Hi! I’m new here, so don’t mind me as I get comfortable. I have recently hired an assistant, and what a God send. However, I’m still doing things last minute as I do my day job (editing) while trying to meet writing deadlines…and that doesn’t count family time!
I recently had a close brush with death (mid October). I have asthma. I had an attack. I was alone and losing consciousness. My daughter messaged me until I answered. Then, when I started losing consciousness again, a friend called and kept me awake until I made it to the hospital. I was disoriented. Had no idea where I was… Still not sure how I made it to the hospital.
Life is precious. Don’t forget that in the midst of daily life.
I’m a writer, painter, editor, et al. I write everything from urban fantasy zombies to romance with happily ever after. My latest few stories have had magic in them. And Scotland. And Highlands. I am sensing a theme here. But what does it have to do with the aforementioned asthma attack?
I realized how badly I wanted to make it as a writer. I mean, I sort of knew that already, but it remained after the life changing moment. That writing really is important to me. More time hugging my kids. Check. More time talking to friends. Check. And more writing… Not so check. It is November. To me, it starts the magical holiday season. (Honestly, I am not sure why I don’t have more Christmas stories out!) So, I need to remember the simple magic of being alive and following my dreams.
My recent brush has helped me keep on track for my dreams, even as my personal life is falling apart and this will be one of the worst Christmases I have ever lived through. I have hope and belief that this trial will leave me out on the other end better and more powerful as a creator.
So, in writing a story, I’m terribly mean to my characters. It’s a great way to work through a little angst in your life. I put them through things to make them stronger. To give them character and dimension, and plus, it has the added benefit of making things more fun to read. Hmmm…. Maybe I should be a little nicer to them?
Even in the “light hearted” tale I recently released (Enduring Legacy series, each book can be read alone), erm… I may have killed off a few people. *shifty eyes*
Christmas makes me smile. I want to bake and cook and craft to my heart’s content. I like to curl up with a good book, drink coffee or hot chocolate, and gaze out on the snow. I don’t get as much time to do that as I like. It may be time to make it a priority again.
What are your favorite books to read during the holidays? Your favorite place?
USA Today bestselling author Leona Bushman is a crazy writer taught by dragons and known as Dragon Queen of the North. She loves to write and paint, even when her muse tries to muck things up. She chases after the three out of the five children still at home, and sometimes after the other two and the grandbaby around her freelance editing jobs. She has many hobbies like SCA, painting, quilting, sewing, and gardening. Or, as one blogger succinctly put it, Leona Bushman is a whirlwind made of sheer will with a dash of clumsy to keep her grounded.
She can be found solving mysteries, exploring space, making art, and loving dragons and other creatures of the supernatural at these places:
I frequently post under the hashtags #thenextleonardodavinci and #thenextleonardodavinciandson
Also available by Leona Bushman (romance): The Ulfric’s Mate, book 1 (War of the Weres series)
The Midwife’s Moon, book 2 (War of the Weres series)
Bearly There, book 1 (War of the Weres Chronicles)
Fox in the Wolf Den, book 2 (War of the Weres Chronicles)
The Shot, book 2(Traincoach of Death series)
Luck of the Draw
Winds of Fire (Eagle Claw series)
Murder by Succubus
Magic and Weres (anthology)
Over a Dead Body
Darkest Death, book 1 (Darkest Series)
In for a Penny, book 1(Traincoach of Death series)
Highland Magic, book 1 (Highland Magic series)
A Hunter, a Witch, and a Shrew
Also available by Leona Bushman
writing as LJ Bushman (non romance): Demons and Wraiths
The Fight of the Sorceress
Cerisa’s Quest, book 1 Quest of Riverhand
Coming Soon: Darkest Death, book 2 (Darkest Series)
The Panther’s Hunter, book 3 (War of the Weres series)
Evil in the Highlands, book 2 (Highland Magic)
One of my first series, that’s still ongoing, is my Night Fall series. It’s near and dear to my heart. And there are 14 stories in the series, so far. The last title I released was Big Bad Wolf, which I adored. What wasn’t to love? A rugged, backwoods wolf with no love for vampires. A vampire with every reason to hate wolves… Of course, they had to fall in love. And there will be more stories. So, dive in. None of them are terribly long. You can consume them like candy. I dare you to give them a try…
Comment for a chance to win your choice of download from among the stories shown below! I’ll pick three winners!
