Sunday, January 27, 2013

SARA'S PROMISE Receives Two New Wonderful Reviews

Hi all,

I'm always thrilled when one of my novels receives a wonderful review, but I had to share with you these two (whoops, three) recent reviews of SARA'S PROMISE. Both were by prominent book bloggers who read dozens (if not hundreds?) of books each year and share their thoughts with their readers. I had met both of these ladies when MEMORIES was on tour last September and I requested a review of Sara's Promise from them as well - and they so generously agreed.

Before I share the links to the reviews, I just want to say that book bloggers are the very lifeblood for indie authors like myself. Through them, readers actually get to meet new authors and read excerpts, guest posts, and reviews of books they wouldn't find anywhere else. Without book bloggers, indie authors wouldn't have a chance, and I appreciate each and every one of them.

Now on to the reviews...

Susan @ The Book Bag

Susan wrote a beautiful review of SARA'S PROMISE that just warmed my heart. Here is just a bit of it:

"Sara's Promise is a wonderful story that I just got lost in. Deanna writes such warm, beautiful words that makes one just keep reading and reading."

You can read the entire review by going to Susan's blog here. Be sure to check out her many other reviews too, and let her know that you've stopped by for a visit by leaving a message and saying Deanna sent you. :)

***
 
 
 
Kathleen not only wrote a lovely review of SARA'S PROMISE, but also included an excerpt from the book along with a guest post by me titled Characteristics of a Soul Mate. Here is a bit of her review:
 
"Sara's Promise is a poignantly touching story about soul mates and everlasting love. It is also the uplifting story of love, loss, hope and forgiveness."
 
There is so much more to this review, so be sure to stop by and read it in its entirety here.
 
 
***
 
And since I've got your attention, even though I only said two reviews up top, I want to add one more. Norma Budden did a wonderful review of SARA'S PROMISE that I have to share. I met her on Goodreads and she saw my book there, was drawn to the cover, and read it. To my great surprise, she reviewed it on her blog here.  Be sure stop by and read her review of my novel as well as the many others she's reviewed.
 
 
Cheers,
Deanna
 
 
 
 

 
 


Monday, January 21, 2013

WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE Now in Paperback!


Hi all,

I am so happy to announce that my Contemporary Women's Fiction novel WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE is now available in paperback on Amazon. This is the first time this title has been available in paperback since the publishing rights were reverted back to me. Yes, you may have seen an older version out there for sale, but I promise you won't want to buy that one. This is the newer, updated version that I have re-edited and given a newer, fresher cover.


New Full Cover for Paperback - Cover Design by Tugboat Design


If you are new to this blog and haven't heard of WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE before, then here is the book description:


Three very different womenone houseone devastating diagnosis.

 
When recently widowed Katherine Samuals purchases a home to share with her son, Christopher, and best friend, Denise Richards, the last thing she expects is to include Denise's outrageous sister, Darla Richards, into the household. But Katherine agrees because she adores Darla's daughter, Chelsea, and feels this is a good opportunity to give the young teen a real home.

Living with Darla is not easy. She parties too much, sleeps around, and speaks her mind without apology. To conservative Katherine and shy Denise, Darla’s behavior is intolerable. Then, Darla is diagnosed with AIDS, and the household is turned upside-down.  Katherine finds herself thrown into Darla's life, first as her caregiver, then as her companion as she explores the devastating lives of AIDS sufferers. Katherine's fledgling writing career flourishes as she shares the experiences of Darla's AIDS group in newspaper articles across the country. And Denise finds true love for the first time, but struggles with the inappropriate timing of her personal happiness. Surprisingly, Darla also finds love−real love−in a time when she needs it the most. 

As the household struggles with the stress of living with a terminal illness, Katherine, Denise, and Darla learn just how strong their bond of friendship, and sisterhood, is.

 If you are a sister or best friend, you will love this story.
 
 
You can buy WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE on:
 
 
 
 
If you have read any of my other books and haven't yet tried Widow - I hope you will. It is a heartwarming book that will make you cry and laugh.
 
Cheers,
Deanna

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ember's Curse Book Blast Tour



Today I am pleased to welcome Gena D. Lutz, author of Ember's Curse, to my blog. She is currently on tour with her book and we are lucky enough to have her stop by here. Gena is sharing an excerpt from her novel with us, so sit back, relax, and enjoy a preview of Ember's Curse.

Cover designed by Tugboat Design
Ember's Curse
Gena D. Lutz

Book Description:

For Prime-Werewolf Ember Stilwell, life has been far from normal. Decades ago, a vengeful Witch cursed her Pack, leaving the women of her line incapable of feeling love. When an organized group of immortal killers begin to stalk and capture wolves from her pack, she sets out on a path fraught with danger. Just when it seems the world as she knows it will be changed forever, she meets Collin, an Alpha Werewolf with a body built for sin. As her heart begins to heal, she comes to find that the demons of her past are not nearly as dangerous as the nightmares she will be forced to face in her future. Can finding her true love conquer all? Or will the ability to feel for the first time be overshadowed by losing everything else she holds dear?

Buy Ember's Curse on Amazon Kindle



Ember’s Curse Excerpt:
"Feed from me," he urged.


