Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
When we left off in my WIP, Book 2 of my Illuminati series, The Tree of Life, Kirin and her brothers were at The Magic Ball in Rio and their enemy had just discovered they were there because the scientist they kidnapped, drugged and took to the ball with them is wearing a tracking device...so instead of rushing up the elevator to their penthouse suites they're headed to the ballroom to get lost in the crush...
He stayed close behind as she wove her way through the throng of bystanders and then darted straight onto the dance floor, swinging around to clasp him against herself, and then spin away to the flash-paced rhythm of a Brazilian Samba.
“I’ll explain later. I’m sorry, but if you want to get out of here alive, follow my lead,” she said into his ear as she gyrated in front of him.
“Shouldn’t I be leading?” he quipped, surprising Kirin by raising her hand above her head and spinning her away, then quickly pulling her back against him and showing off some amazingly sensual moves for a man who spent much of his life in front of a microscope.
The scientist pulled her up against his chest, nearly knocking her breath away, and not just because she was surprised by his sudden movement. The gleaming challenge in his eyes bore into hers as he looked down at her. She could imagine the mocking smile behind his mask, and she met his swiveling pelvis with her own sashaying hips, daring him to continue the knee-pumping, core-flexing duel. Encouraged, he stalked her movements like a predator, the fluidity of his movements measured and seductive. Kirin, breathless and impressed, laughed up at her handsome captive.
The Actual Coloring Books Demonstrated in the Below Video--Click Image for Purchase Links
I have and LOVE this Secret Garden Inky Treasure book!
This one is the actual artist paper able to be easily removed and framed.
Imagine how surprised I was to discover when my sister visited for Christmas that not only does she color for relaxation, but she bought me some awesome coloring books and cool colored pencils for Christmas! Then, when my daughter visited, I discovered that she and her aunt and her grandma color back in Michigan! It really IS a trend!
Well, as many of you know, I have been learning to paint with oils and pastels, but just to relax while watching TV, with no fuss or muss, it really is fun to color. Imagine how excited I was to run across this video that explained to me how to combine my love of art with my joy of relaxing and doodling into a mess-free watercolor painting technique?
I think many of you might agree that the results are very rewarding and the effort minimal, a win/win. Get your color on!
Click the above images for purchase links.
Fantastic Friday Find!
(Order of the Sicari #2)
by Monica Burns
Can the truth of the soul Conquer the pain of its ancient past.
Unlike other Sicari, Lysander Condellaire has telepathic and telekinetic powers. Not until the night a Praetorian tortured him and left him for dead did he understand why. Now, the half-angelic, half-demonic face he sees in the mirror is a reminder of the monster he must keep hidden or face expulsion from the order of assassins known as the Sicari. But his dreams of ancient Rome hint at a destiny difficult to accept, especially when it involves the woman he loves, but can never have.
A gifted healer in the Order, Phaedra DeLuca witnessed her mother’s murder when she was a little girl. The haunting memory makes her loathe everything Praetorian. When she travels to Rome in search of an ancient artifact, she must work alongside a man who once cruelly rejected her love and healing touch. But her dreams of ancient Rome tell of an irreversible and possibly dangerous future. For the distant past and present are about to collide–with the one man she is destined to love.
Available for purchase at
(Order of the Sicari #1)
Available for purchase at
About the Author
Monica Burns is a bestselling author of spicy historical and paranormal romance. She penned her first romance at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me.
She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin’s Heart. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica is a survivor who believes every hero and heroine deserves a HEA (Happily Ever After), especially if she’s writing the story.
You can find Monica at
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 04/23/16 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 04/24/16. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.
Previously, in my WIP, The Tree of Life, Book 2 in my Illuminati series, Kirin and her brothers were about to enter the Copacabana Palace in Rio during the Magic Ball with a kidnapped scientist in tow..albiet he is disguised in a tuxedo and full face mask..slightly drugged, though they are passing him off as drunk....
“What’s going on?”
“Oh, you’re back once again. You look great in a tuxedo, by the way. I didn’t realize you were so tall.”