Click on the covers to learn more about the stories!
Big Bad Wolf
Ginnie Martin is a badass. She was born that way one horror-filled night. Forged in blood—her own and her family’s. All were ravaged by savage beasts. Her vampire savior recruited her to fight with his small army against the creatures responsible for her devastating loss. But now, he’s asking too damn much. He wants her to open her home to new allies who, until only recently, were their fiercest foes. Wolves.
Calum Fletcher already bristles against providing muscle to a vampire force. Content living in his remote mountain cabin, he’s never been much for mixing with other wolves, much less making nice with vampires. He was already having a hard time dealing, but the woman letting him bunk in her home wears an even larger chip on her shoulder. Quickly, his new favorite sport is goading her into losing her temper—because everyone knows a vampire’s bloodlust leads to very sexy places…
Read an excerpt…
The moment Calum Fletcher stepped into The Cavern, his body quickened. The heavy thud of his heart pounded at his temples. His skin prickled. Above the scent of booze and sex, he noted the musty, metallic odor of blood, and his stomach churned. Every instinct shouted danger.
Striding past the brawny, dull bouncer at the door, he kept moving, needing to draw calm around him before his nature was revealed. Although the vampires had been warned of his pack’s arrival in Seattle, he preferred to cloak himself in humanskin, free of wolf scent. The better to study the enemies he’d now be aligning with in war.
Dance music beat against his body. Bright, strobing lights pierced his eyes. Turning from the dance floor, he moved toward the bar, ignoring the activities of the patrons—the feasting, the fucking. Everywhere, except at the bar, an orgy of bloodlust and sexual excess was in progress.
The blonde behind the bar gave him quick, assessing glance. Her green eyes narrowed. “Can I get you a drink?” she asked, all the while continuing to watch him as though she expected trouble.
He shook his head, wanting to look away, but he was studying her as well. The blonde, uneven cut that barely reached to her chin looked wind-tousled. Her pale unpainted cheeks were as smooth as porcelain. Her mouth was bowed but held in a tight, firm line. Below, her figure was lean and muscled with only a slight flare of hips and a meager bosom.
And then he viewed her clothing—a black, form-fitting tank and faded blue jeans with ragged holes over both knees, stuffed into square-toed black boots. Harsh, dark. Echoing the look in the eyes.
Vampire, he concluded. Had she already guessed his true nature?
She placed the beer on a cardboard coaster in front of him. “Haven’t seen you here before,” she said, her voice soft, but with a hint of an edge.
“I’m from out of town.” Out of state, actually, but he didn’t elaborate.
“How did you find this place?”
He gave a shrug then met her gaze, locking with it. “I was walking along the docks. Heard the music.”
She frowned. “And once you came inside…?”
Her tone clued him she was angling to hear what he thought of what was going on. A human who ventured inside by accident should be shocked. So, she hadn’t made him.
He held still. Barely breathed. If she knew he wasn’t a willing “host,” someone who understood the rules of the blood exchange, what would she do? His curiosity was piqued by her deepening frown and downturned mouth. Was she considering giving him a “friendly” warning?
Calum broke with her gaze and glanced at the dance floor. Most pairs danced, bodies moving in a wild fervor. A few barely swayed while hosts’ necks bent and vamps’ mouths worked, teeth and tongues biting and licking. He barely repressed a shudder. Worse, his gums tingled. When he turned back, he didn’t bother hiding a frown.
She reached out a hand and cupped the back of his wrapped around the beer. “Are you curious?” she asked, her voice thicker than before and lisping.
Curious about her, yes. Which should have alarmed him. But she wasn’t flirting and wasn’t attempting to use her vampire’s tricks to seduce him. Her gaze was direct. A straightforward challenge.
And although he wasn’t there to play, he did have time to satisfy his curiosity. The rest of his pack would be arriving soon enough. He’d pushed ahead of the convoy while they’d stopped for a meal. He gave a slight nod.