I shook my head against him and groaned. I didn't want to hurt him. I had never done this before, so I had no clue how much control I would have over my vampire self. What if I lost it and accidentally drained him?


"I want to do this for you. Let me be the one to ease your pain," he said, pulling my face closer. My lips pressed up against him and I could feel a thumping pulse flutter underneath his skin. My tongue flicked out, tasting the salt and sweetness of him. It made me want to bite down hard; to take every bit of him into me that I possibly could. Somehow, I just knew that he would be the perfect filler of my needs. My ambrosia.


I guess one little sip couldn't hurt, said a voice inside my head. The voice sounded strangely like my own. My fangs began to pulse and ache, and before I could stop myself, they sank deep into Collin’s neck. He grabbed hold of the back of my head with a groan. I wrapped my leg around his waist and pressed myself up against his hard length, pinning him under me. It fulfilled my sexual hunger for him and the need to keep him still while I drank. 


 

The First Chapter of “Ember’s Curse” is available at Gena’s Blog
 



 


About Gena D. Lutz:

So I guess this is where I am suppose to put a little something about myself. I could go on and on about major accomplishments...or...I can simply say...I am a wife and mother. It's as easy as that. Now...I know what you’re thinking "This person sounds boring"...am I right? Well this is where things get a bit more interesting. I also like to create worlds, and in those worlds, I morph into the ultimate Puppet Master. I meticulously pull the strings on dozens of fantasized characters. I make them dance for me...love for me...and when I am in a particularly feisty mood, I even make one or two of them kill for me. Then, after play time is over...I emerge from my land of make believe just in time...to do the dishes. 



Connect with Gena:

Website/Blog      

Twitter    


Goodreads   

Pinterest      
 
I hope you enjoyed this preview of Ember's Curse. Be sure to go to Gena's Blog to read the entire first chapter of Ember's Curse.
 
 
 
This Blog Tour brought to you by:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Excerpt from Widow, Virgin, Whore


Cover design by Tugboat Design
Hi all,

Widow, Virgin, Whore is the first novel I published in December 2011. Since it was my first attempt at self-publishing, I decided it was time to make a few updates to it. The original cover was sort of a make-shift cover, so I had Deborah at Tugboat Design create a whole new cover for Widow. (Read more here.) I LOVE the new cover. It gives the book a whole new feel and, I believe, gives the reader a better interpretation of the story. I also went through the story again to make sure there weren't any blatant errors in the story or typos that just jumped off the pages. I found a few missing commas and a few sentences that needed tightening or clarifying, but that was about it. But I was happy I took the time to look over the manuscript one more time.

I am currently getting Widow ready to publish in paperback through CreateSpace. It is time to have a paperback copy available, if not only for readers who might enjoy it in paperback, then at least for my mother-in-law who doesn’t own a Kindle, computer, or an iPad to read it on. At least I know of one person who will enjoy Widow in paperback. J  Deborah is fast at work at finishing up the CreateSpace cover as well as adding page numbers and headings to my file, and soon I'll be able to upload and publish it.

Until then, I'd like to share a new excerpt with you from Widow, Virgin, Whore. Widow is a dramatic tale of family and friends dealing with a devastating diagnosis of AIDS. The story is not dark, it is not filled with sex, and it is not just sad. While it has it's heartbreaking moments, it is also funny, uplifting and heartwarming. If you read the many reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, you will see that the majority of people love how real and human this story is while it also makes them smile and cry at the same time. If you love a story full of real emotion – you will love this novel!

 

Excerpt from Widow, Virgin, Whore

This excerpt is from the middle of the book. Darla has already been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and has just recently found out she also has cancer (very common in AIDS patients). Katherine and Darla have always had a shaky relationship, and Darla doesn't make it any easier for her when she is sick, as you can see from this excerpt.
 

 "I hate this shit!" Darla swiped at the cup of pills before her, spilling them on the kitchen floor. Katherine tightened her jaw and stared hard. It had been a month since she was diagnosed with cancer, and Darla had been on an aggressive program of chemotherapy, going to the hospital for treatments twice a week. It had been hard on her body from the start, and Darla had transferred her pain into anger, taking it out on everyone in the house, especially Katherine.

"I hate all this shit," she repeated. "I hate taking these pills ten times a day, I hate chemotherapy, I hate it all!" She grabbed her glass of orange juice and hurled it at the wall. The glass shattered and juice trickled down the flowered wallpaper.

"Stop it," Katherine demanded. "You're acting like an idiot!"

"I don't care. I can act any way I want. I'm dying. I'm allowed to be an idiot."

"You're not dead yet, but keep this up and I might help you along."

Two sets of eyes met and clashed.

"I might as well be dead than live like this. All I do is throw up. If I'm not throwing up, I feel like throwing up. I can't eat and I can't drink anything. And look at my hair! Look at it!" Darla ran her bony fingers through the thin strands of orange left on her head. "I'm going bald, for Christ's sake. Bald!"

She was ranting and raving so loud, using what little energy her emaciated body had left, that Katherine thought for sure she'd have a heart attack right on the spot.

"Calm down, Darla, before you make yourself sicker."

Darla's eyes burned. "I don't want to calm down. I'm sick of it, you hear? I'm sick of it all!"

Weeks of Darla's outbursts had taken its toll on Katherine. Angrily, she snapped. "Fine then. Die. Go back up to your room and hide from life, like you've been doing for the past month, and just drop dead! You've been worthless the way you're acting anyway, pouting, throwing fits one minute, depressing everyone in the house the next. Your room is filthy, you stink, and your attitude is horse shit!"

"What am I supposed to do? Thank God for making me miserable?"

"God damn you, Darla. You're still alive. Be thankful for that. You can still walk and talk and think. Yes, you feel like shit most of the time, but it could be worse. So instead of sitting in your room, waiting to die, why don't you join in on life until you do die? Dammit! Get off your dead ass and make something of the life you still have left!"

Darla's eyes bulged out so far she looked like she was going to explode. After a brief stare down, she turned and went up to her room, slamming the door.

"Good riddance," Katherine muttered as she fell to her knees and began picking up the shattered glass.

 ***

 

Katherine was at her computer working on the last of her AIDS articles when she heard Chelsea shriek from across the house. In a flash, she was down one flight of stairs, through the kitchen, and up the other flight to join Denise, who had already responded to Chelsea's cry. Chelsea and Denise stood with their mouths wide open, staring at Darla. Katherine took one look at Darla and her mouth dropped, too.

Darla merely smiled back at them, amusement in her eyes. Her hair was shaved off, leaving only a peachy film over her entire head.

"Mom. Why?" Chelsea screeched.

Darla ran a hand over the fuzz. "It was falling out anyway, so I shaved it off. What's the problem? I think it makes me look buff."

"But Mom, you're bald!" Chelsea shrieked.

"It's no big deal. It'll grow back, eventually. Besides, I was only doing what Katie said I should. Making a change."

All eyes fell on Katherine.

"I told you to stop acting like a jerk. I didn't tell you to shave your head," Katherine said defensively.

Darla ran her hand over her head again. "Well, this is a start. It makes me feel tough again. Like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. In control. And look, I cleaned my room. That should make you happy."

Katherine and the others looked around them. For the first time in weeks, they could see the floor. She'd piled her dirty laundry in one corner, made her bed, and opened the windows to let in fresh air. It was a major improvement.

"Now," Darla announced, "the next thing I need to do is get out of this house. What about that AIDS group you keep telling me about, Kathy? Do they have anything going on tonight?"

Again, everyone stared at Darla as if she'd just flown down from Mars. What happened to the moping, depressed Darla from only a few hours ago?

"I thought you weren't interested in being a part of any AIDS group," Katherine said.

"Well, now I am. Is there anything going on with them or not?"

Katherine stared at the others with raised eyebrows. Surely, Darla had gone schizophrenic. "I think they have a fundraiser going on tonight," Katherine finally answered. "They have Bingo every other week at a place in Fremont."

"Great, then that's where we're going. Bingo."

"We?" Katherine asked, surprised.

"Of course. You don't expect me to go there alone, do you?"

"But I hadn't planned on going."

"Well, now you can plan it. You were the one who said I needed to do something, right?"

Katherine closed her eyes and sighed. Me and my big mouth, she thought.

 ***

 

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Widow, Virgin, Whore. If you'd like to read more, it is available on Amazon Kindle and will soon be in paperback. In March, it will also be available for Kobo and B&N Nook.

 

Cheers!

Deanna

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Release: The Hunters by Heidi Angell


Hi all,
 
Today I have Heidi Angell on my blog sharing information about her new novel, The Hunters, as well as an interview and an excerpt. I was also lucky enough to have read an advance copy of this novel, so I will also share a review of it with you. So, here we go...
 
The Hunters
 
Are you sick and tired of Twilight? Glad that the media circus is now over? Do you believe that vampires should be killed and not kissed? Then The Hunters is the book for you!

 


 

What would you do if you found your town had been infested with vampires? For Chris and his brother Lucas, the answer was simple enough: you fight back. Gathering a small band of other people in their town who have been affected by the vampires, they begin a resistance. But after a year of fighting, they have only managed to kill a handful, while the vampire leader has turned five times that many.

Then two enigmatic strangers appear; changing the groups lives even further.

Fury and Havoc. They call themselves Hunters, and want no part in this little band of heroes. Ordering them to lay low, the duo vow to rid their town of vampires. When Fury is injured, Chris aides these strangers, entwining his future with theirs.

Now that the vampires know the Hunters are here, and that Chris and his friends have helped them, the group is in more danger than ever before. Lucas is torn between protecting his new family from the vampires, and protecting them from these seemingly inhuman beings who say they are there to help.

After all, what beings could be so powerful as to scare a vampire?

Buy The Hunters:

Amazon Kindle $4.99

Smashwords $4.99

 


 

Author’s Bio

 
Heidi Angell is a mom, wife and is an active volunteer in Cub Scouts and her community. She has been passionate about writing since she "published" her first book in her first grade class! The Hunters is her latest publication, but she has written thousands of short stories, plays, books and poems. Her first published e-book is Creative Exercises to Inspire and she has published a children's picture book Royal Prince Vince.

Heidi also has a blog, An Angell's Life, where she gives advice to writers.

She creates book reviews on Youtube at Heidi Angell Youtube  guest posts book reviews at http://books4linda.blogspot.com/  and is the vice president of Soul Star Multimedia, a publishing house run by authors, for authors. To learn more, visit her website Angell's Life.

For more information, feel free to e-mail at Hangell531@gmail.com or call 803-643-7073,

If you want to connect with Heidi check her out at any of these many locations:

 
Facebook page at Heidi Angell-Author,

Twitter @HeidiAngell,

Google+ account at Heidi Angell.


Find samples of her writing on Figment.com


Stage 32   

Pinterest   

Bookrix   

Newsvine   

 

Q & A with Heidi Angell:

 

What was your path towards publication like?

Um.... Hectic, to be honest! A couple of years ago the company I was working for gave me an opportunity to work from home. Two weeks before Christmas this company let me go. The day after New Year's I got a contract from an agent. My husband and I sat down and talked about it and decided that I should continue working from home, but work for myself. While I was waiting for my agent to get me a contract, I started blogging, doing on-line articles and pretty much anything I could do to make a couple extra bucks. Then I decided to self-publish my first two books to get some practice marketing, to test the waters, and to make a little extra money. I’ve gotten in with other like-minded authors and we have put together this indie publishing house. The Hunters is the second book to be published under this house and we are already lining up the next several books.


How do you balance your life as an author with your duties as a business person, employee, parent and/or spouse?

 
Balance.... I was never good at it when I was a kid in gym, and metaphorically it is even harder than literally! I am a total workaholic, which really doesn't help matters, especially now that I absolutely love what I do! I try to maintain a very strict schedule for work, which includes scheduled "down time" so that I don't get burnt out. All my "business" stuff I try to get done early in the day so that when the kids get home I can do my homework (Code for write) while they do theirs. With us all in the same room, they are free to ask for help with their work. I have also had to make a rule in my house that if you are feeling neglected by me, then come and tell me! We will make time.


What was the best writing-related advice you ever received?

I honestly can't remember where I got this, but it was probably from one of the MANY authors I follow on twitter. The advice was to write for you and no one else. It is so easy to lose your authentic voice when you start chasing "what is hot" in an effort to make the biggest sales. That is not why I write. Yeah, I wanna make a living; but the old adage: "You can't please all of the people all of the time." really strikes me. So many professionals tell me to stick to one genre, that I need to have different pen names if I want to write different books. I know a lot of authors do it, but then I look at Orson Scott Card and realize that I don't have to fit into "the industry's" pigeonhole. I write for me and if I am lucky someone else will appreciate what I do, if not then at least I know it is authentic and real.

 
Where and/or when were you born?

Lewsitown, MT a long time ago

What schools did you attend? What was your course of study?
University of South Carolina - BA in Communication

When and how did you discover you wanted to be a writer/author?
I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. When my first grade class "published" a book, I was hooked! The elegance and art of creating images with words is the most amazing experience in the world. Though I have dabbled with other career choices, my one true love is the written word. Everything else is just to pay the bills!

Please list your published material, with dates?
'Creative Exercises to Inspire' - 2011
'Royal Prince Vince' - 2011/2012
The Hunters , January 10th, 2013

Are your books available, and from where?
‘Creative Exercises to Inspire’ and ‘Royal Prince Vince’ are available at Barnes & Noble - Nook
‘Royal Prince Vince’ is available at Create Space – paperback - and at Amazon - paperback and Kindle
Coming soon: Other distribution locations such as drive-thru fiction, Smashwords, and others.

Please tell about the most memorable moment(s) in your career.
The day the proof of ‘Royal Prince Vince’ arrived will always be the most memorable moment in my career. I was so excited to see it! I sat down to read it with my boys and my mom. When my mom saw the dedication page, she burst into tears! My boys absolutely loved the story and wanted to read it over and over again! There was work to be done, and a part of me was embarrassed that the pictures didn't come out better, but my mom didn't care. She wanted me to sign THAT one for her. It’s on her book shelf today. My boys each got signed copies of the final product, but every now and again, I see them reading the proof and my heart explodes. It must have been a special day for them too!

What genre do you most often write? What other genres have you written?
I am an eclectic writer. I’ve published a children's book and a nonfiction book. The Hunters is an urban fantasy/ horror, I have a psychic thriller series, am working on a zombie/apocalyptic-type story, have outlined a YA novel based on my experiences being stalked in high school, and have a children's series that I am looking for an illustrator for! Always busy!

Who are the authors who most influenced your writing career?
I'd have to say that Orson Scott Card has most influenced my career. He is such an eclectic writer, and does it all under one pen name. He is the reason I don’t use different pen names for my different genres.

Who are the authors you read most often?
Well, this is tough. I am as eclectic a reader as I am a writer! Orson Scott Card, obviously, I've read everything he has written! I enjoy Steven King, Michael Crichton, and Rick Riordon. My newest favorite writer is Dawn Tevy (‘Angels & Warriors: The Awakening’).

What advice would you give to all up-and-coming writers?
1. Believe in yourself. You may be lucky and have people who believe in you, but if you don't, believe in yourself and your work - no one else will love it as much as you, no matter what they say!

2. Develop a thick skin. Not everyone will love your work. You need to be able to take the criticism and keep going. You need to look at the criticism objectively without letting it dictate what your work becomes. (Without one, you can't achieve the other. The two will create balance.)

For example: I recently got a contract for my psychic thriller series from a reputable indie house, with a list of ten items I needed to change. At first I ranted, raved and cried. I believed in my work, but I'm still working on my tough skin. After a couple of days, I was able to sit down and evaluate the request. I realized that eight of the ten things were correct and the changes would make the book better. But on the last two, I couldn't see my way around it. The first was that my main character's name had to change. The publisher said "Clear Angel, well that isn't really even a name. Is it?" Well, he has a point, but then some celeb named their daughter Apple. My character's name is symbolic, and as unique as she is. Now, I could've said, well Claire is close to Clear, would that work?" But I believed that this was an important part of the story and could not be changed. He also wanted a happy ending. Problem is that life doesn't always have happy endings. This is the first in a series and it ends the way it does to further the plot of the whole series. No happy ending there. Now the publisher is probably right - for the traditional thriller audience, my ending is kinda crappy. As far as sales go, he’s justified in his suggestions, but I know my story, and these changes wouldn't work. I sat down and wrote a nice thank you, noting (in detail) how I could change the eight things on his list, and why I couldn't change the last two, thanked him for his recommended improvements and hoped we could do business. I never heard back from him. But I have every intention of giving him a big thank you in my book, because those eight other issues will make it better. (I won’t mention that he passed on the story.)

Please tell about your other community activities.
I am very active in community work. I have two boys in the Scout program. Through the Scouts I do a lot of volunteering with organizations such as Salvation Army, Red Cross, Secret Santa, Community clean ups, and park clean ups. I am also active in my neighborhood youth programs (which inspired my book ‘Creative Exercises to Inspire’). I also participate in writing/ author oriented on-line communities such as NaNoWriMo, Linked In's Books and Writers group, a Pay it Forward author group, and I’m often working with other writers to cross-promote, offer writing tips, editing, and feedback. Also my business partner Dawn Tevy, and I have opened an indie publishing house, Soul Star Multimedia, where we help other authors fulfill their dreams of being published!

What is the name of your current project?
‘The Hunters’

What is the genre?
Urban fantasy/ horror

Is this work a stand-alone or part of a series?
Series

Do you have any project(s) planned for the future?
Yes

Please provide some details of the project(s).
Well, I have committed to my apocalyptic story for NaNoWriMo in November. In early 2013, I’ll publish my psychic thriller series. With the publishing house and my own ideas, I have enough projects to keep me busy for the next 10 to 15 years… and I get new ideas every day!

Are you involved in publishing in any other capacity?
Editor, Reviewer, Publisher, Publicist, Coach, and Cheerleader! Or perhaps, better said, an advocate for new authors providing moral support and sharing their work. I am also the Vice President of Soul Star Multimedia, an indie author house run by authors, for authors.

 

An Excerpt from The Hunters

 A full moon was hidden by clouds racing by like chariots across the sky, draping the field below in an army of shadows in motion. Ricky ran his hands through his high and tight black hair and eyed the full moon balefully; resenting the tricks the shadows were playing on his mind. He felt the skin on his neck prickle, as if he were being watched. Scrunching down in the bed of his rusty truck, he surreptitiously looked over his shoulder. Of coursed there was nothing there. Chris had him jumping at the change of the breeze. To steady his nerves, Ricky pulled out a nic stick and lit it.

            Bianca glowered at him. Ricky couldn’t help but admire her black leather jacket plastered to her full figure, and how it perfectly hugged her curves. Too bad she was so high maintenance.

            “Ugh. Why do I always have to get stuck with you?” Bianca eyed the cigarette disgustedly. “You know Chris would go ballistic if he knew you were doing that,” she hissed, waving the smoke out of her face.

            “Chill the fuck out. I know he thinks he knows it all, but he doesn’t know shit more than us. Maybe they have super sonic noses, but then again, maybe they have super sonic hearing too. Your bitching is a bigger tell than this sweet baby. Shit, if they can smell this, then they can probably hear you breathing.”

            “Fuck you!” Bianca growled then sat absolutely still, her eyes wide and every muscle taught as a bow. Ricky was pretty sure she was holding her breath in fear of what he had just said. He sucked hard, enjoying the burn of the cigarette smoke and then exhaled languidly. It really was the simple pleasures in life.

He glanced past her out the window and saw Chris sitting with Terah on the hood of the car parked next to them. Terah wasn’t as much to look at, but she was certainly easier to be with. Rick had wished they would have all been together. But Chris had thought that two separate vehicles would give them a greater chance of pursuing more vampires. Despite his shit talk, Ricky knew he really did rely on Chris’s weird knowledge and experience. To think that a geeky freak, the type of person he had harassed in high school, would be keeping him alive. The world was a crazy place.

 

            Chris was only able to vaguely hear the exchange between Bianca and Ricky, but he groaned inwardly. They really just did not get it. Part of him was ready to call it quits for the night, grateful they were all still alive. This team was clearly not as ready as he had hoped. The other part was incredibly disappointed. Once again, he was just watching. What he wanted was to be hunting and killing, not waiting to be killed.

            He glanced over at Terah. At least she was taking this seriously. Her attention was locked on the far end of the field, and she barely moved. Her mouth was set in a firm strong line. He would definitely have to take her along the next chance they had to try for a hunting trip. She took this seriously. Chris sighed. It was sad that the two youngest on the team were more serious than the so-called adults.

            Chris broke from his reverie and froze.

 

            Ricky was bored. They had been sitting out here most of the night. It was cool for October, one of those rare crazy breaks in the usually temperate weather of South Carolina. Ricky couldn’t help but resent that Bianca has the foresight to bring a jacket, whereas he was just wearing a t-shirt and jeans. The cold made him feel tired, and Bianca’s paranoia was getting to him. He flicked his cigarette away and leaned his head back on the toolbox, glancing toward Chris.

            The kid was stiff like a pointer hound catching a scent, and this grabbed Ricky’s attention. Excitement flooded him, waking him right up.

            “What is it?” Ricky hissed.

            Chris did not make a sound, merely cupped his hand to his ear. He was telling them to listen.

 

 

            Terah froze, intently trying to hear whatever had made Chris so wary. Her eyes went wide with the effort. After a moment she looked at Chris blankly. “I don’t hear anything,” she murmured.

            “Exactly,” Chris whispered back. Suddenly it dawned on her that the clearing only moments ago had sounded quiet, but had been full of the subtle sounds of the night; crickets, owls and other critters scurrying about. Now it was as silent as a tomb. Chris gestured to the others and slowly crawled off the hood of the car. Terah scrambled to join him, desperate to not be left alone. She stumbled on the uneven ground and fell. Moments later Bianca was beside her, offering a hand.

            “Thanks Bianca,” she mouthed silently.

            Bianca nodded and they all crouched down next to Chris in the shadows of the car. Another few agonizing moments were spent with all four straining to see or hear anything in the darkness.  Gradually the sounds of the night returned. Chris cocked his head.

            “False alarm?” Ricky whispered.

            “I don’t think so,” Chris shook his head.

            They all sat quietly waiting for Chris. Terah could feel herself shutting down. What was wrong with her! She wanted this. Revenge. But the dark, the interminable waiting was filling her with terror. It was too much like that night she had been attacked. She could practically feel a vamp behind her, even though she knew it could not be so. Silent tears seeped from her eyes, gliding down her cheeks. The sense of impending doom would not lift.

            “Please, let’s get out of here,” she begged. “I have a really bad feeling!” She was trembling uncontrollably. Chris held up a hand to silence her, and listened intently. Bianca patted her hand reassuringly then crept forward to Chris’s side.

 

 

            Bianca could see Terah falling apart right before her eyes. She was a little surprised, because the girl was always so confident about her abilities. Then it dawned on Bianca. That blustering confidence had been a fa├žade. This had to be too real for her, too much like what she had experienced before. Patting Terah’s hand, Bianca slipped forward to Chris’s side.

She leaned in close to his ear and breathed, “We should go. She’s cracking up. We’re too vulnerable.”

            “Too late,” Chris admonished, pointed across the clearing.

            Bianca couldn’t understand what he was saying. As she peered through shadow on shadow, she could see nothing.

The moon peaked out for a brief moment revealing what Chris was indicating. To their left, only about halfway across the field something big was moving. Bianca felt herself filling with terror, but a cold center of her being squashed the terror down. She analyzed the thing, trying to comprehend what she was seeing. It moved in a jerky pattern, stumbling, crashing, then moving again. At one point it was almost as if a part of the shadow had tried to separate itself from the rest, then re-merged. Suddenly a scream of agony and fear echoed across the field. That sound clarified for Bianca what her brain could not interpret. A woman was out in the field being attacked by vampires.

She was half-crawling, dragging a wounded leg, and the vampires were playing with her. Darting in and out, each nip a new wound, weakening and slowing their already defenseless prey. A cold fury built in Bianca’s chest as she watched this cruelty. The woman collapsed in the middle of the field and the vampires lunged at her. The mass ceased moving, but the sound of the girl’s moans, the tearing of clothing, the growling and hissing of the vamps fighting over the girl like dogs with a bone, all echoed in the silent field.

 

“Now!” Chris hissed, “While they’re distracted on their feeding.” He bolted low across the field. The others followed him, everyone except for Terah. She was completely frozen in fear. She tried to move, but her whole body was completely locked down. Trying to call out for them not to leave her behind, she found her voice was gone.

With that shriek from the woman in the field, Terah had been mentally thrown back into her own horrible attack. As the others left her behind, the feelings of panic grew. She remembered that horrible vampire following her as she walked home from work. She hadn’t known what he was at the time. She had simply thought he was some creepy guy. When she had tried to outrun him, she had found out that he was so much worse than just some creepy guy. With inhuman speed he had tackled her. Her self-defense training had made no difference. She couldn’t break his vice-like grip. When he had sunk his fangs into her neck, she had experienced the ultimate fear. She had known that she was going to die.

In blind panic, she had fought back, and to this moment she had believed that she had somehow won out. She had beaten him. But here in the dark, with monsters just like him only 1,000 feet away, she realized that she had not escaped. He had let her go. His laughter as she had fled came back to her now. Without knowing how she knew, she sensed that he was here in this field waiting for her. He knew that she was here too.  That knowledge left her rooted to the spot. Wanting desperately to be with the group, she tried again to move, but her muscles refused to respond.

If only she could get to the others, she might have a chance. Then a smell struck her. She knew that he was there, behind her. Tears coursed silently down her cheeks and she longed to simply close her eyes and have him vanish, like she had as a child with the monsters under the bed. If she didn’t look, then he couldn’t be real. But she knew. She knew it would not work this time.  Cautiously she glanced over her shoulder, and looked into the eyes of her worst nightmare.

 

Chris was halfway across the field when he felt a strange sensation, a tingling in his spine; as if someone had just tap danced across his grave. He paused and an instant later was driven into new action. From behind them a gurgling wail ripped through the night. Without even looking, he knew what had happened. Terah had been attacked. In front of him he saw more creatures rise from the end of the field where the others were feeding. In that split second he knew.

“Ambush!” he yelled, immediately veering to his left, moving in a zig-zag pattern. He could hear the other two following behind. More screams erupted from their fallen comrade and he was blinded with rage.

“Scatter!” He shouted the order and immediately turned back the way they had come. If he was going to die tonight, he was going to kill at least one of these bastards! As the moon peeked out again, the scene before him became grotesquely animated. Terah’s body was pinned on the truck, her entire chest ripped wide open. He knew she was dead, but his body refused to stop this course of action. His mind exploded with wrathful vengeance as he watched the creature rip Terah’s heart out of her chest.

The creature held the heart up, savoring the blood as it poured into the awaiting mouth and splashed over its face. Chris could see in his peripheral that two of them were already halfway across the field, closing off any escape if he continued on his present course, but he didn’t care. He pulled a gun from his left pocket and a cross-hilted dagger from his right. As he dove at the creature devouring Terah, he shot blindly at the ones coming at him. His blade embedded to the hilt in the monster’s back and he prayed that Bianca and Ricky were getting the fuck out of here. Maybe his distraction would save their lives. The monster arched back trying to reach behind and dislodge Chris and the knife. Black blood oozed from its wound. It was obviously an older vampire. It struggled to turn, but clearly the knife had hit the spine. Surprised that the other two weren’t upon him yet, Chris aimed the revolver into the creature’s face and pulled the trigger.

At that same moment two other shots rang out in the clearing. Chris pulled his dagger free and leaped away from the body as it burst into flames. He turned, preparing for the attack that should have already been upon him. Looking out in the field he saw Ricky stand up about center point and fire at the vampire that was headed straight toward Chris.

“Run!” Ricky screamed. Chris had barely managed to turn when the vampire sacked him from behind. The knife in his hand went skittering across the ground. He was pinned on his stomach and a hand clamped down on his own hand holding the gun, preventing him from bringing it up and firing. He struggled fruitlessly, trying to squirm free.

“Hello Chris, so good to see you again,” a familiar voice murmured next to his ear. Chris realized it was his high school art teacher, Mrs. Frost.

 “Wish I… could say… the same.” Chris groaned, trying to push her away and turn his face from her putrid breath.

“Come, come Chris, you always were a difficult student.”

“Gifted was the term you used back then.”

“You know you want me,” she laughed evilly, leaning in for a bite.

Chris could feel blind panic rising, but tried to remain calm. “Of course,” he grunted, slamming his head back into the side of hers. She pulled back in surprise, but it was not enough for him to squirm free. He used the extra space to slam her harder in the face. Bone cracked and she yelped, sitting almost straight up, releasing his arm to wipe away the blood pouring from her nose. Chris couldn’t squiggle free, but managed to turn his body halfway around. “I want you dead!” Chris growled as he pulled the gun up. Mrs. Frost’s eyes went wide in shock. Pulling the trigger he waited for her face to explode, but the gun had jammed. Shit! She began to smile and Chris realized that as a vampire she looked ten years younger. In a frenzy for some defense, he snatched the crucifix from his neck and jammed it into Mrs. Frost’s throat. Blood began pouring forth and she gaped in shock. She began trying to physically force the blood back into her throat, simply widening the wound. Still Chris could not pull free.

Suddenly her skull was obliterated before his eyes.

Bianca stood there holding a small-caliber gun. Chris quickly shoved the body away and Bianca pulled him to his feet, shrieking when the body suddenly burst into flames. Chris looked around the field for Ricky. He was running like a bat out of hell in the opposite direction with two vamps on his tail.

 “Bianca the car!” Chris yelled, tossing the keys and running after Ricky, hoping to get there in time. His legs were pumping as hard as they could, but he wasn’t catching up enough. Ricky was starting to waver and the two vampires were gaining ground. Chris didn’t dare shoot at them, for fear of hitting Ricky.

