Timeless by Crystal Collier

 

Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and some editing tips!

 
In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?
 

BUY: Amazon | B&N

GUEST POST

Thank you T.F. Walsh for having me here today!

So you've written this story with an epic beginning, a killer end, but the middle–ugh! No matter what you do, you can't seem to fix the saggy, boring, drawn-out middle.
 

Here are a few quick tips to whip that middle into a gem.

First we have to diagnose the issue. Often middles suffer from one of these:
 

1. Passive character action
2. Lack of focus on plot
3. Where did the tension go?

Correcting character passivity: 

Characters need to change and grow in a novel. It's a known truth. Otherwise we end up with "cardboard" characters, and who wants to hang out with them? I mean, they can't even talk back to you!

The protagonist needs to be changing and challenged by everything that comes their way. No one wants to read about someone smoothly sailing over their challenges.

A big issue I run across is a character who is merely reacting to everything that's happening rather than actively seeking after their goals. It's fine for a character to react to their world, but when you hit the 50% point of a book, that HAS to change. This is the point at which the character has been pushed and shoved and won't take it no more! From this moment on they must actively go after what they need–whether that be a relationship, independence, power, wealth, revenge, justice, or peace. (And if your character doesn't BREAK, maybe that's the issue?)

Focusing the Plot:

But your character does change and grow and pursues their goals. What is wrong?

Have you looked at the plot? A dynamic plot has a strong beginning, a dramatic turn around at the middle, and a powerful end, but that's not all. The middle of that plot should be contain no less than 3 (and preferably more like 6) plot points that DRIVE us toward a need for resolution. Try creating a plot chart where you actually measure where your action falls. I'm serious here–an actual graph. Estimate the tension for each plot point along the way on a scale from one to ten. (This means you have to clearly identify the turning points in the manuscript–any time something happens that motivates major change.)

Every time you hit a plot point, you're going to go from a negative to a positive motivation, or the reverse. Technically, every chapter should be balance by a negative to positive (or the reverse). This is one way to get to the next issue…

Where did the tension go? 
 

Image from Getty Images

There was a point at which I started chanting "tension all the time" while writing. There must be a juicy carrot–a mystery or desire hanging in front of the readers face to keep them moving forward. What question do you want readers asking in each chapter? What feeling do you want them to experience at the end of each chapter? Don't leave it to chance. Actually ask yourself these question and answer them–then implement the answer if it doesn't already exist. Keep a mystery/need in front of the characters, and only let your readers relax about once every 60 pages. Keep them worried. Keep them hopeful. Keep them wondering.

In the end, middles only sag if we don't build the proper structure beneath them. Go forth and support! You've got this.
 

What advice do you give for sagging middles? Have you been able to fix a book from the middle?

 

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.


 

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)




Celebrate The Small Things

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What I'm Celebrating This Week

– I can't tell you how happy I am the weekend is here. Work (day time job) has been getting busier, which puts extra pressure on my writing front, which is also getting more intense. Now I just need to find a cloning machine 🙂

– The weather has been getting warmer in Australia, and the veggies in my garden are growing. I have to take some photos and show you.

– Fallen Ashes has been on pre-order for close to two weeks and it's still moving along very nicely.

– The Dark Legends Collection, offering 20 full-length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy novels, is now available on pre-order at Amazon! And it has my brand new, never before published novel, Demon's Mark.
The whole Collection is only 0.99cents. Grab your copy today.

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*****

fallen-ashes-tf-walshFallen Ashes is now on pre-order!

Grab Your Copy: Amazon

FALLEN ASHES

Last of your kind? Check. Being hunted by everyone? Check. Waking up magically bound to the world's most cocky and annoying assassin? Wait, what? 

Survival has always been on the top of Fallen's To Do List as being the last Dragon shifter in Tapestry had painted a target on her long ago. But after being captured and magically tethered to an assassin who could kill her in an instant, time is running out. With the fate of an entire world at stake, Fallen has to find a way to get out alive, with or without her unwanted companion…her incredibly sexy unwanted companion.

