Pop the Bubbly for @Debra_Anastasia - Return to Poughkeepsie is Here!

On this New Year's Eve, there is extra excitement in the air with the release of Debra Anastasia's sequel to Poughkeepsie, a romance novel different than any other that has attracted a large and passionate fan base. Here's what you're in for in Return to Poughkeepsie:

Beckett Taylor is a murderer. His calling, his craft are destruction and intimidation—whether he wants it that way now or not. He left Poughkeepsie to keep his brothers safe, to keep Eve safe. Set up with happy lives to live, they’re better off without him, right?

But all his willpower crumbles when he hears his brother Blake’s frantic voice on the phone. An unknown enemy has moved in on his old territory, and Livia’s been taken. In an instant, Beckett knows it will take an attack only he and Eve can execute to bring her back. All his self-imposed embargoes are torn to shreds, perhaps along with the new man he’s struggled to become.

“Brother, call Eve. I’ll be there soon.”

Enter the Return to Poughkeepsie GIVEAWAY, featuring signed books, eBooks, Poughkeepsie -inspired bracelets and more Poughkeepsie swag.

Happy New Year, everybody!
Looking forward to many good times with you in 2014  


She Puts the Ho' in Ho Ho Ho #50StatesOfPray

Thank you Mark Koopmans for coming up with this wonderful Christmas-time hop. For my 50 States of Pray contribution (representing Illinois), I'm combining something I learned this year with a hope for next year.

What I learned: Rahab, the harlot of Joshua 2 fame is the very same Rahab listed in Jesus' family tree (Matthew 1:5).  Yes, Jesus' great great etc. grandmother was a prostitute.

Why this is fabulous: Because it shows that Christianity isn't just for the squeaky-clean. Christ came for everyone, and not one single person on this Earth is beyond redemption. What more evidence do you need than that God chose a prostitute to stand in the line of His only son?

My hope: That in the coming year, we open our hearts and minds even more to the true message of Christ and do what we can to help each other along on our paths to redemption.

Find more hopes & reflections at the Linky list at Mark's place

Merry, merry Christmas!!!


Congrats @AutumnMarkus on the release of The Art of Appreciation!

Abby Reynolds is burned out.

Since clawing her way into a great position at a Boston museum, she’s been saddled with a scheming intern and a nagging boss. She’s scuttled her own painting dreams, her cat refuses to be box trained, and now the most boring man on the eastern seaboard just told her, “It’s not you, it’s me."

Her bestie Sarah offers a much-needed escape: a summer of sand, sea, and younger men in Santa Cruz...

Hot young bike racer Jason is sexy, unattached, and completely ready to spend a summer in uncomplicated flirtation. Since Abby has decided love is off the table, he seems like the perfect match.Then she meets Matt. Sculptor, surfer (and age appropriate), he’s everything she gave up wanting and then some. He’s a grown-ass man with his own life issues.

Abby has to decide whether she’s satisfied with leaving behind the idea of Mr. Right and settling for Mr. Right Now.Grown up love. It’s complicated.

I love that this love story deals with real-life, grown-up issues that come with romantic entanglements. And this is one delicious entanglement. Here's my review at Goodreads:

I asked Autumn one simple question: if you had to pick one song that best captures the essence of The Art of Appreciation, what would it be?  Here's her answer: 

Mmm, so lovely.  Great choice.

Congrats, Autumn!  


Cheers to Mr. Arlee "Lee" Bird!

Today is the Cheersfest for one of the blogosphere's favorite and hardest working fellas----king of the A to Z Challenge, the one, the only (I hope)...(wait, was that out loud?) Mistah Arlee Bird!!!

This superfun blogfest is brought to you by Mark Koopmans, Morgan ShamyDavid Powers KingStephen Tremp, and The Ninja Captain himself. Visit any and all of these bloggers for the full list of Festers. 

Please allow me to tell you a little bit about Arlee...

Why did Lee come up with the A-Z Challenge?

I believe he made it up as a colossal joke that we all fell for.

If someone dreams about being a juggler, what does it mean?

It means that he has the balls to dream big.

Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush? 