“First time you’ve seen him upright,” Roscoe offered, helpfully.
Molten gold signaled his anger from behind the oval eye-slits of a full face mask Roscoe had secured to the scientist’s face, letting them know that if nothing else the man recalled the security chief’s remark and harsh treatment from earlier, and that the effects of the drug-soaked cloth were beginning to wear off.
“Move,” Andrew urged in a harsh whisper, shouldering the tightly grasped man in the opposite direction.
Kirin looked up and noted that their security team had averted them from the elevators and the safety of their penthouse suites, instead directing them further up the marble staircase toward the ballroom, unmindful of the rumpled flounces and disgruntled minglers they jostled in their haste to make way through the crush of excited party guests. She instantly sobered and followed their lead, knowing their route must surely be blocked, probably by some previously off-duty revelers who just happened to be on site. But for their enemy to have discovered their whereabouts so quickly could mean only one thing--her blind date was carrying a tracking device and would need to be searched.
I hope you enjoyed this week's snippet! Be sure to read the clips from the other fine participants in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday!
Look what I found at Barnes and Nobles! There's a reason they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and Jane Fonda's Original Workout is a prime example. Back by very popular demand, and still selling well, by all reports! There's a reason this once VHS tape (I think I may have once owned it on Beta!) sold some 17 million copies, more than ANY video of all time. And there's a reason this exercise diva's book on fitness caused the book industry to create a new genre called Health and Fitness so it wouldn't be so obvious a fitness book was outselling the more literary works. So what was all the fuss about then, and why all the attention again, you ask?
It just so happens, I know this one! Back in the 80’s, one of my best friends, who happened to live next door to me, owned an aerobics studio and I was her workout buddy. Since she taught aerobic classes nearly every day, she was in great shape, but she felt challenged to be in fantastic physical condition through cross-training. Of course this meant that “we” ran, biked, worked out with weights at the gym, and did the Jane Fonda workout tapes at my house, since I owned the tapes. We usually did the “challenge” tape, the one designed for dancers, because it was 1 ½ hours long so the 1 hour class she taught would be relatively easy for her to both teach and “count out” repetitions. Ah the good ole days, when we could run, jump and play all day! Needless to say, I was in the best shape of my life, too! And, just when Jane helped me get a solid six-pack, I found out I was pregnant for my second child! Oh, the things we give up for our children! LOL!
Okay, so now a decade or two (or, hey, stop counting on your fingers before I cyber-stalk you!) later, I have started to hit the gym again, and jog (now that one I actually love to do), in an effort to get back in shape—a nonstop struggle for writers who spend so much time sitting in front of a keyboard. So what did I find as I happily skipped through my happiest place on earth, the local bookstore? JANE FONDA! And not just any JANE FONDA WORKOUT. It was THE ORIGINAL WORKOUT! So yes, I did snap this remake up, happy that it is now on DVD rather than packed away in a box somewhere. Having now done the workout, here’s my review:
Jane herself gives a great intro to the remake of the video, which is fun. She talks about why they remade it, and what she’s been doing since her first jewel. It’s a fun walk down memory lane for those of us who knew her back in the day! Unless you are already in fantastic shape, you are unlikely to make it all the way through the advanced workout, so you may want to stick to the ½ hour Beginners workout provided. For those of us who are daring and/or crazy, the full hour advanced workout is easy to play.
One thing you have to remember about the 80’s aerobics is that they had no problem with high-impact moves, so if you are pampering your knees (like this “you will probably never be able to run again after this knee surgery” runner) you can easily alter the very short aerobic romping to keep one foot on the floor at all times and still get your heart rate up. After that, there isn’t much undo stress on the knees—but plenty of stretching that done with care will greatly strengthen the muscles around your knees and help those of you with joint concerns like me.
