Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interview with Lilliana Anderson, author of 'Phoenix: The Beauty in Between'


Bestselling Author of the A Beautiful Series, Alter and the Confidante Trilogy, Lilliana has always loved to read and write, considering it the best form of escapism that the world has to offer. 

Australian born and bred, she writes New Adult Romance revolving around her authentically Aussie characters as well as a biographical trilogy based on an ex-Sydney sex worker, named Angelien. 

Lilliana feels that the world should see Australia for more than just it's outback and tries to show characters in more of a city setting.

When she isn't writing, she wears the hat of 'wife and mother' to her husband and four children. 

Before Lilliana turned to writing, she worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities and communications before transferring to commerce/law at university. 

Originally from Sydney's Western suburbs, she currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne

Visit her website at www.LillianaAnderson.com.

Connect & socialize with Lilliana at Twitter: https://twitter.com/Confidante_Lili

Like her on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/LillianaAndersonAuthor

Add her as a friend at Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6533406.Lilliana_Anderson

About the Book:

After being unceremoniously kicked out of home at a young age, Paige was forced to fend for herself.

In a bid to survive, she did things that most people would never dream of, and stopped caring about herself as a result.

When the fastest way to get food and shelter was to sell her body, and the fastest way to forget was to take drugs, Paige embarked and a steady downward spiral. Until, finally she hit rock bottom…

In A Beautiful Forever we got to know Paige as she battled the demons of her past to move forward with her future and find her happy ever after. Now, in Phoenix, we get to see the moments those demons were created and how she managed to get her life back on track.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

My inspiration came from readers of my Beautiful series. They met Paige in ‘A Beautiful Forever’ and were so involved in her story that they wanted to know more about her past.

If Phoenix is the first book you have picked up from my Beautiful series – fear not – you don’t need to have read any of the others.

Phoenix follows the life of Paige when she is ejected from her home, by an uncaring mother and father, at the impressionable age of fifteen.


Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It was very emotionally draining. I found that I was feeling very nervous and depressed whenever I had to start writing.

I had to do a huge amount of research for it, which is what I can’t recommend enough.

The biggest thing I can say is know your characters. You need to feel them inside you so you can accurately explain their feelings and their situation. Telling someone what’s going on isn’t good enough. A reader wants to feel like they just got slapped in the face, or just feel in love with someone.


Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published. I found that was the best solution for me when I had finished my first novel.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

How easy the whole process was. I still can’t believe that anyone can write a book and put it online. It’s a wonderful opportunity for those of us who couldn’t afford to go down the path of finding an agent and a manuscript vetter.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

Pure, unadulterated pride! It’s a beautiful thing, flicking through the pages of an actual book that you wrote out of your own mind. It’s almost magical.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place? 

I think it makes the reader feel compassion, which is important in this world. We need to spend a bit more time caring about one another.

It will also make the reader look at their life and be thankful for what they have.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I want the reader to understand that no matter how dark your situation, there is always hope.
  






Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Conversation with 'Lion's Head Deception' Chuck Waldron & Win a Kindle Fire HD!

I am so happy to be hosting Chuck Waldron again at The Writer's Life.  Chuck is back with his dystopian thriller, Lion's Head Deception, and he's agreed to answer a few of my questions about his book, his writing life and what's on the horizon for him.  Don't forget to check out the Kindle Fire giveaway at the bottom of the post.  Good luck!


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Chuck.  Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Lion’s Head Deception?

My first story was written when I was around 8 or 9 years old. Alas, there was a large time gap between that first story and a chance class in creative writing many years later. Many influences along the way contributed to Lion’s Head Deception.

Q: How did you choose your title and was it your first choice?

It wasn’t my first working title, but as the storyline was developing the deception part seemed to fit. As a frequent visitor to Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula and the Lion’s Head area it was not a surprise that I chose that area for part of the setting and it’s place in the title.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

As an indie publisher all the marketing and publicity falls on my shoulders. I am convinced Lion’s Head Deception is a good story and touches on timely issues. That said, I am promoting through advertising, social media and radio interviews. I don’t ignore the personal touch. When I see someone reading a book I like to ask what they’re reading. If they like mystery/thrillers I love to tell them about my book.


Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

The conspiracy, so carefully planned, is finally being implemented. The first team is being sent to make an arrest and the first step is taken to rid the streets of persons the conspirators deem undesirable.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

I have two underway, a sequel to Lion’s Head Deception and a sequel to my third novel, Served Cold.

Q: What is the one thing you learned about your book AFTER it was published?

That it might be even better than I thought.

Q: What is your most favorite time of the day or night to write?

Early morning, but if my characters are talking, anytime!

Q: What is usually better – the book or the movie?

They each have advantages. A book can provide more interior thoughts and character development. Movies can show the action.

Q:  You’re about to write your next book.  What did you learn from your previous book to help you write your next book?

That it “ain’t gonna” be easy.

Q: Finally, what’s your best tip you can give to writers who want to be published?

Send out query letters and see what happens. Follow the dream. There are plenty of naysayers who will offer their words of discouragement. If nobody offers to publish your story screw up your nerve and take on the job yourself and self-publish.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Chuck.  Do you have any final words?

Thanks for having me and letting me have a chance to meet new readers. I’m not above shameless self-promotion, so here’s my plug to buy Lion’s Head Deception, available in print and ebook.

About the Author:

Chuck Waldron’s latest novel, Lion's Head Deception, is a dystopian story about an investigative blogger who uncovers more than he ever imagines...and has no idea what to
do with his discovery.

An investigative blogger uncovers a sinister conspiracy, a billionaire's plan backed by select government officials, designed to exterminate citizens who do not live up to a predetermined screening matrix; under the guise of rioting and a destabilized city, the plan is implemented and the blogger fights not only to discover and reveal the truth, but to survive.

"I grew up," Chuck said, "listening to my grandfather, an Ozark Mountain story teller, spinning tales of the caves on his farm, describing them as hiding places once used by the Jesse & Frank James' gang. It didn't matter if the stories were true or not. Those legends set fire to my imagination, creating images that emerged slowly over the years, finally igniting as my short stories and novels."

Now, thirty-plus short stories and three novels later, ideas keep coming, with more novels under development. Do they share anything in common? Each has its own unique voice and tale to tell, yet, at their heart, his stories tell about the human condition - the good, the bad and the ugly.

As Chuck tells it, "stored images that echo in my writing include train whistles in the night, Norman Rockwell childhood scenes, U.S. Army memories, blue collar jobs, university, a professional career, and finally retirement. Many of my images are drawn from this pool of memories: places visited, sights seen, and people met. The rest I fill in with my imagination: dreams of places yet to be visited, sights yet to be seen, and people yet to meet."

His literary roots were planted in the American Midwest and thrived when transplanted to the rich, cultural soil of Ontario. He and his wife, Suzanne, are now warmed by the sun on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

His latest book is Lion’s Head Deception.

Visit his website at www.WriteByMeBooks.com.  

Connect & Socialize with Chuck!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


About the Book:

In the prologue, the backdrop for Lion’s Head Deception is set, amongst rioting and unrest in a destabilized city.
Matt Tremain is a shy, private person who discovers a passion for writing blogs—a mission that propels him into investigative reporting. A tipster warns him of a diabolical scheme Matt simply can’t ignore. After the tipster is killed, Matt honors his memory by going forward to investigate the truth behind the conspiracy. He meets a television reporter and a cameraman also investigating the intrigue. Are they potential partners or rivals? A detective offers his assistance, but Matt is unsure of his true motivation. He is equally unsure of the allegiance of those in the top administration of police services. Matt Tremain and his friends are forced to go on the run, evading the newly-formed security teams. They must expose the truth before they are discovered, arrested and perhaps exterminated themselves…

The reader is introduced to Matt Tremain when a test message warns him of impending arrest. The first part of the novel provides an understanding of how he learns about a conspiracy, and the person behind it. A television journalist is investigating the same treachery. Will they be able to join forces? The end of part one introduces a police detective. Will he be friend or foe?

