Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Release! Unsurpassed by Charity Parkerson

Unsurpassed
By
Charity Parkerson




Blurb:

Book 1 in the No Rival series

Aubree is infatuated with two men, Max and Ryan. The two former Marines have been her close friends ever since she made her first misguided attempt at joining their kickboxing classes. When the pair invites her to join them at a weekend party thrown by Drew, a famous MMA champion, she has no idea what they have in mind. After spending one hot ménage night with the pair, Aubree learns the men’s intentions are not all about her. Feeling betrayed, Aubree turns to Drew who is also tugging at her heart. She must choose between the two men who have been the center of her fantasies, and the one man who could make all her dreams come true.

Inside Scoop: This sexy tale includes a ménage and male/male encounters that may leave you wishing for an alpha male fighter of your own.
A Romantica contemporary erotic romance from 
Ellora'sCave Publishing

Buy Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Excerpt:

Leaning against the cool wood of the hotel room door, she met his stare trying hard not to smile like an idiot.
“This was fun.”
Drew’s eyes flashed. “If you ask nicely, I’ll let you take me to bed.”
She shook her head at his antics. “What if I’m not feeling especially nice?”
Drew brushed his hand over her hip. “You’re right. You do feel naughty,” he agreed. Holding her stare, he bent closer, giving her time to protest his advance. The door opened at Aubree’s back. If she hadn’t hit the solid wall of Max’s chest, she might have ended up sprawled across the floor. Tilting back her head, she took note of the angry expression on Max’s face before switching her gaze back to Drew. His eyes danced with humor as he mouthed, “Denied,” and Aubree slapped her hand over her mouth to smother her giggles.
“Have a nice night, Drew.” Drew ignored Max’s snarling words.
“May I see you again?”
“I’d like that,” she answered without hesitation. Max growled. At the sound, Drew flashed him a cocky grin before giving her a wicked version of it and turning away. As soon as he moved out of the doorway, Max slammed it closed, focusing his ire on her. She’d never seen him truly angry before now. She laughed nervously.
“Are you drunk?”
“No,” she answered, incredulous. “I’ve had two glasses of champagne all night.”
“Your face is flushed.”
Aubree shrugged. “I’m happy. I had a good time.”
Max prowled toward her. The hard set of his jaw caused a flutter of desire to run through her. “Did you forget who you came here with?”
Unable to think of a single retort, she shrugged again. “I’m young and single. Why shouldn’t I enjoy myself?”
Max’s eyes flashed dangerously. His tone had a bite to it when he spoke. “You are not single.”



Author Bio:

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora's Cave Publishing. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.
*2013 Readers' Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner
*ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath
*Named one of the top 10 best books by an Indie author in 2011- Paranormal Reads Reviews
*Best Paranormal Romance of 2012- Paranormal Reads Reviews

Connect with her online:



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Monday, April 14, 2014

Navigating Nursing Homes

I hate nursing homes. I'll just say that right off the bat. Of course, I don't know anyone who loves them, but unfortunately, many of us will struggle with placing a loved one in nursing care at some point. I understand they serve a purpose, but I have rarely seen the care match the cost. The basic rate in California is currently $250.00 a day (some cost more), which works out to over $7,000.00 a month per person. I realize there are costs involved in running a facility, but there is no excuse for poor care.

Recently, I was forced to put my grandmother in a nursing home. She has been staying with board and care operators who have treated her like family for the last few years, but I knew her money would run out eventually, and it has. In addition, her health has declined, so board and care is no longer an option. She needs around the clock care, and she doesn't have enough money to pay privately.

The information in this blog is about nursing homes in northern California. I can't speak for other states or countries, although, with the internet, it's easy to do research on nursing homes (long term care facilities) in your area.

Many of the nursing homes here have both short term rehabilitation care and long term nursing care. My grandmother has been in several nursing homes for short term rehab while she was recovering from bladder infections and a fractured hip. What I've learned from those experiences is what I want to share with you.

1.   Do your homework: A simple Google search for long term care facilities in your area will often give a listing of nursing homes in your area along with other basic information (address, phone, number of beds, etc.). Some will also offer a star ratings based on things like staffing, health inspection, quality measures, etc. I found this one from Medicare that was really helpful. Also, make a list of the top three facilities, so you will have alternatives, since they may not have openings in the place you want to use when you need to move your loved one in.
2.   Visit the facility: No matter what it may say on the internet, it's important to see for yourself. Talk to the staff and other residents. Does the place look clean? Does it smell bad? Are the other residents clean and dressed appropriately? Go around mealtime and see what they are feeding the residents. Ask for a tour of the facilities. This isn't a guarantee either. The last place I had my grandmother in was beautiful and looked fabulous, but they were horrible when it came to care, but it needs to be done.
3.   Personal belongings: The short answer - don't take in anything you don't want to go missing. The first time I had to put my grandmother in a nursing home, just about everything she owned disappeared, including her cell phone, her glasses, her dentures, and almost all of her clothes and shoes. For short term rehab, only take the necessities. Most places have phones, so don't bring a cell if the patient isn't aware enough to keep track of it. For clothing, label everything! I used iron on tape near the factory labels and put my grandmother's name on it in big letters with a permanent marker, so it can be easily seen by staff. I did the same for her blankets. Take pictures of everything you take in. Facilities have a personal items inventory list that they have you sign. Make sure it's accurate. This last time, I did my own inventory list, cataloging everything in minute detail along with pictures and the cost of each item. I had the staff initial each one and sign the bottom. Overkill? Maybe, but my grandmother's been burned too many times. Her stuff may still come up missing, but at least this time, I have the proof I need to make the facility reimburse her. They also want you to sign the personal items inventory list on the way out. Don't sign for anything you don't have on the list.
4.   Visit often: This is a must if at all possible. They are more likely to care for your loved one if they know people are watching. I definitely have experience with this. Trust me, the care will be different if you make sure they know you will be checking on them.
5.   If you think there is a problem, or you think your loved one is being mistreated, don't hesitate to talk to the facility administrators. If you don't feel like the problem(s) has been resolved, or you think there is true abuse, contact your local state licensing agency or your state's Ombudsman. Every facility my grandmother has been in has had me sign a paper saying that we can't sue them. However, that doesn't mean that complaints can't be made. I did make a formal complaint to the California state licensing department over the care my grandmother received in the last nursing home. I was really relieved to see that the licensing people followed up and called me back with the results. The nursing home was at fault and was cited and fined for over $10,000. That didn't really help my grandmother, but hopefully, they will try to improve their care for the other patients they have.
6.   If you don't like the care your loved one is receiving, and your complaints to the administrators have not been resolved, move him/her to another facility.


My heart goes out to every family member who is having to deal with this right now, or who has a loved one already in long term care. Please feel free to add any tips or websites you think might be helpful. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Midnight Never Ends by Thomas Amo #horror


Horror is my guilty pleasure. I love to watch scary movies and read stories that give me the creeps. My friend Thomas Amo recently released a book of short stories as an homage to one of our favorite television shows, Night Gallery. My mom wouldn't let me watch it, so I had to wait until I went to visit my dad. I would curl up on the couch with a big blanket to hide behind, and watch, wide-eyed, as Rod Serling captivated me with his storytelling. My thanks to Thomas for stopping by my blog to talk about Midnight Never Ends.



Finally, after two years, Thomas Amo is returning to his horror roots! Always a fan of great ghost stories, haunted houses, and terrifying tales. His latest, is not only all of the above, but a tribute to one of his biggest inspirations.

On April 7th, the author launched his latest. He gives us a peek into the dark corners of his imagination, while paying homage to one of the most prolific television writers of the twentieth century. And to a show that kept a young boy wide awake at night, long after the end credits rolled. I'm talking of course about, Rod Serling, and the Night Gallery.

The Night Gallery was an anthology series created from the mind of the man who had given us the Twilight Zone, ten years earlier. This time, the show would focus on the macabre, horror, and the occult, instead of the science fiction morality tales the Twilight Zone was so famous for. In 1969 a pilot for the eventual series came in the form of a movie of the week, based on two stories from Serling's only novel. "The Season to be Wary." Originally published in 1967, it provided the perfect backdrop for a concept that would allow viewers, director and creators to go in any direction with each story they wanted to, and not be locked into the typical weekly series, where cops always get the bad guy, the space ship crash lands on yet, another hostile alien planet, and those hillbillies in Beverly Hills, still get to relax next to the cement pond. 