What I realize about Jane’s workouts years later, after having experienced all sorts of other workout hit-and-miss experiments, is that she was way ahead of her time. Her workouts were full of Pilates-like stretches, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) moves, and the time-tested “weeble-woobles” (inner thigh) leg lifts I actually once heard a modern Pilates instructor call “an old exercise move from the 80’s that still works,” as do all Jane’s moves. This is the ONLY exercise workout I do where I truly FEEL THE BURN, and that still makes me have sore abs and buns the next day, letting me know I have truly worked targeted muscles I wanted to work! Woohoo! Welcome back, Jane Fonda! I’ve missed you.
FANTASTIC FRIDAY FIND!
Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)
This Week's Snippet from my WIP, The Tree of Life, Book 2 in my Illuminati series...
When we left off, the three siblings, Kirin, Luc and Andrew, had broken into a pharmaceutical company owned by their arch enemy, who also fund some rather nasty International terrorists, to retrieve a specimen stolen from Kirin's research laboratory. She accidently knocks a scientist (who is going to be her love interest) off his feet, literally, and then her brother, Luc, clocks the guy so they can save explanations and get on with the job at hand. They have just jumped into a waiting van with some of their men...
The siblings quickly shed their coats, revealing sophisticated if elaborately embellished evening attire, and donned artisan-created masks. Kirin fastened the second dangling diamond and emerald earring and then pulled on gem-beaded gloves and watched as two of their men switched the scientist’s white lab coat for a tuxedo jacket, slapped a black bowtie around his neck and a mask over his face. It covered the swelling bruise on his chin nicely.
Just then the man began to rouse and pushed against the mask, muttering, “Wha-what’s going on? Whe-where am I?”
Roscoe lifted the mask, reached forward and held a cloth against the now struggling man’s mouth. “Easy, Cinderella, you’re about to go to The Magic Ball.”
The van pulled around the corner to an emergency only parking zone and stopped beside a long, dark limo with smoky windows and diplomatic flags on the hood that allowed it to park anywhere, even in Rio. The party-goers, along with their once-more-docile-if-still-disoriented guest, quickly transferred vehicles.
Ten minutes later, as they pulled to a stop in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, Kirin chuckled and said, "Well, this should be interesting--us, him, and fifteen-thousand of our closest friends."
I hope you enjoyed this Snippet! Be sure to visit the other great writers at Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday! #8Sunday #SNIPPETSUNDAY
In The Tree of Life, my current WIP, Kirin, along with 2 of her brothers, has just broken into the enemy's research lab to recover a stolen biological ingredient, crucial to her genetic research. Running toward a temperature -controlled storage unit, she has just collided with a startled research scientist as he attempts to get out of his rolling chair. Let's pick up where we left off last week...
Pushing, twisting, arms and legs tangled with his, the long folds of his lab coat suddenly acting like cords, Kirin, frustrated, planted her forearms into his chest and rose up to glare into orbs as golden as a jungle cat’s.
She opened her mouth to demand that he…something. Unusual in color and intensity, intelligent and curious eyes stared straight back into hers. His chest was wide and well-muscled beneath her hands, Kirin noticed idly. He didn’t spend all his time in the lab. When the air whooshed from his lungs, she didn’t think it was entirely due to her elbows against his diaphragm. It occurred to her that she was straddling his waist, but it was at the same time that she was trying to figure out why she had noticed what full and soft-looking lips he had for a man and why she wondered what it would feel like to have him kiss her. Otherwise she would have reacted much more quickly and planted her feet on the floor immediately.
Instead, she was once again lifted off the floor by one of her brothers, but this time it was Luc and he was helping her up rather than trying to keep her from interfering. The handsome young scientist who she had knocked to the ground was now about to discover how courteous her brother Andrew could be.
“Hey! Who are you--
“Luc! No! What did you do that for?” When all Luc did was shrug and sit down at a computer terminal and plug in a thumb drive so he could upload a virus, Kirin spun on her heal and headed back to the sample lab. “Fine. But you know we’re going to have to take him with us.
I hope you liked this week's sample!
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officiallyInsecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG will be Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury,Christine Rains, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner,Rachna Chhabria, and Patricia Lynne!
I write quite a few reviews, and edit other people’s manuscripts every single week, but there are only a few blogs that I write just because I want to with any regularity. Yes, I can see your eyes rolling, those that wonder what I dare define as regular. Hey, just remember that everyone has problems you know nothing about.