Exiled from the Kingdom and on a mission to save his stepfather from the Collector, Saber's life is already a mess. But he never could imagine that he'd be hexed into a mindless shadow assassin or worse, being kidnapped and mystically-bound to a hot blonde vixen that has a crazy obsession with fire. Sexy/strange/fire-chick aside, he has got to find a way to get out of there but Fallen isn't in the least being helpful with their escape plan. Seriously, can things get any worse?

Magically-bound, determined, and both fighting an undeniable attraction, can Saber and Fallen work together to free themselves and save their world by defeating the Collector?  Or will time slip out of their grasp and all will be lost?AddtoGoodreads.jpg

Celebrate blog hop

 

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

 

 

 

Image Source: Stockvault Free

Celebrate the Small Things + Fallen Ashes @ #99cents

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What I'm Celebrating This Week

– What an insanely busy week. I've been drowning in edits as my publisher sent back the second round of edits for Cloaked in Christmas, and I'm glad to say they are all done. Then one more round to go for final proofing. I've also been working on the edits for Demon's Mark. 

– I'm behind on so many things, but I plan to get them all done this weekend.

– This weekend I also plan to use Vellum for the first time… it's a software for mac that allows me to format my own books. Let's hope it goes well as I need to create a sampler mobi file by Monday for an instagram promo I'm doing with a group of authors.

– I saw the cover for Cloaked in Christmas from my publisher… I can't stop smiling… I aboslutely love it. Coming soon.

– This week, my latest release went live on pre-order, and for a limited time, FALLEN ASHES is only 99 cents. Super excited as the sales so far are pretty good, so if you want to grab a copy before the price goes up, check it out here.

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Curious what's the book is about… here you go:

FALLEN ASHES

As the last of her kind, Fallen awakes in a holding cell, but being locked up is the least of her problems.

She's been magically bound to a cocky Queen's Guardian named Saber. Because Fallen is the last dragon shifter in Tapestry, she's on everyone's hit list… especially his… but she doesn't have time to die by his hand. Fallen has to find her life mate in four weeks or else all of creation in her world will be destroyed.

Saber never asked to be brought to life. He certainly never wanted to be hexed and forced to transform into a mindless shadow assassin. Exiled from the Kingdom, he must rescue his stepfather from the Collector to prove his innocence. Otherwise he'll be hunted and killed. But his plans are temporarily put on hold when he's captured, imprisoned, and bound to a mysterious blond-haired vixen with a major fire addiction.

With time ticking away for Saber and Fallen, will the two be able to come together to defeat the Collector and save themselves, along with the rest of the world?

– And if you have a moment, feel free to add Fallen Ashes to your goodreads to read pile. AddtoGoodreads.jpgWhat are you celebrating this week?

*****

cloaked_in_blood_3dCloaked in Blood is now out!

Grab Your Copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoogleplayiTunes

Cloaked in Blood Blurb

The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne…and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.
Marcin is just as shocked to learn he’ll be matched to the enemy’s daughter and the woman he’s never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they’re drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they’re fighting for—even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.
Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they’re better off as a team before it’s too late?

Celebrate blog hop

 

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

 

 

 

Image Source: Stockvault Free

Celebrate the Small Things – Dark Legends Collection

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What I'm Celebrating This Week

Today, I want to introduce you to the Dark Legends Collection. I will be part of this boxset bundle with my novel, Demon's Mark, and today I'm showcasing the release, along with a fun Q&A. This will be shared with a number of other blogger sites as well.

Anyway…. Welcome to Dark Legends

by 
Rebecca Hamilton, T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil, Laxmi Hariharan, S.D. Wasley, JA Culican, May Sage, Muffy Wilson, GK DeRosa, Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch, 
Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub, HJLawson, Emma Nichols,Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage, Leilani Love, 
Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner
 
 
This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors! 

