Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Post: Kari Lee Townsend

I would like to welcome Kari Lee Townsend, author of Corpse in the Crystal Ball, the second novel in her cozy mysteries A Fortune Teller Mystery.  In this delightful second mystery, Sunny has to deal with Mitch's ex-girlfriend, especially when her body turns up in the woods, implicating Mitch in her murder.  Can Mitch trust in Sunny's unusual talents to help save the day?

How I came up with the idea for this book!

Authors come up with ideas for their books from all kinds of sources. The news, a song, a snippet of conversation … just about anything can spur an idea. In my case, when I first came up with the idea to write a mystery series, I knew I wanted it to be paranormal. There is just something so mysterious and fascinating about the paranormal to me. But I didn’t want it to be just any paranormal. I tried to think of something that hadn’t been done. So I searched some publisher sites. I found a few series revolving around a psychic, but I didn’t see anything about fortune telling. I once had my tea leaves read and was totally hooked. I had my palm read as well as a past life reading, but there was still so much out there I wanted to learn about. That’s where I came up with something to make my series even more unique. I decided to have each book focus on a different fortune-telling tool. That way I could do the research, learn about something I’m interested in, and share it with the world.

My main character, Sunshine Meadows, is a real psychic. She simply uses various fortune-telling tools to help her interpret her visions. What she sees always comes true; it just sometimes takes her a while to fully interpret the meaning of what she sees. And that’s half the fun. In the first book, Tempest in the Tea Leaves, I decided to start with reading tea leaves, since that’s how I was first introduced to the world of fortune tellers. With that story, I loved the idea of having Sunny move to the small town in upstate New York called Divinity. I live in upstate New York, but the town is fictional. It’s based on a lot of the small towns I grew up in, and I thought it would be fun for her to be from a big city and now try to adapt to small-town life. Sunny gives a reading to the small-town librarian and predicts she will die. When Sunny becomes the main suspect, she has to clear her name in order to keep her business alive and stay on the path to her fresh start.

Sunny and Detective Mitch Stone are total opposites, yet they fall for each other after he helps to clear her name. In book two, Corpse in the Crystal Ball, Sunny uses a crystal ball to give Mitch’s ex-girlfriend Isabel a reading. Later Sunny aids the police in finding Isabel’s body in the woods, and now Mitch is the prime suspect. Only, Mitch has a hard time stepping aside and letting Sunny help clear his name this time. I didn’t really have any outside forces help me come up with these ideas so far. That has happened to me with other books, but for these, it’s been more about the characters and who I wanted as the prime suspect and what situation would be the most logical to put them there. And speaking of characters, I introduce Sunny’s Granny Gert in book two, and yes, you guessed it. She will become the prime suspect in book three, Trouble in the Tarot. Sometimes it’s more characters than situations that dictate what we do.

Author Biography
National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!

Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.

To find out more about Kari and all her books go to or click on the links below:

Kari Lee Townsend (Website & Newsletter & Facebook & Twitter)
National Bestselling Author of The Fortune Teller Mysteries
Best Amateur Sleuth of 2011 RT Reviewers' Choice Nominee
Best First Novel Agatha Award Nominee
CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL - June 2012 (preorder now)
DESTINY WEARS SPURS (by Kari Lee Harmon) (Kindle & Nook)
PROJECT PRODUCE (by Kari Lee Harmon) (Kindle & Nook)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Post: L.W. Herndon & Check out the Giveaway!!

I would like to welcome L.W. Herndon, author of The Mark of Kane, a novel about a half-demon half-human charged with the task of hunting down renegade sorcerers bent on disrupting the underworld with demonic possessions and murders.  LW Herndon is here today to interview some of the principal characters from the novel.  Care to see if any of the demons show up for the interview, and to see if the author survives the interview?????

The Interview
Thank you for hosting me today on Curling Up By The Fire.

I was planning on interviewing two characters from The Mark of Kane, but only one has shown up. And while there are few people I would sit in a dark vestibule of an old church at two in the morning to interview, these two qualify. The demon contingency of interviewees have special needs and their participation in the story is key. From the itch of sulfur in my nostrils and the shimmer of gold flesh and black sigils, I’m relieved that at least Abraxas has arrived.

