Merry Chick Lit, a Christmas anthology in aid of breast cancer charity

51XOHBqtNOL__AA160_In the spirit of giving, six chick-lit authors present a charming collection of seasonal shorts sure to inspire holiday cheer, plus love and hope throughout the year, with all proceeds donated to Rocking the Road for a Cure!

On Friday 22nd November, Merry Chick Lit, a warm, funny Christmas anthology in aid of Breast Cancer Care, will be officially released.

Every penny of the royalties is going to Breast Cancer Charity, Rocking the Road to a Cure.

Rocking the Road to a Cure is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.

The name comes from their founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need.

Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.

So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.

Featured authors & stories include:

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
In “Santa’s Gift,” journalist Jessica thinks Santa’s just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can’t deliver–true love. Or can he…?

Sarah Hitchcock
In “The Christmas Lights,” one competition pits two families against each other…who will win this war?

Francine LaSala
Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow–and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in “Carol of the Belles.”

Nikki Mahood In “Spinster Christmas,” Cara’s looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old–and she believes very gay–crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn’t gay after all…

Holly Martin
Ella’s dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in “Iced Dreams.” But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!

K.C. Wilder
In “The Mermaid,” Allie’s content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff’s gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep…

So snuggle up near the fire, drink a glass of wine or a cup of cocoa and enjoy these festive holiday shorts, knowing your purchase of this book is helping women with breast cancer.

You can get your copy from Amazon. You get a great read and you help a great cause!

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Find out what Christmas means for Jaimie Admans and her newest heroine, Mistletoe Bell!

This week sees the release of Jaimie’s newest offering, North Pole Reform School, a YA romantic comedy.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – nobody writes quite like Jaimie Admans, she has a refreshing and original voice and I absolutely love her books. North Pole Reform School is no different and people who love Christmas films like Elf will absolutely love this book! So… here’s my Q&A with Jaimie.
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1. What’s your first Christmas memory?
I remember waking up to find my mum putting a stocking full of presents at  the end of the bed! I don’t know how old I was, probably 4 or 5, but it was the  first time I realised Santa wasn’t real! I don’t remember being overly  traumatised by it so maybe I suspected he wasn’t real anyway!
2. What’s your best Christmas memory?
I don’t know! I have loads of good memories of Christmas when I was little!  I loved having all the family in and all the presents stacked under the tree,  and I was the one responsible for handing them out when I was barely old enough  to be able to read the names on them! I remember jumping on my mum’s bed at 4am  when I knew she’d got me the Princess Jasmine doll I’d wanted for ages! The  Christmas our dog ate the whole tree and most of the presents under it was  pretty fun too in a disastrous kind of way! I think overall my favourite memory  is rushing downstairs at ridiculous-o’clock every morning in December to eat the  advent calendar chocolate and sing Christmas songs when everyone else was still  asleep! My family must’ve hated me in December!
3. Can you tell us anything about the parents that were strange/ mental  enough to call their baby Mistletoe Bell?
They’re completely mad about Christmas! Her dad works as a Santa in a  supermarket and her mum wants to be a Mrs-Claus-esque host of the perfect  Christmas! They had their first kiss under the mistletoe at a Christmas party,  and when Mistletoe was born on Christmas Eve, they thought it was some kind of  sign that she should be lumbered with an embarrassing Christmassy name for the  rest of her life! Of course, they think it’s the loveliest name ever and don’t  think it’s embarrassing at all! The book starts when Mis gets whisked away in  the middle of the night to North Pole Reform School so her parents aren’t in it  much, and I did cut a lot of their scenes and backstory as I wanted the book to  mostly focus on Mistletoe and Luke – the boy she meets at the reform  school!
4. This book seems very much to have the Jaimie Admans trademark surreal  vibe, despite the fact that it’s a Christmas tale – where do your influences  come from?
Ha ha! I think I just have a really weird, slightly disturbing imagination!  People do mention Tim Burton a lot in relation to my writing, and I have to  admit that I absolutely adore him, but I don’t think he directly influences me!  The whole idea for this story came from a newspaper headline – it was about a  window cleaner dressed as an elf who was cleaning windows while balancing  precariously on a ledge, with no harness or anything. The headline was ‘Elf and  Safety’, and it immediately put an image into my head of elves in a classroom,  learning the elf equivalent of our health and safety practices. Somehow that  turned into an image of elves in a classroom teaching humans the same thing, and  the whole idea of a North Pole school was born, and ‘elf and safety’ became a  class that the Christmas-haters have to take in the book!
5. A bit random… what’s your favourite Christmas song and why?
Up until a few years ago it was Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues, but  now it’s My Favourite Time Of Year by The Florin Street Band! It’s just such a  lovely, old-fashioned Christmas song! I fell in love with it as soon as I heard  it! And it’s got such a snowy, Christmassy video! (Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H10f2w7T5CU)  I even managed to work a mention of it into North Pole Reform School!
6. Do you still believe in Santa? If so, what have you asked him for this  year?
Of course! You can’t write Christmas books and not believe in Santa! That’s  the kind of thing that gets you a lump of coal in your stocking on Christmas  morning! Seriously, I love all things Christmas, including Santa, and I actually  wish he was real! How awesome would that be? I honestly don’t know what to ask  him for this year, unless he could provide a winning lottery ticket? A winning  lottery ticket and a massive box of Ferrero Rocher, please Santa!
If you’d like to grab a copy of North Pole Reform School, you can buy from Amazon here. You can also check out Jaimie’s other titles and find out more about her by going to her website.