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

 
Rebecca Hamilton 
T.F. Walsh with Demon's Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
S.D. Wasley with Downfall
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns
May Sage with Blue Blood
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with Hereafter – The Immortal Soul

Emma Nichols with Blood Moon

Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced

J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca's Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean's Gift
Xyla Turner with Company Secrets

 

 
 
iBooks     Kobo     Nook
 
Amazon
(Coming in November 2016)
 
 

 
Demon's Mark
by
T.F. Walsh 
@TFWalsh
Bestselling Author 
 
Legends, Mystery, And Romance You'll Want To Get Lost In
 
Demon hunter, Levi Walker eliminates the bastards using divine weapons. One monster at a time until he tracks down the demonic filth that killed his best friend. So when he finally corners the beast, it’s payback time. But with the newest hunting recruit making an appearance and catching him off guard—the same minx who broke his heart months earlier—the fight takes a deadly twist. The demon targets Cary, but in Levi’s attempt to save her, they both get marked for death.
Cary Stone’s secret will get her thrown into Hell faster than a demon jacked up on virgin blood. Born a half-demon, she’s always followed her father’s instruction—never get close to anyone, never stay too long in one place, and always work alone. Except this past year, she’s managed to break every single rule by getting a job hunting demons, falling insanely for Levi, and getting them both on the hit list by the biggest mercenary in Hell. But revealing her secret to Levi comes with the complication of him attempting to exorcise her. Whichever way she turns, death awaits. All she really wants is a normal life and a chance with Levi, but looks like that’s a fantasy she’ll never have.
 
Warning: Super-sexy hunters, dominance & submissive themes, and a terrifying hellhound named, Blinkie.
 

Steam poured out from the open shower door like smoke from the fiery gates of Hell. She flapped her shirt with her free hand but it did nothing to cool her down.

She stuck her hand with the tweezers through the open glass door, mist everywhere. “If you got out of the shower, put some pants on, and sat on the couch, I could easily remove those splinters.”
 
Warm, wet fingers banded around her wrist. Her head jerked toward him, her eyes flying open.
 
Levi’s long hair was slicked off his face. His eyes were the warm shade of brandy and seemed to strip her bare of her defenses. “The steam will help get them out.”
 
The softness in his gaze weakened her resolve. Water sluiced down his face, over his lips, dripping from his chin onto a sculptured chest that called to her. An inferno swarmed her insides, and her gaze shot upward toward his face.
 
Her attention dipped to the ink on his chest, just above his heart, reminding her of a shield. The protective rune reduced the chance of demons possessing him. It didn’t eliminate the possibility. Nothing did. But the rune was like the rhythm method—it wouldn’t save him but it might help his chances—even if just a bit.
 
The rounded Rune encased a flame with neither a beginning nor end.
 
“It’s below my right shoulder.” His mouth curled upward with a wicked expression. She shut her mouth tight or she’d be asking him to help her undress. “The splinters,” he prompted.
 
Words tumbled free without her consent. “Sure… Umm… I mean, let’s do it.”
 
He released her hand and turned away from her, but his wet hair covered the flesh skin below his shoulders.
 
“You always had long hair?” She pushed the wet strands aside and spotted two large splinters. Yep, he was telling the truth.
 
“My dad rarely got his hair cut, and I guess I got picked up his habit.”
 
“Hmh.” Her gaze fell to his butt. Two dimples sat above his firm ass and while her first reaction would have her reach out, grope him, and lick the beads of water off his skin, she strangled the tweezers in her hand to keep from reaching for them. Why was she torturing herself?
 
Studying the corded muscles in his back, she zeroed in on the two shards of wood again. She placed a hand flat between his shoulder blades, and scorching heat radiated from him.
 
Focus. Despite her shaky hand, she plucked them out. Blood bubbled from the wounds.
 
“You’re done.” She only made it one quick step away from the shower before Levi had turned around.
 
“Thanks.”
 