LW: “Should we wait on Chaz or do you want to go ahead and tell the readers a little bit about yourself, and maybe about him?” I slid farther back in my seat as the eight-foot figure perched on the top of the pew before me. No elaborate stain glassed windows framed the nave. Instead cold, white moonlight filtered through plain glass and illuminated the swirl of horns rising from the flesh on either side of Abraxas’s face. The bones swept back in a graceful arc, meeting at a deadly point at the back of his head. An interesting protection helmet, I thought as I waited on his answer.

His fingers curled, the razor-tipped ends reflecting moonlight like silver nail polish. “I have no wish to be here, scribe. But as I have no choice let me make this quick. Chaz will not be here. Tonight or any other in your lifetime.”

LW:  Okay. “He is alive though?”

Abraxas tilted his head, and leaned closer. His smile, if I could call it one, depicted a surprisingly white set of normal teeth. “He is alive. No thanks to your tale.”

LW: I held up my hands. “I only write the story the needs to be told.”

“Then it is fortunate for you that the Halfling was able to save our brother.”

LW:  “You mean, Kane.” I received only a grunt. “He and Chaz were partnered for scouting runs by Shalim, certainly they would have loyalty toward each other. Kane wouldn’t leave his partner to die.”

I shifted uneasily at his growl.

LW: “Maybe we should just move on to how you met Kane?”

A rumble of humor, long and deep, shook the pews. “I didn’t meet him. We didn’t become acquainted in bar or at a neighborhood picnic. He crashed through the ceiling of our demon compound, a weak broken boy, and refused to die.”

He stretched his neck a second and stared at the gallery above me as if in thought. “His salvation was his skill to scent the putrid odor of the sorcerers. That and his stubbornness.”

LW: The fiery gaze he turned back on me made me swallow hard. I’d never been that close to a raging inferno.

“I admit I tried to kill him. Many times. I try to kill all my trainees. They learn nothing if I coddle them like babies.” Another grunt echoed in the darkness. “He leapt the flaming pits and dodged the lash with greater skill than some of our younglings. With mortal food, rest, and training, his speed and cunning surpassed many. He delivered himself to the physical endurance and then exceeded mentally enough to try to aid his brethren.” A trace of pride filtered through his words “Not that demons need the help of a Halfling.”

LW: I relaxed and waited for Abraxas to tell the story his own way.

“But the real test of training is releasing the subject.” He suddenly sat silent.

LW: “You mean after Kane had grown up and chose to live in Los Angeles part of the time?”

“No. A year after he joined us, we left him in the desert not far from a human outpost. One week later he returned. He bore bruises and cuts from a fight, but to find us he would have had to walk for days, leaving soon after we departed. Barely able to stay conscious, he knelt before my master and swore his oath of allegiance.”

LW: “I gather the human village wasn’t exactly sanctuary for Kane?”

“Humans.” He spat the words. The fire diminished in his eyes, but the pupils widened and the dark pitch inside seemed to suck the blackness from around us. “They were driven by greed and covet as always. A team of them beat and robbed him, and then beat him some more for amusement. And people blame us for their choices. We don’t injure our own for sport.”

LW: “I’m surprised he would have told you what happened.”

“He did not. But his wounds were fresh and his blood told me the story. I sequestered him with our scholar.” As if aware of my confusion for what seemed like an act of aid, he shrugged. “Our clan feeds on emotions. Those that offer the most strength are sexual in nature, not violent. However, violence can still call to the youngest in our pack. Kane’s wounds and his trial would not only entice, but weaken the ones whose conditioning was not yet resistant.”

LW: “You saved him.” I pushed on despite the frown drawing his brow bones into a threatening V. “You trained him and when he passed his test and came home, you saved him from being mauled at his weakest point.”

“The clan is the only important thing. Not the individual.” He roared the words, but settled down for a second with his eyes closed as if he were aware he’d lost his edge. “I ensured his condition wouldn’t disrupt the clan. I also serve my master, Shalim. He had use for Kane—alive.”