Um, I have to take a pass on this one. Way waaay too many inappropriate responses popping into my head.

Who could play Lee in a documentary? (Living or dead.) 

I think only Lee could do the job properly.

A man known only as The Juggler is most famous for tossing out internet challenges. Some say he’s mad, looney as a bird, while others hail him as a genius. I personally think mad genius is more like it. Mal, Zoe & the crew have their Browncoat brigade, but those who follow The Juggler call themselves Brown Jackets…because they're slightly more stylish. They mix in with regular folk throughout most of the year, but in April, that is when they come out by the hundreds and proudly display their letters. All twenty-six of 'em.

Enjoy the Fest, Lee!  You deserve it. I'll be putting my brown jacket back on again in 2014 for A to Z. Can't wait!!


Go Ahead, Make an Octogenarian's Day...and Win #Prizes!

[You can find my entry for Lexa & Julie's Dream Destinations Hop here.]

Last week I told you about a 1,000 Posts Giveaway that Janie Junebug is doing, and now I'm going to make it even easier for you to enter by including the Rafflecopter here. The biggest thing Janie hopes to accomplish through this giveaway is to round up 80 birthday cards to send to her mother-in-law, Margaret, on her 80th birthday. You can learn more about this fantastic lady here. When you send a card, you'll earn 10 entries in the giveaway (though I know your real motivation is simply to be the kind person that you are).

The cards have started coming in, but time is ticking and 80 is a big goal, so if you can, please send a card for Margaret to:

Janie Goltz
PO Box 61371
Jacksonville FL 32236

To SWAY you further, after you mail the card, e-mail me at elson.nicki@gmail.com with subject heading: "I sent a card to Janie" and I'll send you a free digital copy of my short story that features three octogenarian sweeties (in three formats: Mobi (works on Kindle), ePub (works on Nook), and PDF). 

Rafflecopter prizes include books, two Amazon gift cards, one T-shirt, and $150 worth of editing by Mz. Junebug, who in addition to being hilarious and wonderful is a professional editor. Full prize details here

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lexa & Julie's Dream Destinations Blog Hop & #Giveaway

We're celebrating the release of Julie Flanders' The Ghosts of Aquinnah and Lexa Cain's Soul Cutter with a Dreams Destinations blog hop. Aaand Lexa & Julie are hosting a great GIVEAWAY.  Visit either Lexa's blog or Julie's blog to enter and also to find the Linky list so you can travel to more dream destinations.

It was unbelievably difficult for me to settle on just one place. I decided to make it somewhere I'd never been before...and then I decided to stop over thinking and just pick a place already...and I landed at Piazza San Marco in Venezia, or as we call it for some reason, Venice. (Does anyone know why we don't all call it Venezia?)

I would stroll the square, sidestepping pigeons and saying buongiorno to people whose eyes met mine, not worrying about my sorry accent. I would have tickets for that evening's opera in my pocket and a caffe-flavored gelato in my hand. I'd be wearing a darling scarf I'd just purchased, arranged in the most stylish of ways, while digesting the Eucharist I received that morning at the basilica. Also, I'd still be smiling about something flirty the adorable gondolier said to me the night before---right before I handed him the biggest tip he'd gotten in a good long while. 

How about you? Where's your dream destination?  

Congrats to Julie & Lexa!!!




Techno Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est? #IWSG

It's the first Wednesday of the month, time for another round of posts for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavannaugh. Click on either of those links to see whassup with other insecure writers. The malfunction I'm having this months is...technology.

One of the reasons I chose to set Three Daves in the 1980s was because I didn't want to have to deal with modern technology. So that novel is purposely dated. But my WIP is set in current times, and I'd rather not have it feel out of date for at least a decade or so, but at the rate technology is advancing, I'm afraid the manuscript might become technologically obsolete before I even finish the second draft.

I dealt with this issue in Divine Temptation by minimizing the use of technology and keeping any references very general, but this new one is an office romance, so it's not quite as easy to avoid. I've got the MC using a laptop to pull up spreadsheets and update a PowerPoint presentation, and I wonder...should she be using a tablet? Can you do spreadsheets on a tablet? And will anybody be using PowerPoint in a couple of years? Does anyone use it now? (Please forgive my ignorance---I haven't worked in a real office since the 1990s, and the place I work now is in the land where time stands still.)

And what about texting? I hear talk of this newfangled talk-to-type, so will having my character wear texting gloves be old school in 2015?

Help me techno-soothsayers!    


Thanks and Giving #Giveaways #BlkFriExtra

# 1: My knightly prizes arrived! Thank you, thank you, M.Pax for your generosity and for hosting this most awesome joust. I'm extra excited to dive into The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear AND to wear my steampunk knight pin by Dire Steampunk. In the spirit of giving I'll let the kiddos have the chocolate...really!

#2 The sassy, sweet & sexy Janie Junebug is hosting a great giveaway of books, gift cards, T-shirts & editing!  And because she's such a giver, she's giving bonus points for anyone who contributes a birthday card for a special person who's celebrating a BIG birthday. 

#3 It's here - the Black Friday Extavaganza!!! Enter to win one of four $50 Amazon Gift Cards by following authors of these fabulous books. Laura Howard has been the amazing ringmaster of this event, and you can visit her blog to enter. Also, if you're on Facebook, be sure to stop by the event page for additional Black Friday giveaways all day long.

I hope you're all in for a fun Friday!  Right now, I'm off too enter some giveaways, do a little online Black Friday shopping and knock out some editing on draft 2 of my WIP...all while still attempting to digest all that food from yesterday, oy.


We Did It!!!

Sing it with me... We are the champions, my frie-ends, we'll keep on fightin' 'til the end...  Or if you like it 2005 World Champion White Sox style... Don't stop believin'...  But you know who says it best? YOU! Your faithful cheers and poetry and songs not only made my day every single day last week, they took us straight to the top. Thank You! And thanks for your comments on the animaknights featured here---I'm so happy everyone enjoyed them as much as I did.

Let's let the Fallen Monkey say it for all of us, eh? This was her 3-part Joust comment on Friday:

I sought a soothsayer to divine Lady Elson’s fate,
and what she had to say was great!
“Gather three vine leaves with spots,” said she,
“as the first of which you must bring to me..."

“Next fetch me twenty rodents’ toes,
and you will ease Lady Elson’s woes.
But not before you bring of thine
that which you hold most divine…”

“But Lady Elson is whom I hold divine!”
And to my plea, she replied, “That’s fine.
Bring her to me so I may hold her hand
and only then shall we understand
how vine leaves, toes, and the Lady three
can only spell out VICTORY!

I must also thank my fellow knights. For without them, there would've been no one to knock off of the ponies, am I right? I tip my giant stick thingy to the fabulous Star Knight (a/k/a Ellie Garrat), K.E.N. (a/k/a K.E. Nowinsky), Sir Burns (a/k/a Melanie Schulz), Xanthus Ehrensvard (a/k/a Christine Rains), Ghost Knight (a/k/a Angela Brown), Lady of the Lab (Sandra Ulbrich Almazon), Sir Elias Gargarin Tavish (a/k/a Karen Elizabeth Brown), Lady Patricia Lynne, and especially Lady Mary (a/k/a Mary Waibel), who put up such a formidable challenge, I was left with no choice but to activate my own personal Torchwood on the final day.

And gramerci (that means "thank you"---I looked it up) to M. Pax and all the other hosts of Realms Faire events. It was a splendid and most excellent good time. All I hoped to gain from this experience was to have some fun and make everyone on the internet just a little bit a'scared of me, but it turns out I get prizes too!  I'll share a picture of my spoils when they arrive.

And again, thank youuuuuu!


No Joust is Complete without a Dark Knight... #grogz

I've be dying to share this clever cat with you. Isn't it freaky? And it turns out Lady Elson just may be the dark knight of this joust---I had no expectations of getting this close to the lead; I just didn't want to show up with nothin'---but yesterday we closed the gap to 6 votes!!!

So I humbly ask, if thee hath energy left for one last push, get thee to the final joust and cheer Lady Elson, Divine, and Three. Each cheerer will be allowed to leave three comments, earning a total of 9 points, if it be not too much trouble...

Let us make the other knights Feel the forsooth*!
(*quoted from Sir Chris Fries, who spoke Medieyoda yesterday

The prizes at today's Joust are: 
  • ebook copy of either Being Human or Snapshots by Patricia Lynne
  • A signed paperback of choice by M. Pax
  • CD of Czech Fairy Tales by Dennis Strachota
  • $25 Amazon Giftcard from Kimberly Afe

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for making this week so funneth!


Jedi KNIGHT (geddit?) #grogz

The force is strong with my loyal cheering section!

My goblet overflows with gratitude. Today's peanut gallery is open here if ye be not too hoarse to shout another round of Lady Elson, Divine & Three.  A simple sentence will do, but below you'll see two knaves true, who hath taken their service to the extreme.

In yesterday's cheers, Sir Chris Fries hath created his his own language
I call it Medieghties:

Like wow and forsooth! Methinks it would be most totally gnarly if Lady ELSON were to win this rad and regal joust. Fair Dudette, I’d be quite enchanted and all like, “Wow! How un-bogusly DIVINE and huzzah-ish!” Verily, I would refrain gagging myself with a spoon at least THREE times by the morrow, lest I miss the bitchin’ merriment that would ensue!

If ye be the kind to start you day with a song,
be enchanted by Lady Jennifer Lane's seranade:

She’s a Lady
She’s a Lady

Lady Elson is fine
She’s damn near divine
She's a Lady

She’s a Lady Lady Elson feels free
To snog Daves, yes all three
She’s a Lady

Your comments at today's Joust will get you entered to win:

  • ebook copy of either Taking Time or Passing Time by Ellie Garratt
  • A character named after you in Ellie Garratt’s upcoming science fiction series
  • ebook of Lyon’s Legacy by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
  • handcrafted steampunk pin by DireSteampunk from M. Pax
  • ebook of choice by M. Pax (Backworlds series, The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear, and Semper Audacia)
Plus Untethered Realms is offering a Big FAT Kindle giveaway!


Medieval versus 80s - What's Your Poison? #grogz

Aww, dost though think yon squirrel is verily stuffed into yon suit of armor?

The Joust continues at the fair M.Pax's blog, so if ye be so inclined, pray thee go thither, my lords and ladies, and speakest these good words (cheering open until 8pm EST):

Lady Elson * Three * Divine  

Ugh. You have NO idea how long it took me to write that. Every time I try to talk Medieval, it comes out all piratey...or drunk Irish. So now I revert to 80s-speak:

I, like, totally appreciate all the awesome comments you're leaving at the Joust. You guys are cracking me up! Totally. Don't forget, your way cool comments at the Joust get you entered to win prizes. Cool beans, right? Today's awesome prizes are:

  • ebook copy of either NeverLove or The All Fall Down by Angela Brown
  • $25 Amazon gift card from Melanie Schulz
  • copy of The Newstead Project by Melanie Schulz
Medieval Poison

80s Poison


Let's Kick Some Metallic Booty #grogz

I found exactly five adorable pictures of animals all knighted up, which means you can expect one each day of the Realms Faire & Joust. Here's a link to today's post, where you have until 8pm EST to cheer for the knights. I just realized that Lady Elson counts as one of my words, so, if you'd like to cheer for me, simply leave a comment at M. Pax's daily post using any combo of these words:

Lady Elson *  Three * Divine

If you're not sure what to say, here are some of the comments that made me smile big yesterday. Cutting and pasting is not against the rules. ;)

This is Three times Divine

Divine things come in threes!

Huzzah for the divine Lady Nicki Elson.

Three cheers for her quest and what-not…Hip, hip huzzah!

The tale of Lady Elson is indeed most divine, with her daring-do against the Daves a-three!

Thank you, thank you for helping this Lady to not feel like a loser. Your comments at the Joust get you entered to win a prize!  Today's prize is:

  • ebook copy of the 13th Floor Complete Collection by Christine Rains
  • $20 Amazon gift card from K. E. Nowinsky
  • copy of Going Off Dreams by K. E. Nowinsky


What am I supposed to do with this massive stick in my hands? #grogz

The Realms Faire and Joust, a blogstravaganza hosted by M. Pax and lots of other great bloggers, has begun, and this wayward knight needs your help!  I'm precariously perched on a pony with a reaallllly long stick in my hand, and I have no idea what to do with it. You can keep me from getting pummeled by getting thee to the daily Joust and leaving a comment that includes the words "three" and "divine".

When you leave a comment at M.Pax's post by 8pm EST, you'll be automatically entered to win that day's prize package. The joust is going on all week with a new prize each day. I'm one of Monday's featured knights (with a little story about how Lady Elson came to be), so Monday's prize includes a choice of eBooks from both me and Mary Waibel as well as what you see below (angel wing earrings, set of 4 chalice charms & beaded angel wing bookmark):

Huzzah! And thank you.

Also, happy Veterans Day!  Where would we be without all the courageous and selfless men and women who put themselves on the line for us every day?


IWSG: Picking up the Breadcrumbs

My mind went running in so many directions for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group , but in the end, I think I'll piggyback on Crystal Collier's post about keeping the faith, which I'm so happy I didn't miss (thanks to D.L.'s Blog Blitz). You can go ahead and read that first. I'll wait.

Oh good, you came back. :) You see, I live my life based on the cues I get along the way. I tend to not ask a lot of questions when making life choices; a gut instinct is generally good enough for me. The danger in living on instinct, however, is that the Good Guy isn't the only one trying to get through to me. Lesser forces are whispering to us all. the. time. and it's often difficult to know the difference.

Sometimes I go skipping off down the wrong path, at times get pretty far along it, but at some point I've always hit a wall of resistance---and it grows barbs when I try smashing through it. That's how I know I've been listening to the wrong voice. So I lick my wounds and abort the mission. And the thing is...I've been waiting to crash into the wall on this writing thing. I feel like I almost want it to happen.

Because what am I doing? What in the hell am I doing spending all this time writing and polishing and marketing and dreaming and failing and trying and putting myself out there and failing again??  Why don't I just chuck it all and give more of that time to my kids, to my friends, to my day job, to my poor, poor garden and house?

I know what you're thinking---the failing, or at least what I perceive as failing (*ahem* sucky-ass Amazon sales), is the wall. Maybe my lack of topping the charts is telling me that I'm lost in Wonderland and better get back to Reality pronto. But here's the other thing...every time I start thinking this way, I'm given a breadcrumb, a little nugget of encouragement to let me know that I'm on the right path and am meant to stay on it. These nuggets come in the form of an unexpected and lovely review, an unsolicited and genuine compliment from someone who I didn't even know was reading what I'd written. It comes in the form of being asked to speak as an author at local events---and people actually showing up to listen.

Click on the image if you'd like to see more from the event

I just can't believe these bits of encouragement would come at the exact times that I need them if I was meant to abort this mission. So I won't. I guess I'll pick up these breadcrumbs when I get 'em and let them nourish me until...until I know not what. Just gotta have faith.

Does it ever feel that way to you---like just when you're ready to give up, you get a little nugget of encouragement that keeps you going?


Double Feature: Dragonfly Warrior Cover Reveal & Release of Seeing Past Sickness

First up, check out this super cool cover for Jay Noel's Dragonfly Warrior. It'll be released on January 6

Dragonfly Warrior Blurb:
The Mechanica Wars: Savage Machines Are Afoot... At the age of twenty, Kanze Zenjiro's bloody footprints mark the bodies of those who stood in his way to protect the throne of Nihon. Now, the tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and they send their steam-powered giants and iron spiders against him. Zen embarks on a quest that takes him on the most dangerous journey of his life. To succeed, Zen must live up to his nickname, the Dragonfly Warrior, and kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six-guns. He is called upon to somehow survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.

Book Information: Dragonfly Warrior is a steampunk adventure like no other. It's a dynamic mix of Asian and European mythology, the Wild West, martial arts, traditional fantasy, and high powered steam action that will keep you turning the pages.
Dragonfly Warrior is the first book of The Mechanica Wars, and will debut on January 6, 2014.

Author Bio:
After doing some freelance writing and editing for more than a dozen years, Jay decided to stop procrastinating and pursue his dream of being a novelist. He's been blogging for over eight years, and even had a comedy podcast syndicated all over the internet. All of that was fun, but all the steampunk-inspired stories in his head just wouldn't leave him alone. Jay spends his days working in medical sales, but he can be found toiling over his laptop late at night when all is quiet. He draws inspiration from all over: H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, and Isaac Asimov. And Jay loves cookies.

Jay Noel's website: www.jaynoel.com - Visit him to see how to win a very cool steampunk bookmark! You can also find Jay on: Facebook Twitter


And next....

The community writing project, Scripting Change, is incredibly excited to announce the release of their inaugural project: Seeing Past Sickness!

Absolutely every piece of this e-book, from the coordination, to the contents, to the beautiful cover art, was volunteered, and 100% of proceeds will be donated to the MSTR Scholarship Foundation.  Read on to find out why!

About the Project:

Scripting Change is a new writing initiative that aims to bring together the vast community of writers and readers in support of responsible nonprofit organizations. 

The project accepts submissions from writers, relating to a theme that reflects the mission of a chosen nonprofit.  The selected pieces are combined in an anthology, which is published as an e-book, in this case: Seeing Past Sickness.  Proceeds from this and any future e-books' sales will be donated to the related organization.  Ideally, the project will be repeated, with each e-book supporting a unique nonprofit organization.

By focusing on the compelling words of writers, Scripting Change is able to raise not only funds but also awareness for the causes of the organizations they support.  The time and talents of everyone involved are offered freely, so the project has absolutely no overhead costs, which means every dollar raised is donated to positively impact our society!

About the Nonprofit:

Chronic illness doesn't disappear at age 18, but aid and understanding for those affected often do, despite the exorbitant and crippling costs of perpetual healthcare. In additional to the emotional and physical toll of chronic illness, those affected face significant challenges in seeking the personal and intellectual development afforded by continuing education.

The recipient organization for Seeing Past Sickness is the MSTR Scholarship Foundation, which aims to help those students affected by chronic illness, who nevertheless have the passion, drive, and determination to seek or continue their educations, by providing financial scholarships in recognition and support of their perseverance.  This decision was based on the impressive mission, fiscal responsibility, and enthusiasm for the project of the MSTR Foundation.

Now It's Your Turn!

Scripting Change depends entirely upon the support of the community as a whole.  The writers, and our cover designer, have done their part; the coordinators have brought it all together; the bloggers have graciously helped us spread the word – now it's up to the readers.  We hope you will enjoy the anthology!

Seeing Past Sickness is available through: 

Smashwords ~*~ Amazon: US; UK ~*~ Barnes & Noble

Learn more about this project at: ScriptingChange.blogspot.com 
Find them on Facebook or Tweet using: #ScriptingChange


Happy Halloweenie! (Heavy on the weenie)

Now that's what I call a treat. :)  Made extra special because it was sent to me by the absolutely fantabulous Girl Wizard, or as you may call her, Suze at Subliminal Coffee.

One of my goals in this life is to see David in person---sans the bag, of course. I was soooo very close once, but planes and trains didn't cooperate, so I was stranded in a darling string of villages on the Ligurian Sea *sigh* (poor, poor me, right). But until I finally meet him, this lovely card will get me through.

Also, apologies for not being around your places of late---October has pretty much wiped the floor with me schedule-wise, but I have high hopes for a lighter November.  Praise God I'm not doing NaNo! But right now, I must rush off to the next disaster.

Oh, but before I go---my words have been assigned for the Realms Faire to be held at M. Pax's place November 11-15. The magic words are Divine and Three, get used to saying them. ;) You can click here to see the super awesome badge she's made me.

Happy Halloweeeeeen, everybody!


A Novella to Kick Cancer's Bum

Today I get to tell you about something very cool. Author Debra Anastasia and all the people at Omnific Publishing who worked on her just-released novella, Late Night with Andres, did it as a labor of love so that 100% of the proceeds generated from sales of the book can be donated to assist in the battle against breast cancer.

I haven't read the story yet, but I know Debra well enough to know anyone who reads it is in for a wild, hilarious ride.  Here's the linkage:

Rising-star blogger Milla Kierce knows she's arrived when she sees the swag basket in her dressing room on the night of her late-night television debut. But before she can bite into the muffin that symbolizes her success, gunfire echoes through the TV studio. She's just hidden herself (mostly in plain sight) when the door flings open. Instead of a gunman, there stands one of the world's most popular rock stars, Gage Daxson, looking for his own way out of danger.

Thrown together, they'll battle a venomous man seeking revenge and his own sexual pleasure, but they may never leave the building again. Distracted by fear, fame, and infamy, can these two somehow find their way to each other?

Equal parts horrifying and hilarious, Debra Anastasia's Late Night With Andres offers more than a few twists and turns—and, of course, enough heat to keep things interesting.


Meet Isis Rushdan

Today I welcome author Isis Rushdan, who is celebrating release week of
the sequel to

Congratulations, Isis! During her busy, busy time, Isis stopped by to answer a few questions for me. Here's our mini-interview:

Me: You have such an interesting background with joining the U.S. Army right out of high school, moving on to be an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and then continuing in the Armed Forces in the reserves. What I'd love to know is whether any of your experiences in the Armed Forces have made their way into your writing and how.

Isis: The sense of camaraderie I felt around other troops and the immediate bond whenever I’ve relocated has definitely translated into my Kindred series. The Kindred species I created are all connected through a tragic history and when they’re within proximity also by their energy streams if they so desire. Duty and honor play crucial roles for the warriors as well. Something I comprehended on a deeper level once I joined the military.

Me: Very cool. I love having this background before reading. So, what is the world like in the Kindred Chronicles---how much realistic and how much fantasy? And did any of the many places you've lived influence your fictional world more than others?

Isis: The series is a contemporary fantasy. I wanted readers to instantly feel grounded in the world. Using an initial setting that felt realistic helped accomplish this. Showing the characters first as people with relatable problems and then as supernatural also enables readers to connect. My love of travel has a bigger influence in the second book, Protector of the Flame, as I drag my characters around the world.

Me: I adore being dragged around the world! I also adore your book covers. They're stunning, and I feel like I could stare at them for hours. What was the process like in creating them?

Isis: Thanks! I’m so happy you like them. Strong book covers are vital in this industry and I’m thrilled with mine.

My editor sent me a form I had to complete. My first step was to make a list of various covers on the market I liked and write down why. For some it was the use of color, for others the emotions conveyed in the poses of the characters, the overall feel and even the font used. Then I researched the cover artists at Samhain. Finally, I put as much detail as possible on the form, including a request for the artist who ended up doing my covers.

Me: You and your cover artist make a great team. I've never written a series, so here is something I always wonder about authors who do: while writing Protector of the Flame were there any elements of the previous book, Kindred of the Fallen, that you wished you could alter?

Isis: Oddly enough, no. As soon as I finished writing Kindred of the Fallen, I wrote Protector of the Flame and that was before I even had an agent. As I revised KOTF, I was able to make minor alterations and adjust timelines to fit the second book. Of course as I did this, I had the third book in the back of my mind.

Me: Aha, so it worked out well to get that next book written before securing an agent. And now for the question that I just can't resist asking any author who stops by: if you could pick one song that best captures the essence of Protector of the Flame, what would it be and why?

Isis: A lot of the music I listen to comes from soundtracks. For Protector of the Flame it’s tough to pick just one because the scenes vary widely across the spectrum of emotion and type of action. If I could only pick one it would be "Burn My Shadow" by U.N.K.L.E. from the Repo Men soundtrack. It was perfect as I wrote some of the fight scenes, and the lyrics couldn’t suit this book overall any better:

I have burned my tomorrows
And I stand inside today
At the edge of the future
And my dreams all fade away

I faced my destroyer
I was ambushed by a lie
And you judged me once for falling
This wounded heart will rise

Me: Cool song!  It has sort of a Doors-ish feel to it, and I can see why it was good inspiration for the fight scenes.  

Isis: Thank you so much for having me on, Nicki! I really appreciate it.

Me: Thank you for being here and for answering all my questions.  Best of luck on the new release!

Here are links to Isis' website & Protector of the Flame.

So, have any of you got questions for Isis? 


How would you like to be my knave?

From November 11-15, I shall be known as Lady Elson, a knight in M. Pax's annual Realms Faire & Joust. It's totally like cosplay...on the internet! To win the joust (or at least put up a respectable fight) I need loyal blogger friends to visit M's blog throughout the week of the Faire and use my Word of Valor (TBA)---that's where you come in...

Your comments will get you entered to win tons of PRIZES at M's blog, and I'm offering up a BONUS PRIZE to my knaves (prize to be revealed in my first e-mail). I'm dangerously close to unvirtualling the cosplay and putting together an actual costume, so who knows---you may also get to see Lady Elson, herself.

If you sign up to be one of my knaves, you'll receive an e-mail prior to Nov. 11 letting you know my Word of Valor, and then I'll send an e-mail each morning during the week of the fair (Nov. 11-15) with an easy-peasy link to that day's post where you can leave a comment using my Word of Valor. It's unbelievably amusing to speak Medieval, so I hope you have as much fun with this as I plan to!

Become one of Nicki's Knaves, the merriest men and women this side of Far Far Away

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Also, I owe a HUGE Thank You to everyone who's voted for Hans & Greta on lists at Goodreads. Just look what you've done for this crazy zombie fairy tale:

Thanks. :)


What's More Spooktacular than a Treat for your Kindle?

Welcome to Spooktacular 2013, a massive giveaway hop hosted by I am a Reader, not a Writer. Each and every blog in the hop features a giveaway with a minimum value of $10.

I have a treat for everyone! Through Halloween Hans & Greta, a Twisted Zombie/Fairy Tale Novella will be specially priced at only 99 cents on Kindle. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! (If you don't have a Kindle, you can download free reading apps for your phone, tablet or computer right here.)


You can also enter my Spooktacular giveaway below. The prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card (or Barnes & Noble, if you prefer) plus an eBook of your choice of one of my novels. Choose either flirty New Adult chick lit Three Daves or contemporary Adult supernatural romance Divine Temptation.


Flash Interview with M.Pax & #grogz

Please take a moment to simply gaze at the cover for M. Pax's just released Beyond the Edge, the 4th book in her Backworlds series, and get lost in its awesomeness. I'll be here when you get back...

Mary is busy bopping around the blogosphere with the good news, so I went easy on her with one, simple question:

Nicki:  What was the theme music to Beyond the Edge?

M. Pax:  None. I don’t listen to music when writing unless you count yowling cats [my two girls learned to howl from the dog next door] and traffic. Since I wrote some of it over the summer, there would have been A/C humming, too. My favorite crooners:  Elvis Costello, Radiohead, and Muse.

Back to Nicki: It's customary for me to include a video of the song, so...

Still Nicki: But how can I resist tossing in Mr. Costello? Answer: I can't.

Beyond the Edge

Some truths are better left unfound.

For two years Craze’s dear friend, Lepsi, has been missing. The murmurings of a haunted spaceship might be a message and may mean his old pal isn’t dead. The possibility spurs Craze and Captain Talos to travel to uncharted worlds, searching. Out there, in an unfamiliar region of the galaxy beyond the Backworlds, they stumble upon a terrible truth.

Meanwhile, Rainly remains on Pardeep Station as acting planetlord, dealing with the discovery of her lover’s dark and brutal past. Alone and questioning her judgment, her introspection unlocks more than heartache. Latent protocols in her cybernetics activate, forcing her to face a sinister secret of her own.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fourth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.

Amazon / AmazonUK / Nook / Smashwords / Kobo / Other Outlets

About M. Pax:  Inspiring the words she writes, she spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. You can find out more by visiting her at:

Website / FB / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Wattpad

If you haven't heard yet, M. Pax & Co. are planning what promises to be an all-out bloganza this coming November. I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it---Role Playing...on the internet! There are tons of ways for writers and bloggers to participate and promo opportunities galore. You can read all about it and sign up here. In the meantime, get used to calling me Lady Elson. ;)

So how about you---what do you listen to when you write?