Silence floated between them with nothing but the sound of running water. He wrapped an arm around her waist, drawing her against his wet body. The moisture soaked through her clothes. Her mind emptied as his hardness pressed against her, and her libido did somersaults. He withdrew the tweezers from her clutched hand and set them down somewhere behind her.
 
“I wish you’d returned my calls,” he said.
 
Her response jammed somewhere between her toes and ears, along with any rational thinking. Unless of course, someone considered ripping their clothes off to jump a naked hunk reasonable behavior. Cary had lost focus on anything but Levi’s body mashed against hers. His warm breath on her face. The tightness of his grip around her hips. She felt tiny in his arms. Nothing mattered right then. Not the demons, not her secret, not even making sense of why Levi hugged her when she’d made it clear a relationships between them couldn’t work.
 
Beneath his gaze, she melted. He offered her a temporary fairytale escape. With his hand threading through her hair, drawing her closer, every nerve in her body stood on end. She raised herself on tippy toes and tilted her head back to reach his mouth. He leaned forward, his soft lips grazing hers. Fire shot through her body.
 
“I saw you come in the bathroom before, spying on me,” he whispered.
 
“What!?”
 
T.F. Walsh

Featured Book: Demon's Mark
 

It’s wonderful to be here, and I’m super excited to chat with you. Can’t wait to see what questions you’ve got lined up for me. Fire away.
 
How long have you been a writer, Tania, and how did you come to writing?
While I’ve only been writing for about five years, I like to think that a writer has always been living inside my head. I grew up listening to bedtime Romanian stories that could only be compared to the Brothers Grimm tales, and ever since then folklore and mythology has fascinated me. I remember as a child, I enjoyed scribbling stories on pieces of papers and on the inside of book covers. I even signed the books as if they were my own. Let’s just say, my sister wasn’t impressed when she found her books written on. It was years later when I fell ill with a horrible flu that I pulled out my laptop out and decided to type up some of my ideas. And ever since, I haven’t been able to stopJ
 
How did you come up with this storyline?
Well, funny story. I was going through this phase of watching Supernatural and Dog the Bounty Hunter shows… addicted is a better way to describe it, anyway, after getting my fix, a story came together in my mind. A half-demon hiding in plain sight in the human world and working alongside the country’s best demon hunter. What could possibly go wrong… right?
 
On another note, I went through another phase of watching those b-grade snake movies too – Anaconda vs Python. But no story has spawned from them yet!! 
 
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
I love hearing from readers what they thought of my stories, if they’ve been touched by a scene, did they connect to a character. The aspect of writing I adore is creating fictional worlds, and then getting lost in them.
The hard part is stepping back from my creative side and editing. Needs to be done because I’m a big believer that great stories are rewritten during edits, but that ride sure is a bumpy one.
 
What inspires you to write?
The passion of delving into my imagination and letting anything happen.
 
How did you conduct your research for Demon’s Mark
Lots and lots of reading on the topics I’m writing. Much of this was done online. So in Demon’s Mark, I did extensive research on how priests exorcise possessions, understanding the hierarchy of demons, what exactly are hellhounds and their abilities (You’ve want to meet Blinkie in Demon’s Mark!!). I also watched lots of YouTube videos to really see the streets of Detroit and Ann Arbor as I’ve never been there.
 
What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Demon’s Mark?
Oh this is so hard… 
 
Cary shifted in her seat, her insides buzzing. “Thanks, but I only spank guys I’ll respect in the morning.” 
 
Levi stepped closer, his eyes hooded. “You might have just ruined me for any other girl.”
 
What did hellhounds snack on anyway—steaks, rabbits, arms? But the real question was who had sent it?
 
More Favorites from Demon’s Mark:
“Because your Cary is a fantasy. She’s not me. And you know nothing about the real me! Did you know that I hate cherries. I always sleep with socks, even in summer. And I sponsor seven kids in Bolivia.” A shiver rolled down her back, and she rubbed the goose bumps from her arms. She locked her gaze with him and braced herself for his smart-ass response.
 
What would your friends say is your best quality?
Wild imagination + positiveness
 
Are reader reviews important to you?
Absolutely… I love hearing from readers and seeing how my stories made them feel. How they interpreted the story and characters.
 
What do you do when you don’t write?
I actually work as a social media manager for a kitchen appliance company in Sydney, AustraliaJ
 
Tell us about your other books?
My Wulfkin Legacy series follows a band of wolf shifters from Transylvania and their struggle to find their mates amid secrets, danger and a power-hungry alpha who doesn’t care who he crushes to get his way. The first story in the series, CLOAKED, begins with Daciana who leaves the pack to live in the city and falls for a forbidden human detective. The latest book in the series (#5) comes out December 2016 – Cloaked in Christmas.
 
And for readers who adore dragon-shifters, then my story, FALLEN ASHES has just come out. It follows the story of Fallen, the last dragon-shifter trying to escape capture by the Queen. But getting herself magically bound to the Queen’s Guardian wasn’t on her to-do-list. Neither was falling for him. But he has a hit list with Fallen’s name on it. And if she dies, so does he. Along with the rest of the world.
 
If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?
I was born in Transylvania, and a lot of my stories are based in Romania which is a country seeped in legends. I love introducing readers to new locations and making them feel like they are discovering new worlds.
 
It’s been a blast and if anyone has any questions, be it about my stories, giant reptiles, or Transylvania, please feel free to reach out to me at www.tfwalsh.com 

 

Your Comments Are Encouraged

♥ Thank you 

 °*"˜˜"*° 
 
 
Please Feel Free to Share

Live ~ Laugh ~ Love
with Passion
 

 

What are you celebrating this week?

*****

cloaked_in_blood_3dCloaked in Blood is now out!

Grab Your Copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoogleplayiTunes

Cloaked in Blood Blurb

The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne…and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.
Marcin is just as shocked to learn he’ll be matched to the enemy’s daughter and the woman he’s never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they’re drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they’re fighting for—even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.
Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they’re better off as a team before it’s too late?

Celebrate blog hop

 

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

 

 

 

Image Source: Stockvault Free

Bloodwalker is here!!

I can't tell you how excited I am to announce the brand new release from one of my amazing critique partners, L.X. Cain. This is the kind of story that will stay with you for a long time, it will leave you terrified of clowns, and introduces you to the most unusual hero you'll end up loving. Yep, you definitely want to grab yourself a copy. Huge congrats, L.X. Cain.

5-bloodwalker-sm

Blurb: 
Lightning flashes. Another child disappears…
 
When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.
 
Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he's determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.
 
Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.
 
When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable…
 
 
Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1939844258/

Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Bloodwalker-L-X-Cain-ebook/dp/B01IAGHS5K

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodwalker-L-X-Cain/dp/1939844258

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloodwalker-lx-cain/1123844780?ean=2940153034508

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/bloodwalker

iTunes: https://fnd.io/#/us/book/1116824924-bloodwalker-by-lx-cain

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Bloodwalker/L-X-Cain/9781939844255?id=6649549825050

Powell’s Books: http://www.powells.com/book/bloodwalker-9781939844255/62-0

Dancing Lemur Press: http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/mysteryparanormalhorror

 

Stalk L.X. Cain

L.X. Cain was born in the U.S. but now lives on the Red Sea and busily taps away at a laptop, coming up with stories to thrill and entertain readers. 

FB Profile: https://www.facebook.com/lx.cain

FB Author Page: https://web.facebook.com/LX-Cain-Author-504432766289367/

GR-Author: https://www.goodreads.com/LX_Cain

LX on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LXCain

Heart Stopper by Tamara Narayan

Sore Throat to Heart Surgery


It's a familiar scenario for parents. You child pulls on your sleeve right in middle of the morning rush to school and/or work and says, "My throat hurts." You dig out a thermometer (if you can find it) and discover they have a slight fever. From past experience, you figure it's a cold, a virus. Antibiotics won't do anything. Why bother dragging them to the doctor's office? Time to break out your favorite brand of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, popsicles, and a jumbo box of Kleenex, right?