LW: Right. I wasn’t about to bring up how the male demons actually raise and care for the few infant progeny. No service was more important in the demon clan than protection of the young. Whether Abraxas considered Kane to be under his protection or not wasn’t a concept I thought we’d make any headway on tonight. “Any final thoughts on Kane’s future?”

He sighed. The reaction surprised me more than anything I’d learned tonight.

“He cannot avoid his destiny. My kind has lived long enough to understand there is no escape. Whether any of us will survive what he brings, remains to be seen.” He glanced back at me, steel and conviction in his gaze. “But after each test, he returns to us. He holds his loyalties even if he is determined to add more innocents to his personal protection list. Until that changes, we claim him.”

Without a sound, he dissolved into smoke. All that remained was a light odor of sulfur and a hint of cinnamon.

LW:  Thank you both for joining me here today. Readers can follow the dates and locations for the Mark of Kane Sizzling PR Book Tour @

You can find me on:

For the giveaway: A $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host with the most comments. Additionally, two random drawn winners will receive the 2nd Thaddeus Kane ebook, on its release date, Fall 2012.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One Day Blog Tour!!!

MAY 17th!

Michael, book two in the Airel Saga, is live on Amazon TODAY ONLY for a discounted price!!

To promote Michael I’m hosting a contest where you can win a FREE copy of Airel and win a free Kindle Fire.

To take advantage of this awesome deal, head to Amazon and check out the eBook version of MICHAEL at its promotional price, then see below to enter the contest. Also, leave me a comment on this post. The blogger with the most comments will win the Kindle Fire! If I win, I’ll also get the chance to be part of a special giveaway in the next few months.

Praise for Michael

"Move over Twilight! Here comes Aaron Patterson!" --Joshua Graham, bestselling author of Beyond Justice and Darkroom

"I was surprised by how much I really, really liked this book. I have not jumped on the whole "fallen angel" bandwagon, just as I didn't jump on all of the vampire stories that came out after Twilight. This is not your typical fallen angel story. It is one that has left me breathlessly waiting for the next one in the series. Hurry up please!!!" --Sandra Stiles

Description of Michael

Michael did the unthinkable to save Airel from death, but now he must live with the choices he has made--both good and evil. Tortured by his past and haunted by what he believes might be his future, Michael seeks redemption--but will the past prove to be too strong? How can he break free of it and be the man he longs to be for Airel? If only he had never...

Airel. Michael's one true love. He had forced her to drink in new life only to find that old wounds and deep scars do not heal overnight. Can she truly forgive Michael, can she truly love him? And can he accept that forgiveness? Or is it all for nothing, and has he gone too far already? As the darkness of past choices closes in on them, chases them, intercepts them, coming at them from everywhere at once, how can their love possibly survive?

Aaron Patterson is the author of the best-selling WJA series, as well as two Digital Shorts: 19 and The Craigslist Killer. He was home-schooled and grew up in the west. Aaron loved to read as a small child and would often be found behind a book, reading one to three a day on average. This love drove him to want to write, but he never thought he had the talent. His wife Karissa prodded him to try it, and with this encouragement, he wrote Sweet Dreams, the first book in the WJA series, in 2008. Airel is his first teen series, and plans for more to come are already in the works. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his family, Soleil, Kale and Klayton. His daughter had an imaginary friend named She.

Chris White has an award for reading 750 books in one school year — from the 3rd grade. So yes, he’s more of a nerd than Aaron. Chris loves history, Sherlock Holmes, and anything that’s not virtual, like old motorcycles and mechanical typewriters. He also doesn’t get why we have these things called “smart phones” when all they do is make people dumber. Chris recently celebrated 10 years of marriage with his wife, April, and has two boys: Noah, age 8, and Jaden, age 3, who inspired the Great Jammy Adventure series; the OK-to-color-in picture books. Chris is working on a short story called The Marsburg Diary that will further explore the prologue to Airel, and he is finishing up his first novel, entitled K: phantasmagoria, due out in 2011. Chris has a major crush on Audrey Hepburn, who is now dead. His wife is okay with all of this.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guest Post: Cate Dean

I am pleased to welcome Cate Dean, author of Rest for the Wicked, the first book in The Claire Wiche Chronicles, released in April.  Claire Wiche is a woman who is hiding a big secret from her past, and when her past finally catches up to her, she puts everyone and everything she loves in danger.  In order to survive, she has to face the truth of who she is and the past she thought she left behind.

