Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Interview with the talented Reena Jacobs

Hi everyone and welcome to another ParaYourNormal author interview. We're excited to talk to Reena Jacobs, author of Shadow Cat, a great paranormal romance about shape shifters. Reena is giving away a copy of her book to two lucky people who comment. One will be an eBook and the other will be a printed copy. So without further ado, let's get into the interview.

What made you want to start writing?
The short answer—Unemployment. If I weren’t such a rambler, that’d be the long answer too. But being me, I like to blab. I was on track to earn a PhD in psychology and had an epiphany—I’m not a sympathetic listener and a bit too mouthy for my own good. So, I dropped out after my first residency session and decided to fill my time writing while searching for a job. When the economy turned sour, and the college I worked for had cut backs, I returned to writing again. I’ve been working towards a career in writing ever since. It’s an ongoing process.
Do you have a certain schedule or pattern that you write by?
Kind of sort of no. I try to write daily. I find setting small goals (100-500 words a day) keeps me moving forward. Jotting down a few words takes hardly any time at all, so it’s easy to achieve. One thing for sure, I’m most productive at night… say 10:00 pm to midnight.
How long did it take you to write Shadow Cat?
Two and half months for the first draft. I started it August 2008 and wrote for a month before putting it away. Then I pulled it out again August 2009 and finished it that September. That doesn’t include the year of off and on editing/revisions.
Your book involves shifters. What drew you to these beings?
I simply love shape-shifters. I think it’s the combination of the untamed meshed with humanity. It’s just so sexy.
Have you taken any formal writing classes or workshops?
Does high school English count? I’m afraid I’m just an unschooled amateur in this area. :) The critters I’ve worked with were awesome though. When I started writing, there was a lot I didn’t know. Other writers have been generous with their time and have taught me quite a bit. Of course, I’m still learning tricks of the trade. On a side note, college prepared me quite well for the extensive research writing involves.
Why did you choose self publishing?
I think the question for me is more on the lines of Why didn’t you self-publish from the start? “They” had me convinced self-publishing would end my writing career before it started. I’d classified self-publishing as a last resort with the idea that folks who couldn’t cut it in the traditional world self-published.
Once I got over that myth, I decided to take my writing career into my own hands. I put away the query letters which consumed more time than writing a novel and focused on tasks which would put my work in the public’s hands. With the changes happening in the publishing industry these days, I’m so glad I decided to take a chance on me.
For writers willing to take on the extra burden of being their own publisher, it can be a win/win situation. We’re seeing indie folks receive publishing contract or representation without all the query hassle. So traditional publishing is still a viable option for a writer at a later point in time, if that's still a goal. :)
Do you have any other published books? Any projects in the works?
I have bunches of freebies folks can find on my Free Reads page. I also have a short story available called Control Freak: Brandon’s Story which is available on B&N and Amazon. As for the Striped Ones series, I plan to have the rough draft of the sequel, Chasing Shadows, finished this month. The third and final book I’ve written and plan to spend time editing it in March. Other than that, I’m working on a New Adult novel called I Loved You First. The first draft of that should be finished the first week in March. I’m pretty excited about this work. Right now, it’s my love child.
Where can readers purchase your books?
My work is available at SmashwordsAmazon, and Barnes & Nobles as well as other distributors.
Where can readers connect with you on the web?
Stop by my website ( or my blog (http:/ anytime. I can also be found stalking folks on twitter (@ReenaJacobs)