Her chest rose, and she lifted a hand to signal to a waitress, who made her way behind the far end of the long wooden bar. Then the blonde lifted the hinged, vertical opening in the bar and stepped through to join him.
Standing next to him, she had to raise her head to meet his gaze, something that appeared to irritate her, because a frown dug a line between her brows. “Bring your beer.” She stepped past him, skirting the dance floor and moving toward a row of leather-upholstered booths at the opposite side of the room, lit only by candles set in decorative glass bowls.
He followed, beer in hand, then slid into the booth she indicated.
Rather than taking a seat opposite him, she slid in beside him and turned, raising one knee to the seat. Her gaze went to his beard then trailed over his chest and below, before slowly rising again to his face. “I’m Ginnie,” she said, her voice huskier than before.
He noted the sharpened tips of her corner canines, peeking from beneath her upper lip. “Calum,” he said, his own voice deepening. His breathing was coming faster, sitting this close to her, drinking in her sweet-almond scent, which should have acted like repellent. But almond blended with a slight hint of vanilla and her feminine musk, and now moisture gathered in his mouth. He wanted a taste.
His mouth twitched and, inside, he laughed at himself for his attraction. How long had passed since he’d fucked a woman? Now, he wished he’d come better prepared. Vampires were naturally sensual creatures. That was all this lust was. He was growing aroused because she was what she was, and he’d been without for far too long.
First, I want to thank Delilah for having me. Again. She’s been one of my go to people this past year when things were tough. I don’t think I ever let her know but I thank her with all my heart.
Last year, 2017, was a harsh year on myself and family. My husband of over thirty years was diagnosed with colon cancer and my writing was put on hold for all the right reasons. That doesn’t mean I didn’t write, I did but all the normal things like submitting or getting an indie piece ready just didn’t happen. Most of the things I wrote didn’t make it to publishing at all with the exception of one or two small pieces for my very understanding publisher.
I’d been blessed in many ways and was always watching out for a great opportunity and found myself answering an email that was interested in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy type stories. Well, it just so happened I had one I’d done nothing with for years. It was a quirky story that really needed a home and it found one with Romance Collections. Since the story was already completed, I sent it off to an editor as we waited for final word on my husband’s condition.
I swear the hallelujah could be heard throughout the world as we learned he was in full remission. I then told him very bluntly that it was my turn. I needed to get back to publishing and everything about it. And yes, I’m writing nearly six to eight hours a day. I have to intersperse it with class work as I found a wonderful Folklore and Fairy Tales one that was just minutes from my house.
Though the journey to publication this time was harder than most, I must say that the reward at the end is always worth it.
First a little bit about the anthology itself.
Coming April 10, 2018
What goes bump in the night? What causes you a fright? While the answers for each may vary, I promise that these stories will not leave you wary.
From vampires and demons to shifters and creatures that you’d never suspect, this set will leave you breathless in the best possible ways.
So, don’t be afraid. Come, step inside our realm. Allow the mysticism of romance in many shapes and forms fall over you like a veil of sweet, soothing, spine tingling comfort.
We promise…you won’t be sorry.
Books inside this set…
Secrets of the Hollows (Book 2) – Nicole Morgan
What’s a girl to do once she falls in love with a demon?
Fallen – Tamsin Baker
Gabriel thought he’d do anything to earn his way back into Heaven. He was wrong.
Cursed – Tracy Goodwin
Forbidden love. Dangerous prophecies. Limitless power. Fate is a witch.
Avenging Aingeal (Protectors of the Earth 1) – Lynn Crain
Bound by vengeance, she is humanity’s one hope…
Her Fate, His Mate (Wolves of Windsor Woods) – Krista Ames
Can she accept all he is and all he stands for?
Sleeping in the Dragon’s Den – Lexi Thorne
His Hungry Dragon My Curious Desire; His Tattoo Curse My Wet Dreams
Dark Side of the Moon – Laura Baumbach
Vampire rentboy vs. the world.
