw of razor sharp spikes, hundreds of them.
I flinched and let out a little cry.
“Now aren’t you glad I found you?” Kellen drawled. “I’ve saved you from being raped and impregnated by over a hundred fish, and then eaten by your own offspring while you watched your intestines spill from your stomach.”
“Melanie, I promise, I wouldn’t have allowed that. I wanted you as my own. Never would I have shared you. You have to believe me.” Cupidon’s eyes pleaded, but all I could picture was a replica of his father’s massive shark-like mouth plastered on his perfect face. 
Kellen nodded my direction. “You know something, I feel generous today. I’ll allow Melanie to determine your punishment.”
Minus even a hint of hesitation, I made my final judgment.
The Fae were all rotten on the inside no matter how appealing they appeared on the outside. Rotten fruit, rotten meat, rotten faeries shared something in common. Rotten things needed to be disposed of.
“Kill him,” I whispered.
Cupidon’s face turned ashen and he blinked rapidly.
“Kill him,” I said again, louder this time, making certain everyone heard the merman’s fate.
“Why, Melanie? Why?” he asked, regaining his composure.

 “Because she doesn’t like fish,” Kellen answered for me.

If you're waiting for the paperback version, your wait is almost over. I'm excited to report that you will be able to actually hold a real "live" book in your hand by the end of the month. The publisher is prepping for publication. Woo Hoo! For me, as much as I love my Kindle Fire, the smell of a new book, hot off the press, is irreplaceable. 

Either way, go on and take a bite out of Werewolves of the West series. I think you'll like the taste!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

EXTRA! EXTRA! Price Drop on She Kissed a Vampire eBooks!

That's right! My publisher has dropped the price for the New Year. That makes January 2014 the right time to grab a copy of She Kissed a Vampire for your reading device of choice. Trade Paperback will be available soon. I'll let you know the moment it hits the shelves. 

Feast your eyes on Zane Marshall the hot alpha male Chloe Carpenter finds herself attached to. First three people to comment on this post will win an eBook copy of my first book in the Werewolves of the West Series: I Kissed a Dog. Spread the word and win!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I'm Back ... Book Two is ready to roll (read)!

Hey Everyone! It's been far too long since I've been here. Between writing, family, day-job, holidays, writing, editing, family,day-job... okay, enough of that. Bottom Line: I am back on Blogger and plan to stay around a while. 

So many exciting things to report. But lets start with two. Checkout the amazing promo poster art from my publisher for the Werewolves of the West series. And then, head on over to Goodreads to register for a chance to read, She Kissed a Vampire, book two in the Werewolves of the West series. I'm giving away 3 trade paperback copies (autographed) and I suspect the winner will get an extra goody or two! So mark the book to read on Goodreads and enter the giveaway. It was just posted yesterday. 

Enter to Win Goodreads Giveaway!

Simply follow the above link, and once you've landed on the She Kissed a Vampire's Book Page, scroll down to enter the giveaway. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

She Kissed a Vampire ... book two in the saga.

The amazing new cover for book two in the Werewolves of the West series is here. The publisher went another direction with "the look," and I like, a lot. I love the cover for I Kissed a Dog as well. They are both unique and eye-catching. I applaud the designers who make you want to pick up my books and read. 

Back blurb teaser for She Kissed a Vampire:

Bestselling author Melanie Larson's relationship with her friend, Chloe Carpenter, is bleak. Falsely accused of murder, Chloe's fate rests in the hands of her mate, Zane Marshall, and the Pacific Pack's purebred werewolves. In an effort to help, Melanie joins forces with the pack and soon discovers the monsters she writes about in her paranormal novels really do go bump in the night. 

As Chloe struggles with legal troubles, an unwanted blood bond with a master vampire, and a reunion with her mate, Melanie untangles the attention of multiple supernatural suitors determined to claim her as their own. Strangely attracted to a brazen vampire, she must decide if the blurred line between passion and pain is worth crossing. 

Werewolves, vampires, and fae royalty race to unearth an ancient artifact with the power to extend their existence. Can Chloe and Melanie restore their friendship in time to stop magical mayhem from ruining everything they've worked so hard to redeem? 

Watch for more teasers, the trailer, and tempting tidbits as the book draws closer to publication. 

Until then, make sure you've read I Kissed a Dog

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Where can I get my copy of I Kissed a Dog?

Where can I get my copy of I Kissed a Dog
Book One: Werewolves of the West? 
Great Question! Let me provide some links for you ...