Can you share an excerpt of your book?
Of course. In this scene, Berani has just learned humans are in her forest. She returns to her village to relay the news and gets a little sidetracked.
The females moved about their everyday activities—chatting, caring for cubs, and lounging. With no time for socializing, Berani skirted them with only an occasional nod.
Berani stopped at her mother’s voice.
Her mother sat near a large window in back of the family hut with her three kittens snuggled at her feet. “Where have you been?”
“I have been close… scouting.” Unable to avoid her mother despite the urgency, Berani entered.
Woven baskets filled the corners and drying herbs hung from the ceiling, leaving a fresh, minty aroma. On the floor, wicker mats covered by thick leaves concealed the rough wooden planks and provided cushion and bedding.
Berani stepped over her sleeping siblings and embraced her mother. The sweet scent of mango and milk filled her nose, while her mother’s silky tresses, a light coppery red like her own, brushed against her cheek. “How are the cubs?”
“Tenaga grows stronger, but the boys…” Her mother swallowed the remaining words, and a sigh shuddered from her.
“Ma.” Berani rested her forehead on her mother’s shoulder, her heart breaking.
The uncertainty of the two boys not only weighed heavily on her family but also on the clan. The girl cub continued to flourish and gain weight, while the two smaller males seemed to shrink in size next to her bulk. Like many species in the rainforest, wehr-tigers were a dying breed, making every life precious. So few births, too many deaths.
“What can I do?” Berani asked.
Her mother pressed her hand against Berani’s head. “Stay. I have missed you.”
Berani laid her head on her mother’s lap and stroked her sister’s fur. The fuzzy baby-soft coat slid through her fingers like a caress. Though each of the sleeping triplets was a blessing, Tenaga held a special place in her heart. Other than Berani, the girl cub was her mother’s only living daughter. And her mother was unlikely to have another litter.
Tenaga woke with a yawn, arching her back as Berani ran her nails down the young one’s spine.
“I remember when you were this size,” her mother said. “You loved it when I scratched your stomach.”
Berani twisted to gaze at her mother’s bittersweet smile, but Tenaga batted with a paw, recapturing her attention.
“Oh, your strength is great.” Berani sat, rolled her sister into a ball, and shoved her. The tigress tumbled then found her footing and attempted a roar which emerged as a squawking hiss.
Her mother laughed softly, warming Berani’s soul.
“Not yet, but soon, Tenaga.” Berani picked up the young cub by the thick skin at the nape of the neck and nuzzled her close before setting her down. The feisty girl got in one last swat and ran, only to trip over the boys.
The little males stretched. In unison, their mouths opened wide, revealing sharp, pointed miniature teeth. Berani mussed their fur. Afraid of becoming any more attached to them than she already was, she’d spent little time with them. Even so, when one of them mewed, she couldn’t stop herself from picking him up and cuddling him. “Keep fighting, little one… like Pejuang.”
She set him in her mother’s lap and stood. “I shall return. I must talk with Nenek.”
“About what?” Her mother’s voice was nonchalant as she caressed the little tiger, but Berani knew the tone all too well. Already, she could sense the disapproval coming.
“The humans.”
Her mother’s shoulders slumped. “Each loss chips at my soul.”
“Oh, Ma.” Berani knelt and drew her mother into a tight hug. She yearned to gather her mother’s sadness and cast it in the Great River to float away forever.
“Sometimes you are too brave for your own good.”
“I promise I will tread with care.” Berani pressed her forehead against her mother’s. “Worry not.”
Her mother withdrew and lifted the cub from her lap. Her face became a neutral mask before she shifted and stretched, allowing the cubs to nestle close and nurse. The tiger form concealed many emotions, but nothing hid the sorrow heavy in the air as Berani left.

A big thanks to Reena for stopping by and allowing us to talk with her about her fabulous book. She will also be our guest on Blog Talk Radio at 3pm PST. If you'd like to hear more about her and her book be sure to listen in or call with any questions. The number is 619-639-4626. If you follow the link, the number is listed there as well. 

Here is your chance to win your own copy of Shadow Cat. Remember, you don't have to own a kindle or a nook to get eBooks. Most smart phones have apps available for downloading ebooks. You can also read and/or store them on your computer, so don't miss the opportunity to read a fantastic book. Any and all comments will be entered into the contest. The eBook is an international giveaway and the printed copy is for US residents only. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are one of our lucky winners. Thanks everyone, and will see you next week for another ParaYourNormal author interview.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A review of Skulls of Salvation by Lanaia Lee

Welcome back to ParaYourNormal everyone. Be sure to tune in to Blog Talk Radio tonight, when we interview. Lanaia Lee, author of the Of Atlantis series. We will be giving away two pdf copies of her book, Skulls of Salvation, an adventurous story about the Mayan doomsday prophecy and the Crystal Skulls of Belize.

Unfortunately, Lanaia was unable to do the written interview with us, today. She is quite a busy lady as most of us authors are. Instead, we will be reviewing Skulls of Salvation. Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this review for your chance to win one of the copies of this book.

A review of Skulls of Salvation by Lanaia Lee

The Skulls of Salvation by Lanaia Lee is an adventurous book about the Mayan civilization and the Crystal Skulls of Belize. The story is a sequel to Lanaia’s first book, Of Atlantis, a story about the King of Atlantis, Archimedes.

In Skulls of Salvation, the story continues. Archimedes dies, but leaves all his magical powers to his prodigy, Damien. The first chapter starts out with some action as Damien, who is in Ethiopia, is meeting up with a mysterious woman named Ionna. She has sought him out for help in her quest, since he is rumored to be indestructible. When they are about to discuss why she needs his help, there is open gunfire into the small hotel he is staying in.

Once they seek a safe haven, Ionna is able to tell Damien her reason for hiring him, to stop an evil being from collecting all thirteen Crystals Skulls of Belize. It is legend that the skulls, once put in a circle, will reveal how humankind can save itself from destruction on December 21, 2012. The evil being collecting the skulls wants to prevent humankind from learning what it will take to save the world.

