Showing posts from 2013

Taste of Darkness Blog Tour!

After waiting over a year, TASTE OF DARKNESS is finally being released!  Yay!  To celebrate, I'm doing a blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.  The tour starts Monday, December 30 and goes to January 10, 2014 (minus the weekends :).  MIRA books has generously offered to give away 12 copies of TOD for this tour and it will include two international winners.

Here are all the stops and what you can expect at these Blogs:

Monday, December 30: Read Now Sleep Later (Interview):
Tuesday, December 31:Tynga's Reviews (Guest Post):
Wednesday, January 1: Fiktshun (Guest Post):
Thursday, January 2: Bibliophilia Please (Interview):
Friday, January 3: Snowdrop Dreams (Review):

Monday, January 6: Parajunkee (Guest Post):
Tuesday, January 7: Moonlight Gleam (Review):
Wednesday, January 8: The …

FREE downloads for my UK and Australian readers!!

It must be all this holiday spirit! Both my UK publisher and Australian publisher asked me to allow one of my books to be offered for FREE through Apple's iBookstore for a week. I said yes (of course!).

Here' the info - the UK Apple iBookstore is offering INSIDE OUT for free download until 3 December 2013.  Here's the link:

Australia's Apple iBookstores is offering TOUCH OF POWER for free download until 6 December 2013.  Here's the link:

Please spread the word and Enjoy!

Taste of Darkness Winners + Results

Now that I have an ENTIRE box of TASTE OF DARKNESS, I'm planning on doings a number of giveaways. The first one was voting for your favorite cover art - the USA/Canada or Australia/NZ or UK one.

The votes are in - Australia/NZ's cover earned 46 votes and won!  Second is the UK version with a close 42 votes, and the USA/Canada cover received 27 votes.

Thanks to all who voted!  And the winners of the signed early copies are: Ashlee Rea and from my blog and Linda from Goodreads. 

Congrats to all!  And keep an eye on my blog and Facebook page:  for more chances to win!

Taste of Darkness International Covers!!

Yes! Fist Pump! I have received the cover art for both the Australian/New Zealand edition and the United Kingdom edition. And I have information about release dates.  If you're a subscriber to my free email newsletter, you would already have seen these beauties ;> but I also wanted to post on my blog.

So??  What do you think??  I think they're all GORGEOUS! 

Which one is your favorite?  Post your vote on my blog by November 6th for a chance to win an early copy of TASTE OF DARKNESS - please leave an email address so I can contact you (Goodreads friends - no need for your addy).  This giveaway is open to ALL and I'll pick 3 winners! Just so you know, it might be a few weeks before I get my copies of the book - but you'll have it by the end of November for sure!

Australian / New Zealand edition Release date: December 16, 2013
United Kingdom edition Release date: January 3, 2014 USA / Canada edition Release date: December 31, 2013

Darkbeast Rebellion Author Interview + Give Away

So you all know by now that Mindy Klasky/Morgan Keyes is a friend of mine. And she's a wonderful writer - her stories are smart, snarky, fun, and entertaining.  Once again I've invited her to my blog to talk about her latest book, DARKBEAST REBELLION, the second book in her Darkbeast series.  I interviewed her last year about DARKBEAST you can read it here:

For this interview, Mindy/Morgan has generously offered to send TWO commenters a paperback copy of DARKBEAST and a hardback copy of DARKBEAST REBELLION - two books for one comment! To enter, leave a commentby October 20th, 2013 and please include an email address so I can contact you. (Goodreads friends don't need to leave an email addy).  The give away is open to USA residents only.

Cover copy:
Keara, her friend Goran, and the wily old actor, Taggart, are fleeing for their lives. They have all spared their darkbeasts, the creature…

Selling Ur Soul - Interview and Giveaway!

Would you sell your soul to the devil for a mega-hit bestselling book?  Randall the main character in Barry Lyga's latest book, UNSOUL'D does and what follows is a hilarious and sad look of the life of a somewhat successful author's journey to super stardom minus his soul.

Now for the disclaimer :)  Barry and I are friends who go way back to a time before we were both published authors.  We met at a writing workshop at World Con in Philadelphia in the 90s.  Keeping in touch via email and kvetching over our efforts to get published, we sold our first novels around the same time. His debut novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl is a fantastic story and a great insight into a 15 year-old boy's life.

UNSOUL'D is Barry's first book with an adult protagonist.  A warning to my younger readers that this book has lots of sex and adult language and situations.   It's also his first self-published book and only available as an ebook.

Barry has gen…

Golden Leaf Finalist!

Yay!  I found out on Sunday, that my book, SCENT OF MAGIC is a finalist in the Golden Leaf award given by the New Jersey Romance Writers.  If the name sounds familiar, that is because I've won this award before for STORM GLASS and TOUCH OF POWER.