Directly ahead of Ricky two figures rushed into the clearing. Ricky stopped short like a frozen rabbit, then quickly made a ninety degree turn. In the moment he was clear of the two vampires, Chris pulled his gun up to line up a shot. He popped off two shots, hitting one. It went down, but Chris didn’t believe for one moment it was dead. The other continued to hurtle after Ricky. Just as Chris had lined up the next shot he felt a sudden gust of wind and smelled death. Whipping around he found himself face-to-face with another creature. He pulled the trigger and the creature’s shoulder exploded. The vampire grabbed him around the throat with his other hand, laughing a high-pitched maniacal laugh.

“So you are the one making all the trouble. Well, no more!” Lifting Chris clean off the ground,  the vampire squeezed hard.

“Who the fuck are you?” Chris gasped, struggling against the grip. He clung to the vampire’s forearms in an effort to reduce the pressure on his neck. His feet flailed about helplessly, trying to find a foothold, maybe gain some leverage.

“One who is older and stronger than the others you’ve disposed of here.  I will be your executioner!” Chris clawed at the hand that now had a vice-like grip on his throat. He didn’t have the upper body strength to hold on much longer. He knocked his feet together, trying to release the switchblade he had embedded in his boot. First click, it didn’t work. Damn. He should have tested them in a more realistic combat situation! The world was starting to go grey as Chris tried again to trigger the mechanism on his boot. Yes! He felt the release mechanism whoosh and with a last desperate surge of force, kicked out as hard as he could. The blade embedded itself in the vampire’s stomach. The monster roared and threw him on the ground like a used-up rag doll. It flung itself forward, clawing at him with its long nails in rage. Searing pain tore through his back and shoulders as the creature grappled with him. This was it. He knew he was going to die; but a part of him refused to go out alone. This bastard was going to be coming along for the ride, if Chris could help it.
 
***
 
My 5 Star Review of The Hunters


A group of young people discover their small town is becoming infested with vampires, so they decide to band together and fight back. However, after a year, they have yet to rid the town of the ever-growing population of vamps. One night, as the group stalks vampires, two strangers arrive and help them out of a tough situation. These two mysterious strangers, known as Havoc and Fury, call themselves the Hunters. Unwittingly, their lives become entangled with those of the group of young people as the vampires are now hunting the hunters.

The Hunters by Heidi Angell is a refreshingly different kind of vampire novel from what we've seen over the past few years. These vampires are not your kid sister's sparkly kind that all young girls swoon over. They are not Sookie's True Blood drinking friends. These vamps are what vampires have been throughout time – bloodthirsty killers. And the hunters are out to destroy them.
 I have read my share of vampire novels over the years and I have to say, I enjoyed Heidi's novel very much. It is action-packed from the very first page and you don' t want to put it down. I am positive that readers who enjoy this genre will enjoy The Hunters.

 
***
 
I want to thank Heidi for sharing this information about her new book and for the interview. I hope you will all add this new novel to your reading list.
 
Cheers,
Deanna

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Blog Hop - A Time of Renewal!

Hi all,

Thank you to everyone who followed along on the hop and left comments. This was the best one ever for me and I enjoyed everyone's comments.

The Winner of the $10 Amazon Gift card was Jo.

Be sure to stop by February 8-11th for the next blog hop.

Welcome to the New Year's Blog Hop. We have over 200 bloggers participating, and not only will there be some fabulous Grand Prizes, but each and every one of us is having our own giveaway as well. So be sure to follow along and leave comments for the chance to win big in this brand new year of 2013!

A Time of Renewal

New Year's is a time for many to reflect upon the previous year and make plans for the upcoming one. For some, that means making resolutions to change for the better or to improve their life in some way. For others, it is a time to throw away bad memories of the past and begin making new, happier memories. It can also be a time to be thankful for all that you've accomplished over the past year.

For me, personally, this new year is a time for me to look back at all I've accomplished in the past year and to look forward to all that I want to accomplish in 2013. I started my novel publishing adventure in December 2011, and a full year later, I can truly say that I feel as if I've accomplished a lot in only one year. I now have four novels published and am working on my fifth. I've met many wonderful people, writers, bloggers, and readers, along the way. And I feel so very lucky to be able to finally do something I love and actually get paid for it. I'm looking forward to 2013 and all the possibilities it has to offer!

What are you looking forward to in 2013?


Sara's Promise - A story of renewal!

In my latest novel, Sara's Promise, William wonders if he will ever find love again after his wife, and soul mate, dies. When he meets a new woman, Annie, five years later, he isn't quite sure he is ready to let go of Sara and let this new woman into his heart completely. He will have to find a way to let go of the past before he can move forward.

Sara's Promise is available on Amazon Kindle and in Paperback.



My Giveaway!

In honor of this New Year's blog hop, I am giving you a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter. Be sure to add your email address so I can contact you if you win. The giveaway will start on January 1st and end at midnight on the 6th. I will notify the winner after noon on the 7th. Good luck and thanks for dropping by.

GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY


We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times! The Kindle or Nook and the Gift Card are International Prizes. The Swag Bag is for U.S. residents only due to the price of postage.

Now what are those prizes?

 1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
 
 


Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter my giveaway and the grand prize giveaway!


Be sure to check out each of the following blogs for their giveaways.


The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Follow Deanna on BookBub

Follow Deanna on BookBub
Follow my author page on BookBub for all the latest deals.