Part two takes place at a private retreat. The antagonist, the scheme’s architect, unveils the complete details of his plan and gets the backing of his three co-conspirators. The location is the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. It takes place at Lion’s Head and gives the novel the working name.

In an action-packed run to the finish line, will Matt and his partners be able to face the challenges it will take to expose the lies and treachery behind Operation CleanSweep?

Purchase your copy:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Win a Kindle Fire HD!

 







Rafflecopter Code for Kindle Fire HD Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour: 20 Questions with Vincent Zandri, author of 'The Guilty'



It's time again to play 20 questions!  Our guest today is Vincent Zandri, author of  The Guilty.  Vincent is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE CONCRETE PEARL, MOONLIGHT RISES, SCREAM CATCHER, BLUE MOONLIGHT, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT, MOONLIGHT SONATA, CHASE, and more. He is also the author of the Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as "...gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called it "Sensational...Masterful...
Brilliant!" Zandri's list of publishers include Delacorte, Dell, StoneHouse Ink, StoneGate Ink, and Thomas & Mercer. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian, and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for Living Ready, RT, Globalspec, as well as several other news agencies and publications, Zandri lives in New York.For more information on Zandri's books, go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM.

~~ Book Blurb ~~ 

The Guilty


Jack Marconi is back. In The Guilty, Jack finds himself investigating a local restaurateur who’s not only obsessed with the sexy, dark romance novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, he’s accused of attempting to murder his school teacher girlfriend. As the now brain-damaged young woman begins recalling events of that fateful winter night when she was allegedly pushed down the front exterior stairs of a West Albany mansion, she becomes the target of the angry foodie/sex-obsessed boyfriend once again. Only this time, he’s cooking up a plot to keep her silenced forever.

20 Questions with Vincent Zandri

1.     Are you a morning writer or a night writer?  Morning and afternoon.
2.     Do you outline or are you a pantster?Both.
3.     Which comes first – plot or character? Sometimes character determines plot and vice versa.
4.     Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript? I’m okay with both.
5.     Favorite TV show? Don’t have a TV.
6.     Favorite type of music? Punk rock and classical.
7.     Favorite craft besides writing? Photography.
8.     Do you play a musical instrument? Drums.
9.     Single or married? I write, therefore I’m single.
10. Children or no? Three great kids.
11. Pets? One dog. Lulu.
12. Favorite place to write? In my apartment in Florence, Italy.
13. Favorite restaurant? Pale D’Oro, Florence, Italy.
14. Do you work outside the home? I have a studio apartment in the city.
15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?Porkchop Hill.
16. Favorite outdoor activity? Hiking and flyfishing.
17. Pet peeve? Hate phone calls when working.
18. Your goal in life? Win the Pulitzer.
19. Your most exciting moment? Entering into the 3rd Great Pyramid alone.
20. The love of your life? Lola.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guest Blogger: Joe Sergi, Author of Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures

Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe Christopher, it is proving impossible.

In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. Last year, DeDe discovered that she possessed fantastic abilities that were strangely similar to those of a comic book character named SkyBoy.

With the help of her best friend Jason, a self-professed comic geek, DeDe accepted her legacy and became Sky Girl. Now, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick.

DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to Skyboy--secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny.



Contraction Inaction, What Is Your Reaction?

By Joe Sergi, Author of Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures, from Martins Sisters Publishing

Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures is the stand-alone sequel to Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy, which introduced DeDe Christopher. DeDe is an ordinary teen with the extraordinary destiny to become Sky Girl. In the first book, DeDe discovered that she possessed fantastic abilities that were strangely similar to those of a comic book character named SkyBoy. With the help of her best friend Jason, a self-professed comic geek, DeDe accepted her legacy and became Sky Girl at the end of her sophomore year of high school. In the new book, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick. DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to SkyBoy--secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny. Each adventure stands on its own but is also part of a larger plot and expands on the mystery of what happened to DeDe's father and Evil Brain's plot for world domination. Basically, high school is hard, but in addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. Most importantly, you don't really need to read the first book to enjoy the second.