When I told my husband about this honor, he made a crack about not seeing the nomination on the news that night.  I didn't think it was funny.  I thought that was being rather jaded - "oh, just another nomination, no big deal"  type thing.  Well, I don't take anything for granted and to, me, being nominated or winning an award is still as exciting as it was when I first started publishing.

After 21 years of marriage, he picked up on my...disappointment in his reaction. (Yes, it took over 20 years to train him ;)  He brought me flowers and made me a card.  Except he couldn't remember the exact name of the award, just that it had something to do with nature.

Here's a picture of the flowers and card:

I like the soun…

Dabbling in Pictures

At times, I think of myself as a photographer.  My travel pictures have appeared in magazines along with my articles, but I'm still at the point and shoot stage.  I'd love to learn more and buy a nice DSLR camera, but that would require more time and passion that I'm willing to give at this point.  I've learned that I'm a dabbler in everything but writing.  Plus what I managed to do with my Nikon Coolpix has been fine for me.

Every year our small town hosts a fair and every year I've entered photos into the contests.  Some years I do great and win a few ribbons, other years nothing.  This year, I entered in these six photos.  One of them won first place and one of them earned third place.  If you're the first to pick/guess the right ones, I'll send you a set of the new editions of the GLASS books!  Please leave info so I can contact you.  Yes, it's open international and I'll leave it open until next Monday, September 2nd.

Central Park, New York…

Playing in the Mud!

Yep, I'm a dirty girl ;)  On Saturday, I participated in the Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run - a 3.1 mile course with 12 obstacles and yes, I completed every obstacle no matter how gross. 

Why?  Good question.  My friend Kathy invited me, my daughter, and her friend to go. They immediately said yes (see - I didn't raise a girly girly!) and I said, "hell no."  Well...three against one - I was out numbered.  Actually, I changed my mind once I learned that it really isn't a race to the finish and I could walk the course if I so desired.  Plus this was more a fun run and a portion of the proceeds go to cancer research.  Win - Win (except for my sneakers).  The worst part - the time!  Our wave left at 9:00 am (the am stands for I AM usually asleep until noon).

Here's a before picture of our team the Madames of Mayhem.  Can you recognize me?

Our team, like most teams that participated, dressed alike - black tank top, black shorts (spandex because according to my friend, co…

Winners announced + 6000 Likes giveaway!

Thanks for all the comments/entries about all my new covers!  I picked the four winners using a random number generator and the following people won:

Jessica from Connecticut
Stephanie from Canada
Brianna from South Carolina
Helene from France

Congrats to all!!

And for those who missed out this time, check my Facebook page. I'm doing another giveaway of 6 prize packs - the prize packs include one copy of the new cover of STORM GLASS, one copy of the new SEA GLASS, and one copy of STORM WATCHER.  Yup 3 books for 6 people.

Just FYI - I'm keeping an eye on the number of subscribers I have to my blog and it's getting close to 1000 - which would be another reason to celebrate :)

New Looks for My Glass Series + Give Aways

Yes, that's right, my Glass series is getting a new look in both the United States/Canada and the United Kingdom. 

The new US/Canada editions are not quite brand new.  As you can see, the covers are the ones used on the Australian editions a few years ago (which I love since Opal looks just like I imagined her!).  But the size is new.  The Glass books will be printed as mass market sized paperbacks and cost $7.99.  STORM GLASS is coming out next Tuesday, July 30th, SEA GLASS will be out September 24, and SPY GLASS will be released on October 29.  I'm excited about it and hope the new covers and price will attract new readers :)

I did an interview about these new releases with The Reading Frenzy.  Here's a link:

And below are the very brand new covers for the Glass books in the United Kingdom. These were designed to match the new editions of the Study books the UK released back in June…


This is the cover for the US and Canada.  Release date in the US and Canada is December 31, 2013 (I don't have details for the UK or Australian release dates yet).

 WELL?  What do you think?  I LOVE it - but that's me :)

Oh and you can already pre-order on Amazon ;>  Here's a link:

Greenshift Cover Reveal

NO - this isn't a new book from ME - but a book written by a good friend and fellow Seton Hill graduate, Heidi Ruby Miller.  She is a lovely lady (and today's her birthday - Happy Birthday Heidi!!).  I read parts of her first novel, Ambasadora while in school and enjoyed the story very much.  Greenshift is a stand alone novel so you don't have to read Ambasadora.

Here's the info from Heidi:

To celebrate the cover reveal for Greenshift, the e-book will be temporarily 99 cents at Amazon! Here's the link:

Greenshift is a tale set within the world of Ambasadora.

Mari's rare eye color makes her a pariah within Upper Caste society, which is why she prefers plants to people...except David, the former Armadan captain who shuttles scientists around on a refurbished pleasure cruiser.