Ionna’s mother was Mayan and had possession of one of the skulls. She married Ionna’s father, who was Ethiopian and raised her in Africa, where she thought they would be safe. She passed the skull on to Ionna, who intended to locate the rest of the skulls in order to bring them together to save civilization, but the skull was stolen.

Their adventure takes them through many twists and turns. The journey begin at Palenque, where the visit Pacal’s Temple of Inscriptions. They also visit the Yucatan Peninsula and the nation of Belize. Their quest takes them through jungles, caverns, ancient ruins, and underground canals, all in the attempts to beat the evil that threatens humanity.

The story goes beyond the adventure of hunting for the skulls in order to save salvation. There is a romantic element to the story between Damien and Ionna. His love for the beautiful Mayan archeologist seems to be moving at a fast pace, which makes the story even more delightful.

Though the story is of its own great uniqueness, anyone who loves the adventures of Indiana Jones will enjoy Skulls of Salvation. It is a great mix of Mayan mythology, ancient history, suspense, and romantic intrigue. You will not be disappointed with this book.

Hope everyone enjoyed the review. Please leave comments below. If there is a questions you would like us to ask Lanaia on Blog Talk Radio today, please leave it with your comments. In order to qualify for the free pdf file of the book, leave your email address where we can contact you. Good luck everyone.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Interview with Amber Scott, author of Play Fling

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Be sure to watch out for Cupid today, his bow raised, arrow in place to shoot you with one of his love arrows…At least that’s how the myth goes. We have a special guest with us today, Amber Scott, author of Play Fling, which gives a new little twist to the story of Cupid.
Besides being an author extraordinaire, Amber is the first participant in our sister blog, Indie Book Collective’s new Bestseller for a Day program. We’ll tell you a little more about what Bestseller for a Day is and how you can get Play Fling at an incredible low prices, plus a chance to get another book, and a chance to win some gift cards. But first, the interview.

What inspired you to write Play Fling?
Brooke and Elliot showed up after I heard the song “Clumsy” by Fergie. This song is soooo Brooke. But something was missing in their story. The thing that brings them together and keeps them apart. Millie Match. Now, Millie, stupid Cupid herself, showed up on mental screen after I caught an old face episode of Quantum Leap. I thought how funny it would be is Sam was really, royally bad at his gig. Bam! Millie jumped in and brought it all together.
She’s a riot to write and I know why she gets under some readers skin, but the fun will really be in watching her character arc over the course of the series, especially in the final book when she must match herself.

Your protagonist, Brooke, loves antiques. Do you have a similar passion?
I really dig the past and objects with a history to them but I wouldn’t say it’s a passion. In fact, I’m more like Elliott. I love thrift stores and yard sales, just to shop around. I do think Brooke’s business would be a lot of fun to run and shop for, too, though. Is it weird that I just now realized how much their individual passions connect them? LOL. Further proof that these people really do just show up in my head, I guess.

LoL. It’s funny how character do that, just show up out of the blue. Brooke is the object of Elliott’s desires. Can you tell the readers how he and Brooke met?
Ah, yes. Brooke first aught Elliott’s attention from afar. He’s a people watcher, the historian and anthropologist in him. One day at the campus Bookstore, he spotted Brooke, glimpsed her letting her guard down with her friend, Millie, and became intrigued. He found himself wondering how hot she could get under her cool surface.

Age gaps in romance can be controversial. Society seems to be more acceptable of older men dating younger women, yet when women date younger men, they are accused of being a “cougar”. Were you afraid people would think this about Brooke and Elliott?
Interestingly, I didn’t. I worried more about Millie, the poor bumbling Cupid. You see, only Elliott could thaw Brooke and teach her who she really was, to truly show her the possibilities in life that she’d put on hold by worrying what other people would think.

Millie is such a hoot. Is she patterned after anyone you know?
She isn’t patterned after anyone but she is a LOT like one of my former bestest friends in the whole wide world. To protect the innocent, let’s call her Cate. Cate is the only person I ever knew who could make superficial fun. “Okay, Amber, you know that I only make friends with attractive people, right? Thereby, you know you are beautiful, okay?”
I love her for it. Still do. Millie is a bit like that. You see, in a big way, it’s her defense mechanism, cultivated to navigate the world she came from.

Tell us about Millie’s golden bracelets.
I love the bangles! Each delicate band is essentially a handcuff. She can’t take them off. Each band equates one true love soul mate match she must make. In each match, Millie must also grow from her help, learning love in all its many forms.

What message did you want to get across to your readers by writing Play Fling?
Play Fling’s theme is “Love means letting go.” At the core of the story, fining the courage to be honest with yourself and then with the world is freeing. There are a lot of secrets characters are hiding from each other. Millie’s hiding her true role, a Cupid. A.J. is hiding what he’s doing to help. Brooke is hiding from who she is. It goes on and on.
Elliot is the most honest one. To the point that he nearly loses his heart’s desire, Brooke. But even he keeps a secret until it’s almost too late.