Roquet’s Reapings – Angela shares her latest news

Normally I share a music vid on a Friday night, but when I saw this vlog post from fellow Off the Beaten Path author, Angela Roquet, I just had to share it. Not only do I really wish I lived near to her so I could go to the Prombie Apocalypse (I know, how cool?) she also gives The Memory Game and Off the Beaten Path a little mention, which makes me very excited indeed. I have Angela’s new YA, Crazy Ex-Ghoulfriend, on my TBR list and I can’t wait to read it.

For now, let me introduce you to the very lovely and cool Angela Roquet.

Off the Beaten Path blog tour – day 7

Off the Beaten Path_front_96 dpiThe second bit of excitement today is that it’s the final day of the Off the Beaten Path Blog tour. Today I’m featuring fellow contributor, Monica la Porta, who is not only  a very talented writer, but was also generous enough with her time to help this poor English girl get all Luca’s Italian dialogue right in the Sky Song books, for which both me and Luca will be eternally grateful!  Monica has penned the short story’ Home Wet Home’ for the Off the Beaten Path anthology as well as her own brilliant fantasy books, The Priest and Pax in the Land of Women.

You can find Monica all across the usual internet hang outs:

Monica La Porta’s blog:
The Ginecean Chronicles’ Facebook pageMonica KB promotion 500x743
Goodreads Author page:

The Ginecean Chronicles:
The Priest
Pax in the Land of Women
Children’s books and YA short stories:
The Prince’s Day Out
Linda of the Night

The Priest

Mauricio is a slave. Like any man born on Ginecea, he is but a number for the pure breed women who rule over him with cruel hands. Imprisoned inside the Temple since birth, Mauricio has never been outside, never felt the warmth of the sun on his skin. He lives a life devoid of hopes and desires. Then one day, he hears Rosie sing. He risks everything for one look at her and his life is changed, forever. An impossible friendship blossoms into affection deemed sinful and perverted in a society where the only rightful union is between women. Love is born where only hate has roots and leads Mauricio to uncover a truth that could destroy Ginecea.

And don’t forget to enter the  giveaway where you can win a bound copy of the anthology and Amazon gift cards.

The Sentinel by Holly Martin – cover reveal.

Today I have lots of stuff to tell you about, but a biggie is this… a beautiful cover for a debut novel by fellow YA writer Holly Martin. I’m just slightly wildly jealous of this cover, it’s beautiful.  You can check out Holly’s new website for more information about release and about her too.

20131002-1-1-1The Sentinel:

When Eve is rescued from a  horrific coach crash by her teachers, she is shocked to discover they  possess super strength and speed.  But what happens next is even  more harrowing.

In the aftermath of the crash she discovers that  everyone in her life from neighbours, doctors, dentists, teachers, shop  keepers and even her family and friends are actually super strength  Guardians sent to protect her.  They all have one thing in common,  a single minded ferocity that she must be kept alive at all costs.

However, she is surrounded by secrets and lies.   Those in the know deny all knowledge of what happened that fateful night.   Everyone else carries on as normal, seemingly unaware of the new strange  world that she has stumbled against.

With the help of Seth, her best friend, Eve discovers  the prophecies surrounding her true identity and the super strength  she too holds. With her Guardians pledged to protect her, her closest  friends ready to die for her, her own hopes and dreams are put on hold  whilst she battles to control the amazing powers she has been bestowed  with.

But those that seek to destroy her move ever closer.   Will the Guardians be enough to protect her when so many are prepared  to stop at nothing to see her dead? And will she be strong enough to  fulfil her destiny when the time comes?

A fast paced fantasy adventure for young adults. 

With high speed car chases, airborne fights, amazing stunts and super  powered beings, this is a story of loyalty, friendship and love.

Off the Beaten Path blog tour – day 6

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of featuring Jason T Graves, editor of Off the Beaten Path and author of Blood Roses and Morning Stars on the blog as part of a combined indie author event.  To celebrate the release of Off the Beaten Path, I thought I’d give readers a second chance to get acquainted with this self-professed mad scientist of fiction and hat lover extraordinaire.  Here’s a selection of the questions I put to Jason in that original interview:

Have you ever written a character that you’ve disliked so much you’ve scrapped them from a work?

A few times; Some of the people in Blood Roses are annoying enough to me that they die in the sequel.

Which of your characters would frighten you if you met them in real life?

Corelis and the undead Godek.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Dashingly normal and audaciously humble.

Do you ever consult friends when you’re stuck with a plot?

In addition to my wife, I have circle of writer friends and beta readers who I consult with about issues that I have with my stories. I don’t usually get stuck on a point to that degree, though. If I have problems with a story, I set it aside and work on another story until the problem with the first unblocks and a solution presents itself.

What’s your personal kryptonite?

Doughnuts… they are the Dr. Horrible of pastries, and I cannot leave them be.  

If you could converse, a la Dr Dolittle, with one type of animal, which would it be and why?

Cetaceans (dolphins and whales). I would ask them why they keep forgiving us despite our slaughter of them, and what they dream about.

 Tea or coffee?

Tea… Chai. Rooibos. White. Green. Herbal.

You can find out more about Jason and his books at the following locations:

Jason’s blogOff the Beaten Path_front_96 dpijason graves

Jason’s Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Shelfari

Amazon (author)

And don’t forget that you have two more days to enter the giveaway to win a bound copy of Off the Beaten Path and Amazon gift cards.

Off the Beaten Path – blog tour day 5, Debra R Johnson is in the hot seat

IMG430highbwToday I’m pleased to welcome a new friend to the blog, Debra R Johnson, one of my Off the Beaten Path fellow contributors. Debra’s story, ‘To Darkness I Fall’ is a ‘different spin on seething romance…. a darker, bloodier tale’.

Debra answered a few questions about her story and her other current writing projects, so it’s over to Debra…

What other works do you have available?

Currently, my only other book out right now is the first installment  of The Phoenix Curse: After – Part One. You can download it for free on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble,  and a few other sites as well.

Here is the link to Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/After-Part-Phoenix-Curse-ebook/dp/B00D3B1C6Y

What other projects or events do you have coming up?

I am releasing After – Part Two later this month. Very  exciting for me. I actually pushed back the release date a couple weeks  due to the release of OTBP so I could fully dedicate myself to promoting  both books without crossing my wires.

What was your inspiration  for ‘To Darkness I Fall’?

‘To Darkness I Fall’, was not premeditated  at all. I had a vivid dream one Friday night, woke up Saturday morning  and started writing it down. I do this a lot with my dreams – get down  a sketch so I can have a story prompt for later – but Darkness became a full story that weekend.  I just couldn’t let it go.

Also, the main character got her name because my husband was playing  the latest Tomb Raider that weekend, and I kept hearing that name over  and over. It stuck!

Why do  you write? Do you have any encouraging words for other indies?

I have always had a very active imagination and have been able to  weave a story quite quickly out of nothing at all. When I was young,  I thought I wanted to be a writer someday, but I never received much  support from my friends and family, so the dream was intangible.

Then, years later, my daughter started writing. I supported her and  decided to start editing her work and, in doing so, it revived something  inside me. The indie author boom had just happened, so I started doing  some internet searches and stumbled across NaNoWriMo.

50k words in one month? Me? I took me a decade to write 20k on one  story. There’s no way I could possibly accomplish 50k in one month!

But it was still mid-October when all that was going through my mind,  so I pulled out an old file, dusted it off and got to writing. It was  a short story I had started nearly 20 years ago and it only had 5k words.  Within those last 2 weeks of October, I finished the story at a little  over 20k. Not the longest story ever, but it was just a test to see  if I could do it. And I passed.

When I wrote the final words to that story, I actually cried. Now,  looking back, it seems like such a little thing, but it was life-changing  at the time. That happened one year ago this October.

I entered NaNoWriMo the following month and also won that with 5 whole  days to spare. Not only that, but I actually finished that book I started  then and it became my first published novel.

So much has changed in this past year; the way I look at things and  what I can accomplish if I put my mind to it. I’m hoping this is just  the tip of the iceberg and I can’t wait to see where I’m at next  year in my budding writing career!

My advice to fellow indies and NaNoWriMos, don’t give up! Just keep  writing. You owe the story that much. Also, not to scare anyone, but  writing is the easy part. It’s the editing that’s  the bitch!

Find Debra at these places:

Facebook

Twitter

The Pheonix Curse website

Goodreads

Website