However, today, I don’t want to talk about Sky Girl as a lot of my interviews focus on her. Instead, I want to talk about her best friend, Jason. More particularly, I want to talk about his diction.  Jason uses perfect English and doesn’t use contractions, which really irks people and editors because they believe it sounds stifled.  Allow me to say this definitively. Jason’s dialogue is intentional. 

They say inspiration comes in strange ways.  For Jason, it came, fittingly, from my experience at the New York ComicCon.  The organizers had oversold the show and the fire marshal had stopped letting people in.  Locked out, I sat on the floor to work on an early draft of Sky Girl.  Instead, I found myself people watching.   

I noticed all of the great shirts that people were wearing and immediately knew that Jason was going to wear a different geek shirt every day.  This allowed for some great inside jokes.  In the first book, the shirts are relatively straightforward with things like “Han shot first!” and “Frak!” In the second book, he wears: “Amberzombie and Witch,” “You can’t have manslaughter without laughter.” and “Honk if you are going to hit me!” and adds a few others to his collection. At shows, when I sign the book, I try to draw different character sketches in the cover.  As expected, Jason’s shirts are always different in his.

But, going back in time to that New York ComicCon, something else caught my eye while sitting on that floor.  A fan with a wheeling cart full of books to be signed was getting irate about being kept off the floor.  He started by calmly talking to the marshal, but soon was yelling at everyone.  But, no matter how excited he got, his grammar never deteriorated, he never used a contraction, and he emphasized every syllable (think Sinatra in the younger days.)  There are other people who talk similarly, but this guy was incredible.

“This is not very fair!”

“I do not know why we cannot go in.”

“I cannot believe this.  You are not very nice, kind sir.”

The entire rant was awkward, stilted, and uncomfortable. Most of all, it was perfect--Jason had his voice.  I took out every one of Jason’s contractions.  I read the sentences out loud stressing each syllable. In my head he spoke like Frank Sinatra sings, stressing each and every syllable.

Every editor who looked at the book tried to change Jason’s dialogue.  But, like Jason’s inspiration, I would not back down.  I even added lines of dialogue about the awkwardness of Jason’s diction. 

So, if you pick up either of the Sky Girl books, I hope you don’t think, “No one really talks like that.” Instead, I hope you remember my story. In fact, Jason’s dialogue is some of the hardest to write in the book because of the conscious effort it takes to not use contractions.

Thanks for letting me explain Jason’s quirks.  Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures is available at all online booksellers and can be ordered in brick and mortar shops and chains. It is also available directly from the publisher at www.martinsisterspublishing.com. I will have copies at upcoming show appearances, some of which include: Baltimore ComicCon (September 7-8); The Collingswood Book Festival (October 5), New York ComicCon (October 10-13), and the Festival of the Book (October 19). 


Joe Sergi lives outside of Washington, DC with his wife and daughter. Joe is an attorney and a Haller Award winning author who has written articles, novels, short stories, and comic books in the horror, scifi, and young adult genres. Joe is the creator of the Sky Girl series of novels and the editor of Great Zombies in History. His first novel, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy was selected Best of 2010 by the New PODler Review. Joe is a life-long comic fan who regularly writes on the history of comics and censorship for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. A complete list of Joe’s titles is available at www.JoeSergi.net. When not writing, Joe works as a Senior Litigation Counsel in an unnamed US government agency and is a member of the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Spotlight: Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures by Joe Sergi

Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe Christopher, it is proving impossible.

In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. Last year, DeDe discovered that she possessed fantastic abilities that were strangely similar to those of a comic book character named SkyBoy.

With the help of her best friend Jason, a self-professed comic geek, DeDe accepted her legacy and became Sky Girl. Now, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick.

DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to Skyboy--secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny.

Purchase paperback from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Superheroic-Adventures-Series-Volume/dp/1625530277/

Purchase digital version from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Superheroic-Adventures-Series-ebook/dp/B00D4FHE7U/

Purchase paperback or digital from Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sky-girl-and-the-superheroic-adventures-joe-sergi/1115472264

About the author:

Joe Sergi lives outside of Washington, DC with his wife and daughter. Joe is an attorney and a Haller Award winning author who has written articles, novels, short stories, and comic books in the horror, scifi, and young adult genres. Joe is the creator of the Sky Girl series of novels and the editor of Great Zombies in History. His first novel, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy was selected Best of 2010 by the New PODler Review. Joe is a life-long comic fan who regularly writes on the history of comics and censorship for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. A complete list of Joe’s titles is available at www.JoeSergi.net. When not writing, Joe works as a Senior Litigation Counsel in an unnamed US government agency and is a member of the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law.


Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 3rd


Wednesday, September 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at My Devotional Thoughts

Thursday, September 5th

Interview at As the Pages Turn

Monday, September 9th

Interview at Examiner

Wednesday, September 11th

Interview at Blogcritics

Thursday, September 12th

Book review and giveaway at Mommynificent

Friday, September 13th

Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking

Monday, September 16th

Interview at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, September 19th

Guest post and giveaway at Freda’s Voice

Friday, September 20th


Monday, September 23rd

Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, September 24th

Guest post at The Writer’s Life

Friday, September 27th

Interview at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, October 1st

Guest post and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

Wednesday, October 2nd


Guest post at Paperback Writer

Friday, October 4th

Interview at Between the Covers

Monday, October 7th

Book spotlight at Review from Here

Tuesday, October 8th


Wednesday, October 9th

Interview and giveaway at Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Thursday, October 10th


Monday, October 14th

Book spotlight at YAdult Review

Tuesday, October 15th


Wednesday, October 16th

Interview at The Story of a Writer

Thursday, October 17th


Monday, October 21st

Interview at Broowaha

Wednesday, October 23rd
Character interview at 4 the Love of Books
Friday, October 25th
Book review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, October 28th
Guest post at Authors and Appetizers
Tuesday, October 29th
Guest post at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, November 4th
Book spotlight at Literal Exposure
Monday, November 18th
Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Tuesday, November 26th
Wednesday, November 27th
Book tour highlights at The Book Rack
Friday, November 29th
Book review at CelticLady’s Reviews
More tour stops coming soon!

Page Turner Book Tours Presents: A Ranger's Tale by Mysti Parker


Title: A Ranger’s Tale 
Series: Tallenmere 
Author: Mysti Parker 
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance 
Publisher: Melange Books 
Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print 
Release Date: January, 2011 

Blurb: In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done... 

High elf Caliphany Aranea leads an enviable life as King Leopold's niece and daughter of Sirius, Leogard's most famous wizard. Yet, being forced to follow in her father's footsteps and being betrothed to a man she doesn't even like makes her want a taste of life outside the city walls. 

As a young boy, half-elf Galadin Trudeaux witnessed his parents' death at the hands of pirates. After being raised by those same murderers and forced to do their bidding, he escaped and now lives an honest life as a sea merchant and ranger. 

When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap Caliphany while she dreams of faraway lands, Galadin comes to her rescue. Impressed by his skills, she asks him to train her as a ranger. Though he is hesitant at first to train a woman of her class, Caliphany's hefty sack of gold finally persuades him. Unfortunately, her father is not amused, and the two must escape before Caliphany faces a forced marriage and Galadin faces a noose. 

From that moment on she and Galadin embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Only if they can survive the trials ahead, will they find a love that stands the test of time. 


CURRENTLY AVALIABLE FOR $2.99


Excerpt: Caliphany lowered her hood and smoothed out her robes. She smiled. I admit I’d held a vague hope we would cross each other’s paths again, but I’d also told myself a woman of her class and a man of mine had no business being seen with one another. 