Praises for I Kissed a Dog:

"For me, I Kissed a Dog is one of the most thrilling, entertaining, and mysterious reads of 2012. From beginning to end, I couldn't get enough of this story." 
- Jessica McQuay, Author of Black Moon -

"I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta is an engaging, witty, Paranormal Romance with a hunky shape shifter hero, an alluring (but dangerous) vampire adversary, and a spunky heroine who keeps them both on their toes. Well written and fun to read, this exciting tale is full of adventure. If you like Terry Spear or Molly Harper, you will enjoy Carol Van Atta." 
- Tessa Dawn, Author of the Blood Curse Vampire series -

"I loved it! I was wrapped in this story from the beginning to end. 
I could only walk away from it when I had no other choice." 
- Brenda Demko, Crazy for Books Reviewer - 

" ... the plot moves along so quickly and it keeps you turning the pages. The chemistry between the two main characters is awesome. If you love spunky and sexy couples, these two are for you. But that isn't saying that is all there is in this book. There are suave and sexy vampires, fae, mutants, and evil werewolves. This book has it all. Seriously. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves paranormal romance or just an awesome romance! Great Job Carol! I Kissed a Dog is a winner!
- Alison Beightol, Author of Blood Destiny -

"Wow! Spent the whole day reading ... it was great ... loved the wolf and vampire romance ... she picks the right one. This book was so good, I just couldn't put it down. If you like Nora Roberts, JR Ward, or Christine Freehan, you will love this book. Yes we have another great writer. The book is full of surprises. You can never guess what is coming. I cannot wait till the next book. Enjoy!"
- Gabby's Best Words, Amazon Reviewer -

Click on the links below to get your copy!

Preview the Book Trailer on YouTube

Thursday, January 3, 2013

4 Great Paranormal Books, 4 Great Authors ... WIN BIG!

Mega "Afterlight" Book Contest

Hosted by Author, Jessica McQuay, Black Moon


Black Moon, Jessica McQuay
Blood Destiny, Alison Beightol
I Kissed a Dog, Carol Van Atta (that's me!)
Morningside, Ashley Madau

Saturday, December 29, 2012

YA Fantasy Romance: The Esther Experiment

Excerpt from The Esther Experiment
I motioned the warriors forward.
They fanned out on their mounts, forming an arc beneath the tree line. To the right, my always present second in command, Tin, whistled; the shrill sound signaling additional forces on the far side of the meadow. 
The majority of the captives had been fleeing that direction and came to an abrupt stop, huddling together as the warriors created a second border blocking their retreat. I noted, with an odd sense of pride and a hint of pleasure, that my pixie girl and her group were moving toward us.
Bravery was valued above all else on Donaria. Females, although honored for their beauty and artistic talents, were also well-trained in weaponry and magic. The primary difference between our planet and Earth was the use of magic and Eden-like landscape we had managed to preserve.
Humans had corrupted their planet, destroying its original beauty and resources. Here we’d learned to harness energy, like electricity, through science and magic. If only we could forgo violence and the need to force our will on neighboring planets. Yet the truth remained. Despite our appreciation of nature, we embraced magic-enhanced technology powerful enough to destroy the universe with, as humans would say, the flip of switch.
Remembering my purpose, I pushed thoughts of inner galactic destruction away and focused on our new guests. A young male approached, his shoulders squared and his chest out. He wasn’t the hero type; better suited to science and numbers if my perception was correct.
“Greetings,” he said, reminding me of the silly cartoons humans watched about aliens. The greeting was typically followed by: We come in peace.
I couldn't make that promise.
Speaking Donarian, I ordered my unit to move in closer. I didn't have to ask twice. They were eager to menace the confused captives.
The screams and frightened cries that followed provided assurance that my earlier laughter hadn't softened our first impression.
“Why are we here?” the want-to-play-hero boy demanded.
Offended by his tone, one of my comrades shoved him to the ground, barring his teeth. The boy scrambled backward like a crab and collapsed on the grass. I couldn't help thinking that his choice to stay on the ground would save his life.
More screams. Screams that should have been music to my ears instead fueled my disgust. Our captives' increasing terror, proved the roundup was going according to protocol. It was considered the unofficial opening ceremony of the Crownscape Challenge.
My brother grinned. “Thirsty?” He slapped my back, nudging me forward.
I hesitated just long enough for his expression to turn grim, reminding me of my duty.
Dreading what came next, I raised my hand and let the red sash I’d been gripping flutter to the ground.
Each warrior seized a nearby male and twisted his neck to the side. They waited for me, fangs extended in anticipation.
Adrenalin flooded horror shot through me. I’d never taken blood from any creature unwilling to give it, and never with violence. If I failed this test, I could expect far worse than panicked prisoners.
Sliding off my chartigue, I grabbed the first boy I could reach. Closing my eyes, I let my thirst take over. The screaming and sobs faded, sounding faraway now. The thumping of a healthy young heart pumping mouthwatering blood replaced all other noise leaving me breathless.
Before I could change my mind, I  pieced his throat, letting my fangs slide into the succulent vein. I sucked deeply.
With the rush of coppery heaven shooting into my mouth, came images from my victim’s life. His name was Imad. He came from a county in the Middle East, on planet Earth. He had a family of which he was the middle son. His mother was dying from cancer and his father worked long hours. Imad was preparing for college. He wanted to be a doctor. His first and only love had agreed to marry him.
Lost in blood lust, I drank with gusto, feasting on his memories, his spirit, and the precious life-sustaining liquid his body offered. I stopped only after his heart skidded, shuddered, and slowed to a complete halt.  
I let his body slide to the ground, his life’s essence gone … yet not. His memories, gifts and talents remained, inside me ― tucked away in some dark corner of my mind, waiting until I needed to access them.
Lifting my head, I watched as more bodies slumped to the ground, their once warm bodies turned into empty husks. The flowers, so beautiful to behold, lowered their faces and sprayed a shimmering mist on the fallen. In a matter of seconds their lifeless forms were no more.
It was then I saw her eyes. Green. Sorrowful. Hateful.
I’d made one enemy for certain. The little pixie I found so desirable now found me revolting. I didn’t blame her.
Tearing my gaze from hers, I realized she wouldn't be fighting for my favor in the days ahead.  She’d be hoping for my failure.

