Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
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 05/07/16 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 05/08/16. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.
I have been sharing from my WIP, Book 2 of my Illuminati series, The Tree of Life. Just so I don't leave you hanging, Rodrigo managed to escape by jumping from a helicopter into the rooftop pool, just as they were taking off, at the last minute. This scene takes place in a laboratory hidden within an overgrown ancien ruin within the rainforest. In honor of Mother's Day I have chosen a snippet that fits the occasion!
What Would Mother Do?
“These were forest people, from remote, scattered tribes, and I've no idea how many more have fallen victim to the disease.”
“I’m afraid you’re right to be concerned, Kirin,” Luc said, walking up to join them. “We just had a call from Andrew and the problem may be bigger than just that Set infected more victims, because Andrew thinks the infection has gone viral at a molecular level and is mutating and spreading of its own volition.”
“It may already be too late," she said softly. Then she did the thing that all the immortal children of Isis both feared to do and yet dared not fail to do immediately whenever they encountered a catastrophic problem. She called out, “Mother,” knowing wherever in all the world her mother was she would immediately hear and respond.
It was the knowledge of her love for them and her almost limitless power her children depended upon, but it was the uncertainty of her mood and response to their handling of the catastrophe they had been sent to deal with that made Kirin hesitate.
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 officially Insecure 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!
The awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG will be Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris!
Take a Chance, Win a Prize
So I took a chance, and attended the Saguaro Chapter of the RWA (The Tucson branch of the National Romance Writers Association) meeting, my first gathering of writers since moving from Michigan to Arizona four years ago. As luck, fate, timing, the spin of the wheel would have it, I ended up seated next to a fellow paranormal writer and a table full of writers who didn't spit or bite or throw things at me (at least not at this first meeting-though I hold out hope they may learn to be less restrained later on).
A very review-savvy author (who wisely never reads her own) discussed getting out there and just doing it, review-wise, and two dare-devil-card-may-care authors demonstrated using various tarot decks to build plot bridges. This long-time reviewer and tarot reader found both sessions interesting and the writing gab provided well-needed savory bits for this writer's soul.
I also discovered one of the members is a nutso extreme running/obstacle course enthusiast, like many of my buddies back in MI! And, some of the paranormal writers are forming a new paranormal critique group, like the one I left behind in MI! The Tucson group is a very large, active group, but their seating is small, round tables, so intimate groupings that lend themselves to quiet conversations during lunch. Not everyone at my table bothered to speak to me or introduce themselves, excited to see their friends and catch up with them at this once a month meeting, but most did, and most were kind enough to even introduce me to others in the extended group who wrote in the same genre, or shared some same interest, during the break.
I just may find a niche with this group. I have received some emails and offers to join a new critique group. I feel that I can take another chance and it won't require me to get "out there" in an uncomfortable way until I become used to getting to know a few people from the group better first. Starting over really does mean you can keep old friends and make new ones too! I feel much encouraged for having taken a chance. It's a good thing I had an old friend to push me into making new ones!
When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…
Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.
Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…
Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.
The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…
Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was.
In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…
Several lives depend on it.
A large part of The Chemist’s wealth came from something that started out as a petty sideline but now provided an ever increasing income—money lending, loan sharking, pawn broking. It served a double purpose. Obviously it created wealth, but it also increased the footfall of deprived humanity passing through the front door of Shortcross Drive. This meant that when the police did a stop-and-search on visitors leaving The Chemist’s house, all they found were small amounts of cash in new white envelopes. Positive feedback within the local police force went up the line, and it was duly noted that local drug related problems were on the decline. Statistics made fine reading at County Hall and everyone was happy. No matter how much Mario increased the interest rates to his borrowers, people paid their debts. It was an undisputed fact. No matter how much financial difficulty The Chemist’s borrowers were in, they always found a way to pay up. If anybody at County Hall had bothered to correlate the figures, they could surely not have missed the numbers showing that criminal break-ins and burglaries within a twenty mile radius had increased even more markedly.
The largest amount Mario had ever lent to one person was £1,000. It went to a young local tearaway who was quite happy to agree to repay Mario the sum of £1,200 within three days. The young thug duly turned up on the Friday with the cash and a nice bottle of champagne to go with it. Next day, while Mario was sitting down with his copy of The Sun, he read that there had been a robbery at a Post Office in the Peak District, and that the Post Mistress was in a coma after being attacked with a sledge hammer. The paper stated that the thieves got away with over £6,000. Mario felt something akin to parental pride. Mario carried on lending monkeys and tons to his regulars until he received a phone call that came out of the blue. The request came as something of a shock, even to Mario’s fireproof ears.