 

 

 

Image: Nathan LeClair: Flu Season 101


Most likely, yes. But there is a chance that the sore throat is caused by streptococcus, a bacterium. In the early stages of the infection, it can be difficult to distinguish between a viral infection (a cold) and strep. Not all children with strep develop a fever off the bat. Some will have stomach aches, but how often have parents heard the wail, "My tummy hurts!" right before the school bus arrives?

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Paul


Strep can be sneaky. If the symptoms are mild and the child recovers quickly, parents may not be aware of the bigger dangers lurking in their child's body. The antibodies produced by the immune system to fight the strep could attack the wrong targets, including joints and the heart. This is rheumatic fever and it can develop several weeks to months after the initial strep infection.

Rheumatic fever can scar the valves of the heart so they can't open and close properly, causing the heart to pump harder. This is now rheumatic heart disease. If the damage is severe, the heart valve may need to be replaced with surgery.

 

 

 

 

Image: Eduardo Garcia Cruz
In my novella Heart Stopper, eleven-year-old Tessa Radner's sore throat starts on the morning she's scheduled to hop on a plane for a highly anticipated trip to Disney World. Not wanting to miss the plane and ruin the trip, her father doesn't even consider taking her to a doctor. Instead, he gives her Tylenol and Gatorade. A few months later, Tessa is being airlifted to a hospital for emergency heart surgery. Here are the cover and links :

 

 

 

 

 
Four chilling short stories, available on Amazon
 


This progression from sore throat to heart surgery is possible, but rare. Here is a four minute video I watched as part of the research for Heart Stopper about a real case of rheumatic heart disease in a young boy.


YouTube: Stop Sore Throats from Hurting Hearts, New Zealand

If your child gets a sore throat, do not panic! Less than 3% of people with untreated strep develop rheumatic fever. But do seek medical treatment, especially for children with a high fever, swollen tonsils, and/or pus on the tonsils.

Take them to their pediatrician for a rapid strep test. A nurse will swipe the back of their throat with a big q-tip, making them gag and glare at you. After fifteen minutes, you'll either get a prescription for antibiotics (positive) or the sample will be sent off to a lab for more vigorous testing (and they only call you if that is positive).

Sources:
1. The International Heart Institute of Montana – Rheumatic Fever
2. WebMD – Understanding Rheumatic Fever, The Basics
3. HealthyChildren.Org – When a Sore Throat is a More Serious Infection

Have you or your children had strep throat?
 

 

Celebrate the Small Things

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What I'm Celebrating This Week

I can already feel things speeding up… before I know it, the stores will be decorating for Christmas. LOL. But lots going on in my world, and this week feels like it's all been about new book covers.

– I'm working with my publisher right now on covers for my two upcoming launches, which is always fun

– In my newsletter on the 28th Sept, I am revealing the brand new cover for my dragon-shifter story. Can't wait to show everyone. So if you want to check it out first, make sure you're signed up.

– The artist who is working on the covers for my demon series has the first two covers done… OMG I keep staring at them. Gorgeous.

– And this week I received the final cover for the anothology I am participating in for release in Jan 17, 2017. This will be showcased in my newsletter on 2nd Oct. So yep… you'll want to sign up 🙂 The cover is stunning!!

– This morning, I wrote 3000 words across two books, which makes me all kinds of happy. If only I could manage that everyday. Wouldn't that be wonderful.

– I'll be spending my weekend doing edits as I've received edits back from my editors for both book 5 in the Cloaked series and my first demon book. My plan is that once I complete these, I might dedicate a week to just marketing so I can get on top of a few things, including creating some promotional banners.

And that's it for me this week. Been a wild ride, and am hoping to catch my breath soon:)

 

What are you celebrating this week?

*****

cloaked_in_blood_3dCloaked in Blood is now out!