But someone else is interested in Mari and her distin…

Quick Update

Another month has zoomed by and while I haven't been blogging, I haven't been idle either :)

May is always crazy with my children's end of school concerts, tournaments, banquets. And in June, my son, Luke graduated from High School!  I'm not sure how it happened, I swear I just dropped him off at pre-school in September.  Besides, I'm not old enough to have an 18 year old - must of been a time warp ;)

Luke is going to attend Pennsylvania State University for computer science - my alma mater for my Bachelor's degree and my husband's, too. After the big graduation day and party, we went to the beach for a week to relax.

Some writing news - my Study books are going to be re-released in the UK with new covers.  Well, not new, new as these covers also graced the Australian editions, but new to UK readers. They have the number of the book on the spine and they're called The Chronicles of Ixia.

For those who haven't heard, TASTE OF DEATH is now titled, TAST…

Chatting with my Editor Part 4

This is the last post in this series of chats with my editor.  If you want to read Parts 1 to 3, scroll down through my blog :)

At the end of Part 3, I asked Mary-Theresa this question: After the cover and copy are finalized, how much do you get involved with the marketing and publicity of my books?

MTH: That’s the part that I have the least input with and it can be nerve-wracking! Luckily we have a talented marketing and PR group who take the titles to the sales force, discuss where to advertise, what signings to support, how and where to position the title and arrange for blogging tours and interviews. I’m there for backup to talk up the story as needed, review some of the print materials, and talk to whoever needs me! But once I’ve turned in the last bit, I need to let go and hopefully just communicate the information between author and marketing/PR and do all I can to support both sides of the equation.

I need to remember that my focus is now on getting the author to work on the …

Chatting with my Editor Part 3

For those just tuning in - I've been posting a chat with my editor of nine years!  To read part 1, click here:  and to read part 2, click here:
MTH: And while the manuscript bits are happening, we're also trying to find the perfect cover and copy to represent the book. How do you find that process?

MVS: I always feel out of the loop when it comes to the covers for my books.  I know I fill out an art fact sheet about my books, including character descriptions, synopsis, visual elements, etc...  But after that, I've no idea how the artists, photographers and designers take those comments and transform them into a beautiful cover.  I did enjoy the few times I was able to "help."   It was fun picking the direction of the cover model's gaze for INSIDE OUT.  And I tell everyone the glass starfis…

Chatting with my Editor Part 2

I'm chatting with my editor, Mary-Theresa Hussey, who's been working with me for the last nine years.  If you haven't read it, check out Part 1 here:

MTH: Maria--how do you see the revision process going?

MVS: The revision process is easier for me.My first draft is always the hardest to write.It's when I discover all the story elements and plot.I start with a character, a situation, and a vague ending, but what happens along the way is usually unplanned.Once the first draft is finished, then comes the fun part.I'll do a revision and send it to Mary-Theresa.When you returns it to me with your comments, I open the file and read through them all.Then I need a day to calm down!It's funny how when I first read them, I'll be annoyed, impatient, exasperated, depressed, and excited (when I get that rare smiley face).These emotions don't happen at the same time--it's like a…

Chatting with my Editor Part 1

I’ve been working with my editor, Mary-Theresa Hussey of Harlequin pretty much from the beginning of my writingcareer.My very first editor, Helen French (out of the UK office) who made the call and bought POISON STUDY and MAGIC STUDY worked with me for about six months before leaving the company.And, as a brand new author, still shiny, I was immediately worried because I’ve heard stories of orphaned authors, where the editor who loved her story leaves, and no one else in the company is interested at all.

Mary-Theresa quickly stepped in, and she’s been mine…or rather I’ve been hers ever since.  Nine years of answering all my questions, addressing my concerns, and editing my manuscripts.

I thought it would be fun to have a chat with my editor about our nine years together.

 Me & Mary-Theresa
MVS:  Let’s start at the beginning.Back in 2003, you were in charge of Harlequin's new fantasy imprint called LUNA Books and looking for fantasy novels with strong female protagonists and…

May Madness

And I was doing so well with posting!  Then a few things converged and all my extra time for blogging disappeared.  This post will be a quick update on what's been going on and then I'm going to post a multi-part chat with my editor!

BIG News - TASTE OF DEATH has a new title.  Book 3 of the Healer Series will now be titled, TASTE OF DARKNESS.  Various reasons were given - original title too morbid, too serial-killer-ish.  At first, I wasn't too excited about the change, but I trust my publisher and they were excited about the new title and it seems my Facebook friends are in agreement. So I'm happy. The cover isn't finalized yet, but I can tell you Deep Purple - very dark!  What do you think of the new title?

I've also been working on STORM WATCHER revisions.  The book will be out in October 2013, but I'll be signing ARCs for STORM WATCHER at Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City (Javits Convention Center) on Thursday, May 30th at Table 13 from 3 to 4 pm…