“Hello, my name’s Jeremy. I’d rather not go into any more detail over the phone, but I was given your name by Eddie Parsons.”
Eddy Parsons, The Peak District thief.
The rather snooty voice continued, “I want to borrow ten-thousand pounds for ten days. I can pay you back the second of next month. Guaranteed.”
It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.
Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.
This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.
I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.
Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.
Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.
Enter to Win!
When American Indians from the future move their entire island nation to our Earth, Ell Harmon makes the first alien contact. The take-charge Seattle biologist has yearned to find intelligent aliens, and her dream comes true when she meets Prince Tro Eaglesbrood.
Ell and Tro are quarantined together, while the fearful world wonders whether the newcomers are friends or foes, neighbors or conquerors. Ell knows Tro is honorable and Kwadrans are peaceful … but how to convince the world?
They broadcast a show, which she flippantly titles Alien Contact for Idiots. Every day, Ell interviews Tro and tries to humanize Kwadrans. The show is wildly popular, and the romance developing on-screen between Ell and Tro reassures the world. If a smart woman like her can fall for a Kwadran, they must not be monsters, right?
But Tro’s duty lies with his people, and soon that duty threatens not only the show but Ell’s heart -- as well as the peace and survival of our world.
When Ell turned to leave, Tro placed his hand on the wall between her and the door. "What are you doing?" she asked in a small voice.
She was small and fragile. Her gentle fragrance enveloped Tro in a cloud of swarming, buzzing sensations. He touched her cheek, smooth and warm. Many women's cheeks felt smooth and warm—but this was different. Ell's skin transmitted something unknown and unexpected, something from a long-forgotten dream of youth and innocence. Maybe it was that she hailed from an alien Earth alien, or the memory of her law-abiding robe. Perhaps it wasn't her at all, but an enchantment stemming from the magical transformation of disaster into the anticipation of a woman's embrace.
Whatever it was, he wanted more. He slid his hand to her neck, causing the lapels of her robe to part. A sliver of cleavage escaped from hiding and peeked shyly out at him. That narrow ribbon of flesh, dimly seen in the shadows, inflamed his desire more than full nudity. He cupped her nape, exposing more cleavage. Running his fingers into her hair, he urged her toward him.
"Tro," she demanded, her voice louder, "what are you doing?" She knew, surely, yet her stern demeanor commanded a response.
Oh, very well, then. "Something really bad," he whispered, "for a really, really good reason."
He lowered his mouth toward hers.
What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.
Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson, Arizona. They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandson. Visit him at http://eahoornaert.com
Ell Harmon is a Seattle biologist who has always wanted to find intelligent life from another planet, but she may have gotten more than she hoped for when she meets Prince Tro Eaglesbrood, an American Indian from the future who must move his entire island nation to earth.
Ed Hoornaert demonstrates his ability to incorporate humor into his writing in a unique and entertaining way in this sci-fi romance. The scientist and alien are quarantined together while the terrified world waits to see if the aliens are friend or foe, so Ell broadcasts a show which she titles Alien Contact for Idiots. She interviews Tro and tries to humanize Kwadrans (the alien American Indians). And of course one can't fail to see the twisted humor of calling American Indians from the future aliens on planet earth.
Their budding romance reassures the human populace, but the Prince's loyalty lies with his own people. Nothing ever runs as smoothly as one hopes.
There's a lot going on, so take your time settling in or you may miss some important details in the initial world-building. The characters are worth getting to know.
Book Bling gives this a solid 4 Stars!
Alien Contact for Idiots will be $0.99 during the tour.
Amazon Canada http://www.amazon.ca/Alien-Contact-Idiots-Edward-Hoornaert-ebook/dp/B00TRRRBY0/
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00TRRRBY0/
Amazon Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/Alien-Contact-Idiots-Edward-Hoornaert-ebook/dp/B00TRRRBY0/
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alien-contact-for-idiots-edward-hoornaert/1122134901?ean=2940151968041
Kobo Books https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/alien-contact-for-idiots
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
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!
©2014-2018 Elizabeth Alsobrooks. All rights reserved.