Grab Your Copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoogleplayiTunes

Cloaked in Blood Blurb

The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne…and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.
Marcin is just as shocked to learn he’ll be matched to the enemy’s daughter and the woman he’s never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they’re drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they’re fighting for—even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.
Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they’re better off as a team before it’s too late?

Celebrate blog hop

 

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

 

 

 

Image Source: Stockvault Free

Celebrate The Small Things

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What I'm Celebrating This Week

It's been a busy week, but also rewarding.

– I've finished the draft of my dragon-shifter novel, and now I'm focusing on edits. The cover artist showed me the final design today, and I absolutely loved it. Can't wait to share it with everyone.

– I'm using a different cover artist for the creation of my demon hunter series, and again, so super excited with the way they've turned out. Yay. Geez, it's hard holding onto so many things I want to scream from a rooftop about.

– The weather in Sydney has been just gorgeous and I've been doing a lot of gardening. The tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, fennel, sweet potato, parsley, lettuce and boc choy are all done:) I might have a tiny piece of land left in my garden beds, but I think that's it for this summer.

– This week I am attending a video shoot for work, which should be fun and keeps me very busy.

– And with all my upcoming launches, I've been putting a plan together on what I need to do and what to tackle first. It's a bit overwhelming, so I've been putting it aside, but at the same time I'm slowly getting a few things done. Like trying out Headtalker… see below. Created one to try out… if you so feel inclined, would love a bit of support to see how it works once it goes live.

Cloaked Kindle

What are you celebrating this week?

*****

cloaked_in_blood_3dCloaked in Blood is now out!

Grab Your Copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoogleplayiTunes

Cloaked in Blood Blurb

The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne…and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.
Marcin is just as shocked to learn he’ll be matched to the enemy’s daughter and the woman he’s never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they’re drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they’re fighting for—even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.
Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they’re better off as a team before it’s too late?

Celebrate blog hop

 

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

 

 

 

Image Source: Stockvault Free

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal

 
 
Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016
 
 
 
TIME IS THE ENEMY
 
In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.
 
In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.
 
 
Can Alexia escape her own clock?
 

 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.
 
Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.
 
 

ra

Celebrate the Small Things

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What I'm Celebrating This Week

Lots going on and I feel my work load is only going to get busier, but hey, I'm up for the challenge:) Some great stuff happening right now. This year has felt like a whirlwind, and mostly because I've been in my writing cave. And very soon I can start sharing all the awesomness that has been happening. Here's a sneak peek:

I have release dates for a few of my upcoming launches, and I can't tell you how excited I am. 

Cloaked in Christmas is scheduled for release Nov 28, 2016

The Wulfkin Book Bundle is coming out from my publisher and it's going to be awesome. It's scheduled for Nov 28, 2016

My dragon novel is scheduled for release Dec 6, 2016

An amazing author anothology with my Demon Book is scheduled for 17 Jan, 2016 release.

And I have another anothology for my second Demon Book scheuled for March 2017.

Oh, and I can't forget my super awesome new Urban Fantasy, which I cannot wait to share, is set for 17 July, 2017.

Lots going on, and I need to get my marketing motor started, but as soon as I have covers, I'll be sharing those. In the background, I do have some other very cool stories starting to come to life. My goal is to have a steady release of a new book next year every 2-3 months. But more on that later:)

Oh, and this fantastic Promo has just kicked off. 

Check out all these great books by some of your favorite authors! And who knows, you might just find one or two new ones that you won’t be able to live without!

All of these books are either FREE, or 99 cent deals! How awesome is that?

HeatwavePROMO3

What are you celebrating this week?

*****

cloaked_in_blood_3dCloaked in Blood is now out!

Grab Your Copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoogleplayiTunes

Cloaked in Blood Blurb

The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne…and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.
Marcin is just as shocked to learn he’ll be matched to the enemy’s daughter and the woman he’s never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they’re drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they’re fighting for—even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.
Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they’re better off as a team before it’s too late?

Celebrate blog hop

 

This post is part of Lexa Cain's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

 

 

 

Image Source: Stockvault Free

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