To read the first three Chapters visit: 

If you like the story, comment below and let me know I should keep writing. I'm not sure I'm going to finish this. Your input is desired!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Guest Post: Tessa Dawn, The Blood Curse Series

The Difference between Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Horror: Why Genre Matters
Tessa Dawn - Author of the Blood Curse Series

Click Here to Read Tessa's Article

Her new book, Blood Shadows, will be available on February 28, 2013. Remember this is Dark Fantasy, not Paranormal Romance. I love this series! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Enter to Win Autographed Copies of I Kissed a Dog

Goodreads Book Giveaway

I Kissed a Dog by Carol Van Atta

I Kissed a Dog

by Carol Van Atta

Giveaway ends January 11, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Books, Books, and More Books: Giveaway and Book Review of I Kissed a Dog

Books, Books, and More Books: Giveaway and Book Review of I Kissed a Dog: Giveaway and Book Review of I Kissed a Dog The Werewolves of the West Series Book One S ponsored by Bewitching Book Tours Welco...

Roxanne's Realm: Vampires vs. Werewolves by Carol Van Atta

Roxanne's Realm: Vampires vs. Werewolves by Carol Van Atta: From the Underworld movies to Twilight to Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series , we are bombarded with the rivalry betw...

PHOTO: One of my fave vamps of all time: Gary Oldman as Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Pictured with a werewolf prop. For this particular vamp, becoming a wolf/wolfman was part of the whole package. He had it all! Fangs and Fur.

Reader Girls Blog: I Kissed a Dog Blog Tour: excerpt, interview & giv...

Reader Girls Blog: I Kissed a Dog Blog Tour: excerpt, interview & giv...: Hi and thanks for stopping by Reader Girls. We have some great tours today. We host I Kissed A Dog Blog Tour presented by Bewitching Bo...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Blog Tour Continues!

Angry werewolf above. What big teeth you have ... 

Okay, back to the Blog Book Tour. I am a bit behind on what's been happening. I hurt my back. Ouch! That's my excuse. 

Check out the places I've been featured since the last update. 

What the Cat Read


A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books

Visit Bibliophiles for a I Kissed a Dog Promo Spot

Carly Fall Where Fantasy Meets Romance

Visit Carly Fall's site for a I Kissed a Dog Promo Spot 

(I couldn't find blog badges or buttons for the last two sites. I'd love to display them if available.)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Second Stop of my Blog Tour:

Bewitching Blog/Book Tour Schedule Click to visit!

Visit the second stop on my Book Blog Tour! Click to visit.

Here's a photo from my recent book signing at Vintage Books in Vancouver, WA. Great time! Great fans! Fantastic authors in attendance! I so enjoyed meeting other local authors and picking up copies of their titles.