Angel Vindicated – Viola Estrella
Some sins are hard to avoid…
A Wolf’s Touch – Christine Donovan
Can she love him–wolf and all?
Dr. Magic (Vampire Island, Book 1) – Jo Grafford
One more dance with the devil…
Dark Heat – Jan Springer
Betrayed by her two forced mates, she hides within Vampira.
Torkel – Mardi Maxwell
Love unites them in the mists of time.
Silent Storm – Sadie Carter
Sometimes the monster is the good guy…
Tangled Sin – Georgia Lyn Hunter
She was the light in his eternal darkness…
Seduction’s Scent – C.I. Black
Giving in to temptation threatens everything.
Ghost Mate – D. Anne Paris
She was going to kill him even though he was already dead.
Living on the Edge (Clan Book 1) – Laverne Thompson
Mate wanted. Dead or alive.
The Warrior’s Curse – M. Elliott & T. Eden
What comes next may be the end of it all.
Three Days From Hell – Dariel Raye
Can a permanent resident of Third Hell be trusted?
Just Tell Me What You Want – Tina Donahue
Her wishes will leave him breathless…
Lynn Crain’s story…Avenging Aingeal
Series Title: Protectors of the Earth
Book Number: 1
Aingeal Cochran is on a mission to save humanity from itself when suddenly she’s staring head-on at her forgotten past. Lukas Everhard must bring her up to speed regarding the real enemy before allowing himself to love her completely. In learning about her past and mission, Aingeal realizes the best is yet to be and she will do anything to protect those she loves. For Lukas, Aingeal is the mission.
Arching an eyebrow, I stared at him. No one in this facility could begin to hold a candle to me and I knew it. Worse, they knew it. “Whatever gave you the idea any one could kick my butt? Cause I know you can’t.” I sat there and listened to his buddies all crack up as Jonathan’s ears turned red. Now this was something I could really get into.
“Ever heard of Lukas Everhard?” The flash of puppy-like adoration almost made me lose it right then.
“You’re joking right? Everhard?” I couldn’t contain myself any longer and laughed so hard tears flowed from my eyes. That would be the day.
“You’re just a bitch who won’t know what hit her.” His face took on a hard edge and if I hadn’t been so bored, I might have backed away.
“And you’re just an ass who will.” The orb bobbed in my hand as I stood, dangerously close to being thrown when something huge grabbed my wrist.
“You know the rules here. No fighting in the mess hall.” The object didn’t remove itself from my body.
I whirled furious, jerking my arm away, energy in both hands now and was stopped short by the man who stood before me. I was not a small woman, yet this man dwarfed me. Slowly, my gaze moved from his chest to his wide shoulders to his face and stopped there. Ice blue eyes stared at me without one bit of emotion attached to the look. He’s one cold cookie. I blinked rapidly almost as if I had been hit in the gut. This man was not going to take my crap in any way, shape or form. While I might be able to fool Darien somewhat as I had learned since I had arrived, I would never be able to fool this one.
Then there was the fact I felt more aware of him sexually than I had been with anyone else. Ever. There was a charisma about him which made me want to throw myself into his arms and beg to be taken. And it was more than his physical appearance because if truth be told, this man looked good…the best I had ever seen…again a rarity for me to note. It was as if he were palpable under my hands even though we weren’t touching. My crotch tightened once more and I shook my head to clear my errant thoughts.
“Told you.” A snide voice commented somewhere off to my left.
I turned to look at my accuser, electricity leaping to my hand yet again. Some days I couldn’t control it at all. This could be a problem.
Stepping in front of me, the big man’s forefinger jabbed my chest in a hard push. “You. Me. In the sparring room immediately.”
I watched as he walked out the door, all predatory-like and with more purpose than I had seen anyone in this place have since my arrival. I eyed everyone else and realized it wouldn’t matter what I said, they were going to see if their man could best me. Sighing, I also knew I had brought this on myself. Vowing to make his fall gentle, I shook my head and followed him down the main corridor, wondering if I should even bother to introduce myself. I ran up to walk next to him and before I could even start, I was cut off by his raised hand.
“Don’t bother. I know who you are.” He kept his eyes straight forward.
Frowning, I watched him for a minute. “Yeah, but I don’t know who you are, now do I?”
He stopped in front of the sparring room door. “And that should make a difference how?” Shoving it open, he waved a hand. “Ladies first.”
“As if I’d fall for that one,” I muttered more to myself than anyone.
Scowling at me, he shook his head. “Look one of us has to go in first. The door isn’t big enough for us to go side by side.”
“Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. This would end bad, I could feel it in my bones.
NOTES: This book has adult situations and is meant to be read by those over 18.
Hope you enjoyed this little look into the process for getting my story out there. Writing is a fabulous career as it allows one to do it anywhere or that the necessary time off to handle a life challenge.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Mystic Realms anthology today!
Thanks and see you around.
About Lynn Crain
Award-winning author Lynn Crain writes full-time, weaving contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic. Her home is in the desert southwest with her husband of 32 years. Readers can find her at email@example.com or her website at http://www.lynncrain.com.
Just as I began writing my urban fantasy novel, How the Vortex Changed My Life, I had the challenge of writing a character who doesn’t speak. At least, not in English, nor any human speech. He uses sounds like a cat’s meow or a horn blasting to communicate. I named him “Larry.” I was worried that I wouldn’t do a good job on him. I told myself not to worry, he was just a secondary character. This novel was my heroine, Cat’s, story. The novel grew into more than a story about Cat growing strong while facing the apocalypse. She learned that having good friends to stop it proved invaluable. Of course, one of them happened to be Larry. Larry who decided he would not be cannon fodder, or forgettable.
Larry found his voice, or should I say, his sounds, in this novel. My critique groups and beta readers liked Larry. The little demon, shaped like an eyeball that was the size of a standard poodle, had dug his way into readers’ hearts, and in mine. He proved to be a hero, too, demon or not. Secondary character or not, I knew he had to be on the cover, at Cat’s side, as he deserved it. It makes me think of other books I’ve written over the years, where a secondary character develops a personality that people remember as much as the main character’s. I write paranormal romance under a pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, and have a sequel, A Familiar Tangle With Hell, to an erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch. There is a demonic being in it, who looks like a white bunny with a fluffy tail, named “Fluffy.” He developed his own personality in the storyline. He possessed me to write him, the same as Larry did later. Demons with a heart of gold.
There are many books over the years we’ve all read where a secondary character has grabbed the reader’s heart. Sometimes this character isn’t always a good person, like Gollum in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Sometimes, he/she is the comedy relief. Other times, he/she is brave and loyal. This person/animal/creature can be anything. Like Batman’s Robin, Sherlock Holmes’ Dr. Watson, and William Crawley’s Mr. Carson who are the assistant or companion. Other secondary characters are the foil, the roadblock, and of course, the antagonist. A secondary character must have an individual purpose for being in your story. All of them have a common purpose, to help move the story forward in interest-grabbing ways. A secondary character cannot become so prominent that he or she competes with the main character for the reader’s attention and concern. A secondary character who doesn’t flow naturally in the story should always be avoided.
Still, a secondary character, who is interesting, can eventually, in future books, become a major character. It just works out that way.
Pamela K. Kinney
Journey to worlds of fantasy, beyond the stars, and into the vortex of terror with the written word of Pamela K. Kinney.
Cat Viggolone just can’t get a break. She’d gotten married, but that ended when the husband left her for his younger secretary. She’d wanted children. That flew out the window along with the cheating husband. There’s the career, but working a window at the Virginia DMV can’t really be classified as a great career choice. At thirty-three, her life had become positively dull.
Then the vortex opened. Sucked up into a corridor just outside of Hell, she meets Connor, a werewolf, and Larry, a demon that looks like a blue-eyed eyeball. They escape back to earth, only to find that the vortex has opened up in downtown Richmond. The town is going to hell, literally. Besides a grayness seeping out and turning all living things into zombies, monsters and demons are invading Cat’s world. Will Cat and her new friends (including an angel named George) be able to stop the vortex before it claims the entire planet?
Cat’s life is definitely no longer humdrum and ordinary.