Even though I didn’t know who she was exactly, the clothes she wore told me she didn’t mingle regularly with us working classes. 

She tucked some hair behind her ear and blushed. “Captain Trudeaux.” 

I bowed. “My lady.” 

“Please don’t bow.” She avoided my gaze and clenched her robe. “You weren’t at the docks this morning. I thought you had gone.” 

Razor had started tearing into the rabbit, so I held up my finger. “One moment, please.” I knelt to retrieve him and the carcass before it was gone. 

Razor eyed Caliphany when I returned to her side. “I sent my men on to Faewood. They’ll be back by the week’s end. We had some Tilliyan coffee beans to deliver.” 

Her shoulders slumped. “I’ve read a lot about Tilliya Island.” Her eyes focused somewhere in the distance, and then rested on me again. “So, you’re a falconer?” 

“I’m a ranger. Razor accompanies me from time to time. We sell what we hunt and gather. Sometimes I help thin out wildlife. It’s just my job.” 

The words rolled off her tongue. “A ranger.” I nodded, a bit annoyed she found my profession so curious. I killed things for a living. It was a hard, dirty job, one I was sure she could never understand. I cleared my throat. “I’m glad to see you’re in one piece, though still unescorted. Would you like me to walk you back to Leogard?” 

She held up a satchel. “I’m gathering plant specimens.” 

“As you wish. Well, good day then. I’ve got work to do.” I began to walk away. 

“Wait,” she said. 

I turned, and Caliphany approached me, opened her mouth, shut it again, and finally spoke. “I wanted to thank you for rescuing me.” 

If she was any other woman, from the lower end of society, I might have thought she was flirting. “You already did, I believe, and it’s not necessary. Good day.” I tried to walk away again. 

“Wait.” 

Razor screeched and puffed his feathers when I turned back around. “Easy, now. Look, Caliphany, it’s really not necessary—” 

“I want you to train me.” 

I stepped closer. She blushed. I wrinkled my brow and asked, “Pardon?” 

The words tumbled from her mouth. “You know how to handle yourself, handle weapons. I want to learn that as well. Will you train me?” 

I puffed out my cheeks and exhaled. 

Should have known she wasn’t interested in me, just in what I could do for her. “I’m not sure what you think I am, my lady, but I’m no trainer. I’ve got work to do. Forgive me, but I can’t waste precious hours teaching you to handle a bow.” 

She reached into her cloak and pulled out a sack. From the jingle inside, I estimated a month’s wages in gold. She got my attention. 

“I’ll pay you. If this isn’t enough, I’ll pay more.” 

That definitely got my attention. “My men will have to take up the slack. I’ve got orders to fill. But, why would you want to do…” I pulled out a bloody, limp rabbit carcass. “…this?” 

“My reasons are personal. So, are you willing to train me or not?” 

I scratched my chin. “When can you start?” 

A smile flashed across her lips. “My father leaves for Mirrochet citadel in two days. He’ll be gone for a month. I can train with you every day for a few hours during that time. After that…” She frowned and turned her head, then met my eyes again. “After that, I don’t know. I can meet you at the ranger outpost just east of here. My family should not know about this.” 

Desperation settled in her eyes, and I had a strong urge to take her in my arms and kiss her until we both had to come up for air. But she stood waiting for my reply. 

“L-Look, I don’t know if I should be skirting trouble. Being caught out here in the woods with you wouldn’t look good for either of us.” 

She stepped a little closer, reached out as though she would touch me, but withdrew her hand. “Believe me; they would know it was my idea. And with my father gone, they don’t pay as much attention to my whereabouts. So, is it a deal?” 

She held out her sack of coin with one hand, and the other for me to shake. I took the gold and shook her hand. Her skin was warm and soft. Damn shame it would be to mar those pretty fingers. 


About Mysti Parker: Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey. 

Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K. 

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children. 


Tallenmere Series: