Monday, May 11, 2015

Make a Splash and WIN $75 in Amazon Cash

I am set to make a splash this summer!  Immersed is probably the most insane thing I've ever written.  But it has been insanely fun.  What was intended to be a serious attempt at contemporary romance ended up turning into a dark steampunk fantasy tongue-in-cheek romantic romp! (Whew!)

What's it about?  Well, there's a nod to the myth of Melusine and her turbulent past. (FYI: She's the siren on the Starbucks logo -- a water creature with two tails.) And there's a bit of Chicago history from when the city was raising itself up out of the mud.  But mostly there's monsters and machines and lots of dialogue that is meant to make you snicker.  Here's the general idea:

Melusine DorĂ© slays monsters for a living. The grim and gruesome don’t frighten her; she can take on a cyclops or a three-tailed dragon without even breaking a sweat. But falling in love? Falling in love terrifies her. Because love has the power to reveal a secret dark and dangerous enough to completely shatter her world.

Release date: August 18, 2015.

Immersed didn't come about on its own.  I wrote it to take part in a project with the Blazing Indie Collective.  All summer, the BIC will be releasing mermaid novellas from serious to silly, from exotic to erotic.  There is something for everyone! 

Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.
From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you've never seen before.
Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we'll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

The Water is Sweeter by Eli constant

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren's Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates: Join the Mermaids!
You can win $75 in Amazon cash!  Enter our giveaway now!



Monday, April 27, 2015

Memory of a Mattress

There are certain times of the year when I miss home --  home meaning either just the USA, or Wisconsin or my parents' house as I was growing up.  Christmas, of course.  For obvious reasons like family and food and unrestrained light displays.  Halloween makes me miss home, too.  The haunted houses and hay rides and kids dressed up for candy. Then there's Thanksgiving.  Easter.  Fourth of July. 

But there are times when I miss home that have nothing to do with a specific date or holiday.  Like I miss home at the sight of peonies, their petals tightened into large, round fists before they bloom. We had an unruly bunch of them at the back of the house when I was a kid. Their heads were so heavy my mom had to tie them back with twine.  Tiny black ants zig-zagged over the flowers and down the stems. We never cut them to put in a vase; an army of insects would fall from them any time we tried.

I miss home at the scent of lilacs.  The ch-ch-ch-ch sound of a sprinkler. The taste of butterscotch.    The itch of thick rope around a tire swing.  The broken body of a baby bird.

But it was a mattress that did it for me this past weekend.  We were given one for my youngest -- it's covered in a smooth material, flowers printed all over it.  My parents had one like that, an extra that came out when we had sleepovers.  The surface was almost like satin.  It was slippery and decorated with flowers that looked like white curley-cues.  I would prop pillows underneath one end to use it as a slide.

The sight of the other mattress, the one I put a sheet on this weekend, made memory hit me so hard tears pricked my eyes.

Memory of that damned slippery mattress at my mom and dad's made my lungs burn with longing and my hands shake. 

I loved my childhood.  It came to me suddenly that it was gone.  Forty years gone.  And it pains me that I'll never relive it.

My daughters have no garden, no tire swing, no lilac bush, no wild animal graveyard out by a shed. What will they feel and think when memory hits them?

They'll have their own memories.  And I can do my best to make those worthy.  I can do my best so that forty years from now they'll think back and cherish their childhoods the way I do mine.  Because it's actually not about the peonies or the sprinkler or the food or the mattress I slept on.  It's about love.  My family's love is laced into all sorts of items and sounds and smells.

And though I can't relive the events, I can still feel the love.  And I can pass it on.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gearing up for the YA Spring Fling Giveaway

Author Sarah Dalton is hosting a HUGE party!

The giveaway will go live on the 20th March and run until the 3rd April. From now until then all sign-ups are guaranteed at least one ebook of their choice.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fall in Deep and WIN!

Coming Summer 2015

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you've never seen before.

Every week beginning June 1st, 2015, we'll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids. 
Immersed, my novella in the series, takes place in a steampunk version of 1850s Chicago.  Melusine slays monsters for a living.  Nothing is too tough for her; she can take on a cyclops or a werewolf or a three-tailed dragon without even breaking a sweat.  So why is falling in love so terrifying?  It may be that she has a secret dark and dangerous enough to completely shatter her world. Release date: August 18, 2015

Get VIP info, heads up on giveaways and stay ahead of the game on each new release by signing up for the newsletter right here!  Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Never Too Late to Learn

Somehow Fortune has smiled on me and I've managed to fall in with some of the most awesome Indie authors around.  It happened with the Celestial anthology and now it's happening again. 

The Blazing Indie Collective writers have inspired and taught me so much over the past few months.  Although I think they were all born with super-human doses of energy and ideas -- and I can barely keep up -- I was able to sneak my way into an upcoming box-set of novellas that will be published this summer. Check out our FB page for the collection: Falling In Deep

I'm working on the book right now and, while I don't normally love research, I'm loving this!

The novella, Immersed, is Steampunk that takes place in Chicago circa late 1850s.  Now I knew that Chicago was built on marshland and was basically sinking into the muck.  And I also knew that disease was rampant in this environment, since the sewer system needed to be overhauled, and good.  But I didn't realize how the city streets were actually RAISED between four to eight feet to accommodate a new sewer pipes, gas pipes, etc.

This meant that since the streets and sidewalks were raised, the buildings needed to be as well.  Using jacks, buildings were lifted several feet and new foundations were laid underneath. But not all owners wanted to do this or could afford to do so.  Therefore, some decided instead to relocate entire buildings, pulling them down the street on rollers!  And others...well, others just decided to leave their homes as is.  That meant the ground floor became the basement, and the second story was now the first!  You can still see houses in certain areas of Chicago that were never raised:

from /Pilsen Plus on photobucket

Now, seriously?  How cool is that?

Check out some blogs and webpages on the raising of Chicago streets:  An Illustrated History from Chicago Magazine, Street Grades from Encyclopedia of Chicago, Raising of Chicago on Wikepedia