Two groups I try to push myself to blog in are groups in which writers must post excerpts of their WIP. Why? To force me to create an excerpt so that I work on my WIP instead of someone else’s. And I swear I wonder sometimes why I bother posting in one of them because all they seem to care about is how many sentences you write, not what you write. And all I care about is that I DID write. I regress.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to read other author’s works. Isn’t that what they say all great writers must do? Read. Read. Read. Of course, but at what point does it become an excuse to avoid facing critique on one’s own work? Or perhaps even the lack of critique?
Since moving across the country, one of the things I miss most is the fun, eclectic group of 8 POTL women who made up my critique group. We used to meet once a month for plot brainstorming, critiquing, laughing and whatever else was happening, be it book signings, guild meetings, wine tasting tours, or tarot card reading character development sessions--or just life, such as personal events or problems that came up. Oh, how I miss that food for the writer’s soul.
It’s been so long since I wrote anything substantive that my writing “buddies” don’t even know I’m writing again, and don’t even know to “follow” my writing fb pages or blogs or comment on them, or…sigh. Who can blame them? I have no one to blame but myself. The writer in me has forgotten to send out invites to my friends letting them know the right side of my brain is alive and well, though it may be living in AZ rather than MI.
My writing has suffered for many reasons since I moved here, but I have not finished a novel since I arrived, and I can’t help but admit the lack of writing comradery is probably a major reason. So today I sliced a juicy organic tomato, some smoky gouda cheese, and layered them on thin slices of feta/spinach/onion bread from Beyond Bread, opened a bottle of my favorite Late Harvest Riesling and wrote an entire chapter in my WIP—and all that before I painted a modern abstract acrylic on canvas “Sunflowers Swim in Lilacs”. How’s that for right-brain regeneration?
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 04/02/16 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 04/03/16. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.
Spread the word, share the love, warriors. Twitter hashtag #8sunday.
My contribution this week is from my work in progress, The Tree of Life, Book 2 of my Illuminati series. Kirin, the protagonist is an MD, PhD, research geneticist, who is breaking into a research lab owned by their greatest enemy who fund a demented terrorist faction. They are attempting to steal "back" a botanical ingredient needed to complete a genetic mutation that will save the human race from...well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Oh, and did I mention it's her first meeting with her love interest, as in she falls as in actually falls head over heals for the love of her life?
"Stop pushing me, Luc," Kirin whispered.
Slipping past Andrew’s grasping hand and darting under Luc’s arm, Kirin ran around the corner, elbowed the guard in the throat, snatched the pass card clipped to his pocket before he landed face-down on the floor at her feet, and slid it through the reader. She reached for the door handle and gasped.
Dangling a full foot above the marble-tiled hallway, she gritted her teeth and kicked backward. A grunt sounded and she grinned. Her satisfaction was short-lived. She was carried over the threshold and unceremoniously dropped. Landing with the dexterity of a cat, she curled a strand of red hair behind her ear, ignored her brother’s soft sound of irritation behind her, and glanced around the lab. Seeing an environmentally controlled storage unit, she signaled for her brothers to check out the doors on the other side of the lab while she hurried toward the samples storage room.
Wheels spun, a chair whirled into the aisle and a startled white-lab-coat-clad man half-rose to his feet only to have Kirin trip over them and then over him until her momentum and his momentum carried them both down the last three feet of aisle where the swirling chair toppled, wheels still spinning, and deposited the scrambling and tangled arms and legs, his confused and hers angry onto the sterile, polished floor.
And that’s it. I hope you enjoyed it. Visit my Weekend Writing Warrior friends here.
I blog there the 18th of each month!
Elizabeth Alsobrooks's books on Goodreads
Illuminati - The Book of Life
ratings: 12 (avg rating 4.33)
Illuminati: The Book of Life
ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.80)
The Keeper's Secret: Tell-Tale Publishing's Annual Horror Anthology
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
2016 NaNoWriMo Winner!
My Newest Release
An Amazon Bestseller!
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