Connor and I arrived at some stone steps. We clattered up them and into the Richmond Public Library. After we stepped into the foyer and passed the circulation desk we looked around, unsure of where to go. I saw a room to the left of us, pointed at it, and we slipped inside. Rows and rows of books in shelves lined the area like soldiers marching behind each other. A portly man in khaki pants, white shirt, and a blue, flowered tie sat behind a desk. He looked up and smiled.
“Can I be of assistance?” His smile faltered as he stared past me.
He’s seen Larry. This won’t be good.
He stood, his forehead wrinkling. “That’s pretty life like. What is it? A balloon? I can’t see any string attached to it.”
Deciding not to beat around the bush, I blurted, “He’s not a balloon. He’s an eyeball—actually, he’s a demon.”
The man said, “Are you trying to say that whatever it is, is alive?”
“Kinda. I guess demons are sort of alive.”
The librarian walked over to us and poked at Larry. Larry didn’t like it and started that weird bleating noise he could make and bumped against the man. He bumped him so hard, he almost knocked the librarian over. The man managed to stay on his feet, and took a couple of steps back as he wiped the finger on his pants as if Larry had given him cooties.
Connor grabbed the librarian by the same finger and squeezed hard. The man cried out.
Connor let go. “Larry doesn’t like people poking at him.” He glared. “It’s rude. Besides, how would you like it if I poked at you?” Connor proceeded to do just that.
The librarian stumbled back. “Okay, okay. But what is that thing? The lady called it a demon, but demons aren’t real. Right?”
Connor snorted. “That thing is a demon like the lady said and if it wasn’t for him, I’d been dead within hours after I got trapped in Hell.” Larry bumped against Connor and made another noise I never heard before, like a cat’s purr. “I find Larry is a lot more ‘human’ than you humans are.”
“Well, you look as human as the rest of us,” said the librarian with a snotty attitude, “and that eye beastie definitely doesn’t.” He narrowed his eyes. “This library is for humans only. I mean, non-human things can’t get a library card issued to them.” He saw Connor give him a glowering look and inched away. “Well, I’m pretty sure that’s the rules.”
I spoke up. “We’re not here to borrow a book.” I snuck a look at the front entrance. “We needed a place to hide in. You see, a monster is after us. A very big monster. And there are others outside like it and Larry here. A vortex opened not far from here and downtown Richmond is turning gray and I don’t mean Confederate gray either. Richmond’s new address is now a part of the Hell dimension. The whole world is doomed. And I don’t think it really matters whether Larry can be issued a library card, or what species can use this library.”
The librarian’s mouth opened and shut in shock, his eyes bulging and looking like tennis balls. He sputtered, “You’re nuts.” He cut a glance at Larry who hovered closer to him. “I think you guys are pulling something on me. That thing has got to be fake.”
I grabbed him by his ugly tie. “Look, Hell is taking over Richmond, and soon, Virginia, not long after, the U.S., and from there, maybe the world. So, get over it. Larry is not fake. He’s a demon, plain and simple, but maybe you can’t comprehend it. I know I couldn’t at first. That means no more people checking out books, no more Christmas, cute fluffy kittens, no more anything good and right for humankind. Just demons, Hell, and the end of life as we know it.”
Find How the Vortex Changed My Life at AMAZON in both print and Kindle and at BarnesandNoble.com in print only.
About the Author
Pamela K. Kinney gave up long ago trying not to listen to the voices in her head and has written bestselling horror, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, and nonfiction ghost books ever since. Three of her nonfiction ghost books garnered Library of Virginia nominations. Her horror short story, “Bottled Spirits,” was runner up for the 2013 WSFA Small Press Award and is considered one of the seven best genre short fiction for that year. She also writes under the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan, for erotic and regular paranormal romance. Her erotic urban fantasy, ‘Being Familiar with a Witch’ won the 2013 Prism awarded by the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America. Discover more about Sapphire at SapphirePhelan.com. Pamela and her husband live with one crazy black cat. Along with writing, Pamela has acted onstage and film, does paranormal investigations for Paranormal World Seekers for AVA Productions, and is a member of Horror Writers Association and Virginia Writers Club.