The Birth of a Mythology

I did loads of research for Rest For The Wicked, taking from not only mythology, but Biblical and magic references as well. At the suggestion of one of my beta readers, I included a reader’s guide, with a short explanation of the source, and how I used it, or changed it for my story.

And here is a tidbit, a sampling of the world of Claire Wiche. Enjoy!

crystals – crystal healing has been popular for centuries, and has been documented as far back as 1550 BC, in an Egyptian medical document known as the Ebers Papyrus. References to them are found across religions and in everyday society. For every health issue, physical or mental, there is a crystal that can help. Lapis for boosting the immune system, helping with depression, and a host of other ailments. Hematite for mental clarity and confidence, along with blood cleansing properties. Rose quartz for self-acceptance, self-love, and personal worth.

I use amethyst for Claire – it is a spirit crystal, and a wonderful, all-purpose crystal, for everything from meditation to pain. It is one I have used for years, to ground me and to promote clear thinking. For Claire, it is a way to ground her to the life she has chosen.

Jinn/Djinn/genie – there are many versions of the Jinn mythology, depending on what source you read. In Islam, the Jinn were created by Allah from smokeless flame, and, like man, given free will. In Muslim cultures, Jinn have been given different qualities. As an example – in Morocco it is believed that the Jinn can grant three magical wishes. Stories of the Jinn litter the One Thousand and One Nights, where the tale of Aladdin and the lamp can be found.

This is where I veer away from mythology and folklore the most. Marcus came from the idea of the Jinn, but he is a completely different entity within the confines of my fictional world. As I wrote him, Marcus simply evolved, and I liked what he became so much I decided to go with it. So he is Jinn, but not any Jinn you will find in religious or folklore text.

love spells – most love spells are harmless, especially when cast by a person with little to no power. They can be found free all over the internet, and in witchcraft books on any bookstore shelf.

I dabble, and have written my share of spells – usually clearing and protection. Like Claire, I avoid love spells. I consider them a grey area, a form of emotional manipulation. The spell Annie uses is real, and what happens when she does it – hmmm, who knows? I won’t be trying it anytime soon.

triquetra – Latin for three cornered, a triquetra is also known as the trinity knot. As a religious symbol it has been used to represent things and people that are threefold. An example is the Christian blessed trinity of Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the Pagan religions it is a symbol with several meanings – the three stages of the Triple Goddess, the three realms of earth, sky and sea, and the connection of mind, body and soul are some examples. It is also considered a symbol of protection.

I am using it as a protection symbol, another barrier that Claire puts between the world and her true nature. She discovers that the protection also extends outward when her tattoo burns Marcus.

Wicca – a spanking new religion, it appeared at the first part of the 20th century, and was officially named Wicca by the 1960s. Many practice ritual magic, and they follow what is known as the Wiccan Rede: “an it harm none, do what ye will.” It can be practiced in solitary, or as part of a coven, and is as involved, and often as convoluted, as any religion.

Claire uses Wicca as a cover – her powers are contained, but enough leaks through, and she needs an outlet for it. Practicing small magics gives her that, and a livelihood that allows her a somewhat normal, quiet existence.

Thank you for joining me today – and to express my thanks, I’m giving away one each of the crystals I mentioned – lapis, hematite, rose quartz and amethyst. Just leave a comment for your chance to win. :)

Author Biography
Cate Dean has been writing for, well, ever. She grew up losing herself in the wilds of fantasy worlds, and has had some of her own adventures while tromping through the UK, and a few other parts of the world. A lover of all things supernatural, she infuses that love into her stories, giving them a unique edge. When she’s not writing, she loves cooking, scaring herself silly in the local cemeteries, and reading pretty much anything she can get her hands on.

Website: Cate Dean

Twitter: @catedeanwrites

Facebook Page: Cate Dean Writes