After the pilot, the show was picked up and aired from 1970-1973 on NBC, Wednesday nights at 10pm as an hour show for the first two seasons. Then moved to Sunday nights at 10:30, reduced down to a thirty minute show. Often, Serling was considered only as the host of the show and nothing more. However, that is simply not true, as he wrote over one third of the episodes. Having come on board as the show's creator, he didn't want the responsibilities of being a producer, like with Twilight Zone, so he allowed that job to go to, Jack Laird. A decision he would very much regret. In spite of Serling's disappointments with the show, it literally became a showcase for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Often considered campy at best, the show still delivered several gems based on many popular short stories of the day and adapted into original canvas paintings, created by artist, Tom Wright. 

For this author, part of the scare in the show was the paintings themselves. placed against Rod Serling's perfect presence and narrative flair, the Night Gallery wouldn't have had near the chill factor it carried without him. 

So, on April 7, 2014, Thomas Amo, takes you back to a place very much like the Night Gallery, where he not only pays tribute to a brilliant writer, but to a show that made being a kid being scared at night, fun.
Four twisted tales of horror from author, Thomas Amo, that pay tribute to master writer of the macabre, Rod Serling, and the gothic, little salon, where sinister artwork tell the stories, in a place known as, the Night Gallery. You're invited to join us as we display four new original canvases for you to observe and study, each with its own dark story to tell. We ask only that you do not touch the exhibited works. For very frequently, they touch back. RATED FOR ADULT HORROR 18+ 



HERE is the buy link on Amazon:


Thomas Amo
Author of "Forever ME"


Keep in touch with Thomas on:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Release! Lady of the Lake by Mireille Chester

I'm always pleased to have my friend, Mireille Chester, on my blog. Today she is celebrating the release of her latest book, Lady of the Lake (Faerie Dreams: Book Two). Here is the book information and excerpt.



Blurb:
Lady of the Lake (Faerie Dreams: book two)

Just when Kate thought she thought she'd never visit Kallaryn again, she finds herself awake in Prince Quallen's cave.  This time, she's sure she knows why she's here. Quallen's uncle has targeted Veenata's lake and if they can't get the anti-spell done on time, the water nymph will surely die.

It's a race against time to find all the ingredients.  While rushing around to save their friend, Kate makes an astonishing discovery about herself. There's a reason she was born a Dreamwalker and it's up to her to save those she cares for.


Excerpt:
Kate smiled as they jogged through the forest of florescent colored trees.  It was amazing how much she’d missed being here.  Quallen glanced at her and grinned.

“You look like you’re happy to be here despite the circumstances.”

“I am.”  She made sure not to trip over a fallen tree before chancing a look at him.  His wings fluttered effortlessly and helped him glide over the same tree she’d barely hopped over.  “Cheater.”

He laughed.  “I’m glad you’re back, Kate.”

“Me too, Quallen.”

He hopped over another tree in his path.  “You’ve been practicing running?”

Kate nodded.  “Just in case I came back.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack with all the walking and running we did the last time.”  She was actually fairly proud of how well she was keeping up with him.  She knew her endurance had improved with all of her training but until you were actually chasing a Faerie prince through the woods, it was hard to judge just how much.

“Tell me more about what’s about to happen.”

She took a deep breath.  “I have no idea, really.  I was just reading the part where the mages were starting the spell when I fell asleep.”

“What in the world is my uncle up to?” 

Kate was finding it harder and harder to weave between the trees as the forest became denser.  It wouldn’t be much farther before they’d reach the tree wall guarding the lake.  She frowned.

“I thought anyone with thoughts of harm towards the lake and Veenata couldn’t get past the tree wall.”

Quallen nodded.  “There’s no way those elves should have gotten in.  They must be powerful mages to have done so.”

They both reached out a hand and touched the wall of trees in front of them.  Kate grinned as they spread to let the duo pass.  Quallen crossed first, his hand on his dagger should he need it.  Kate wiped the rain out of her eyes.  The wind whipped her wet hair against her cheeks. 

“Do you know which side of the lake they were on?”

She shook her head.

“Alright.  Stay close and low to the ground.”  His whisper was lost in a boom of thunder.

Kate’s heart pounded in her chest while the butterflies battled in her stomach.  Mud and dead leaves squished between her fingers and they crawled to the edge of the lake to get a better view.

“Stop it!”  Veenata’s voice barely carried through the sound of the rain.
Quallen brushed wet bangs out of his eyes with the back of his arm, his violet eyes dark with anger.

The dark elves laughed and continued to chant.

“What should we do?”

Veenata’s sobs made Kate’s earlier resentment vanish.  Quallen pulled an arrow from his quiver and notched it on the string of his bow.

“Killing the elves will buy us time?”

Kate nodded.  “I think so.”  She flinched as lightning left the mages and shot upwards into the clouds.

Veenata screamed.

Quallen’s arrow shot through the rain and impaled itself into the farthest elf’s chest.  His second shot took down the one closest to them.  The third elf threw himself to the ground and rolled behind a fallen tree.  Veenata turned toward them, relief clear on her face.

“Stay down, Kate.”  Quallen stood, his wet wings useless.  He sprinted around the lake, heading toward the last mage.

Another lightning bolt shot through the air and Kate watched as it arced and electrified the water.   Veenata screeched and disappeared under the surface.  A wave started where the lightning had impacted and grew as it came closer to shore. 

Before she could run away, the wall of water engulfed her.  Kate managed to fill her lungs with air before being pulled back into the churning waters.  She looked through the dark water, desperate to find the surface.  The need to breathe tightened her chest and panic set in.  There was no way Quallen was going to save her this time.  Had he been sucked into the lake also?
Her lungs screaming for air, she kicked her legs.

A vice-like grip tightened around her ankle and she screamed.  Bubbles popped around her face as the last of her air escaped her lungs.  Veenata’s hand produced a small glowing orange conch shell.  She pressed it to Kate’s lips and motioned for her to suck through it.

Get your copy of Lady of the Lake (Faerie Dreams: Book Two) here on Amazon.

Author info:
Wife, mother, author. That pretty much sums it up. :) I am a fantasy author who loves to spend time in made up worlds filled with magic. I am a firm believer that no hero is perfect and that all villains are burdened with a tiny shred of humanity. 
  
Connect with Mireille:


Romance Reviews 3rd Anniversary Party!


The Romance Reviews site is having a 3rd Anniversary Party the whole month of March with over 450 authors (including yours truly) doing giveaways of their books with a $100 gift certificate as the grand prize. There are still a lot of prizes up for grabs, so go check it out here!



Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Writing Process

I was invited to join this blog tour by the incredibly talented Jane Isaac. I loved her first thriller/mystery novel, An Unfamiliar Murder. I can't wait for the next on in the series, The Truth Will Out, set to be released in April.

I'm always interested to hear about the creative processes of others, so I'm glad Jane included me. I'm enjoying reading the other blogs in this tour.

What am I working on?

I really try to focus on one project at a time, but that isn't always the case. Right now I'm working on several books. The one I'm trying to focus on is the follow up to my historical western romance, The Rustler's Daughter. I meant it as a stand-alone book, but soon after its release, I received numerous messages asking for books about his two brothers. So, I'm currently working on Matthew's book, which I don't have a title for just yet.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most of my work has been in the paranormal genre. That genre is saturated with great indie and traditional writers, so coming up with something original can be tough. I ran across my idea by accident. Generally, in paranormal books about vampires, they are all the same kind of vampire. They may have different abilities, but they are usually turned the same way and can be killed the same way. In my Díon series, I had a vampire from Scotland and one who was a Viking warrior, so when I started doing research on how they may be different, I found an overwhelming amount of information on creatures from all over the world. So I thought it might be fun to have each one be different. My vampire characters are created from the lore of the region they come from. It's been a lot of fun doing research.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I love. I have always been fascinated with the paranormal, so it wasn't a surprise that I wanted to write about it. I'm also a big fan of romance. I want to write books I'd like to read.

How does my writing process work?

When I'm bored (or having trouble sleeping), I make up stories to keep my brain occupied. It might start out as a single scene that I keep playing in my head until I get it the way I want it, then I write it down, and it grows from there. I generally see the scenes in my head, like a movie, complete with dialogue. I often write scenes out of order. I always think it's going to be a nightmare when editing, but my brain must have some kind of overarching idea of where the story is going because it always works out.

Other times, I just have to write. There is no easy scene in my head. That's when the real work starts. I always say that my characters keep me on a need to know basis, which isn't a lot. Sometimes I start writing a chapter, and I have no know what's going to happen. It's both frustrating and exciting.

I never throw anything away. While I was writing the first two Díon books, I wrote two scenes that I thought I would be using in those books, but they both wound up in the third book.

I try to write every day, but with work and family demands, it's hard to find the time. I'm not as disciplined as I should be. I want writing to be fun not forced. I don't want it to be another responsibility that I have on my "to do" list.

Thanks for reading about my writing process. I nominate the following writers to share their own creative approaches with us next week:

Charity Parkerson has a ton of work published. She writes romance, paranormal romance, and erotica. I am a huge fan of her paranormal romance books. She has won numerous awards and has recently signed on with Ellora's Cave.

Roberta J Gordon is the author of Gemini Witching: Elements 101. In addition to writing, she is also deeply committed to helping new authors navigate the self publishing process.


Mireille Chester has published several books in the fantasy genre in both YA and adult. She loves to spend time immersed in worlds filled with magic. I love Mireille's writing style, and her books are full of the best characters.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New Self Publishing Services/Resources Company

As a self published author, I'm always looking for resources to share. I want to welcome Bobbie Faulkner, who will be talking about her company, Jules-Faulkner Publishing, LLC, and some of the services they offer. I checked out the website myself and immediately bookmarked it. I loved their "Things to know..." page. They offer a variety of services at affordable prices. Check it out!
Here's what Bobbie has to say about her new venture:

The brave new frontier authors face daily is self publishing.  If you’ve been on this adventure for more than thirty minutes you’ve realized there are a lot of choices out there.  You can literally spend days researching and still feel like you’re running in circles.  My very good friend Michelle Franco changed my world almost two years ago when she told me that publishing an E-book was FREE on Amazon. 
Since that time I’ve met so many awesome authors that I treasure as close friends now.  It’s like power networking any time we get together, chat on the phone or Skype.  We keep discussing the options and websites available to help and how can we help others that are in our similar shoes.
One adventure I had was obtaining my Copyright.  A friend was guiding me through the process because it was like extra tricky, or I was extremely dense.  While I’m not an IT whiz, I do play one for my daytime job and had had the experience of using GoToMeeting.com.  Using this website I was able to create a meeting, share my desktop with my friend and then she was able to guide me for the final stages of completing my quest.
Later I thought if I was having difficulty with the Copyright website maybe other people are too.  I extrapolated from that thought to pondering the chances of compiling a site to help other authors, using GoToMeeting.com if needed.
I’ve had many hobbies over the years.  Photography, photo editing, book covers, book marks and logos, I've found it was therapy actually.   I discovered that many of my author friends are exceptionally talented in the area of editing. So…..jumping ten steps ahead of myself, I decided to try this new idea of combining all of these things together to help other authors.  That's where Jules-Faulkner Publishing was born.  We want to be a friendly voice for other authors, especially budding wordsmiths, that are about to face the same struggle in finding help.  If a friendly voice needs to be a helping hand we want to make that available as well.
Where traditional publishers offer these services in house, so to speak, we are offering editing, graphics, formatting, and consulting services ala cart, if that is what fits the need.  We are also compiling a list, a work in progress, of reference links that would help new authors.  Now while a few have raised their eyebrows over the fact that not only are we offering services, this list of reference links also directs you to other sites for some of the same services, trust me it’s intentional.  Knowledge is power, and it’s a journey that never ends.  I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned.  As varied as genres are, this process should not be viewed as the cookie cutter design to help everyone, but an avenue to promote well informed decisions.  While in the process if you run into trouble and need a hand, we are available to help.  Even if that help is just a friendly chat, know you are not alone in this journey. 
Drop by and visit our website at Jules-FaulknerPublishingLLC.com.  Leave us a message, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  We look for any reason to grab a cup of coffee and pontificate the “what if’s” or “what’s next”, and we'd love to share it with you.

PS...If you've found links you found useful in your quest, drop us a line, and we will add it to the list.