Will Play Fling have a sequel?
Yes. Yay! I’d like there to be a book for every bangle, with the final book as Millie matching herself. And now that Just Deserts, the Karma Court short is out, I can even see a fun and wonderful spin off with Natalie Rose, the angel who sentences Millie to matchmaking hell.

We at ParaYourNormal know your work, but for those who don’t, can you tell us what other books you have written?
I have four erotica titles: Jessie’s Girl, The Best Revenge, Wanted and Love Lust
I have a historical series that begins with Irish Moon.
Coming soon: Fierce Dawn, a dark paranormal series that links the succubus world of Love Lust to create two parallel series, on with extra heart for us guilty pleasure seekers. My muse has ADD but I have learned to shut up and obey. Otherwise, she’ll slash my tired.

LOL she sounds devious. We like devious :-p Where can readers purchase your books?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Fictionwise, everywhere really! No, really. Three are in paperback, all are in Ebook and most online stores carry all or some of my titles. My fave stores are Indie supporters like 1PlaceForRomance and Smashwords.

Where can readers find you on the web?
Group blog:
And of course, at the Indie Book Collective everywhere.

Can you share an excerpt from the book?
               “I think I’ve made a mistake,” Brooke said, amazed her voice didn’t crack. “I think I have to go.”
               Don’t go,” Elliott said again, stepping close.
               His words enveloped her. Had she thought his glasses made him irresistible? She’s been wrong. His lashes set off depths so blue, so intense, they might penetrate her soul.
               Slowly, he reached up, pushed a lock of hair from her face. His finger ran along her cheek, to her lobe, down her neck and up to her chin. With gentle pressure, he tipped her chin up. Brooke’s hands shook. Her mouth watered. Her mind searched for words and found two: don’t go.
               How could she?
               His gaze captivated hers. He lowered his head. She closed her eyes. The tremble in her hands spread up her arms, down her legs. Yes. God, yes. Let him kiss her. Let her taste his lips on hers, his breath, his mouth.
               “Stay,” he whispered against her lips.
               She failed to shake her head, no, she wouldn’t go. He began at her chin, a graze, and in slow succession, breathed and kissed and wet her skin. Kisses. Tantalizing, sensual, tickling. Around her mouth, teasing her. Away again, torture.
               Her knees turned to water. She almost whimpered. His mouth found her hungry lips. Brooke gasped. His hands raked into her hair. He kissed her lower lip, moved to the side, never quite meeting her fully. Brooke moaned, awash with a full body shiver. Musk and sandalwood intoxicated her senses. Mint, sweet on her tongue. She swayed her weight toward his body. He slid his hand over her lower back, steadying her.
               Her lips parted, begging entry. His tongue carefully delved, explored as her lips suckled and pressed. Brooke returned each caress, mindless of all but each sensation coming over her mouth, washing her body.
               Her hands rose to his chest. His roamed over her back, ever lower, inch-by-inch to her hips. He broke the kiss and pulled away.
               Brooke opened her eyes. She could hardly think.
               He swallowed. “I want you.”

#Ohyeah! We want to thank Amber for stopping by and talking with us. We are also doing a live interview with her on our Blog Talk Radio show today at 3pm PST. Click here for our channel.  If you would like to talk to Amber, the number is (619) 639-4626. You can also check out Bestseller for a Day where we are supporting indie authors in getting up the Amazon charts. Play Fling is the book we're supporting today and you are going to get a great deal if you purchase it. Can you say #twoforthepriceofone? Yep, you can go to and find out how you can get in on this amazing deal. There are some prizes up for grabs, Amazon gift cards worth over $150. Go to the website and learn more. #whatareyouwaitingfor?

Friday, February 11, 2011

What's Coming Up On ParaYourNormal

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted you to know that we heart this special day too. Nothing says love like a paranormal romance. Cupid’s not the only one that can make you fall in love. Our guest, Amber Scott sure knows how to get your heart pumping and make your knees grow weak. If you've read her work, you know what we're talking about and if you haven't read her work #wherehaveyoubeenhiding?

Amber will be stopping by on Monday to give us the low down on her book, Play Fling, a great romance with some paranormal in the mix. See cupid as you’ve never seen him (or her) before. That’s right, we guarantee you haven’t read this version of the pesky little matchmaker who makes us fall in love when we least expect it.

Amber is a very talented author. We’ve read a few of her books, we should know. You'll not only get a special price for purchasing Play Fling, but you’ll get three books for the price of one and a chance to win gift cards from Amazon. #yesyouheardusright Who could pass up a deal like that? Hop on over to Bestsellerforaday to find out the details on this incredible offer.

Be sure you come back on Monday and learn more about Amber Scott and her book. Not only will you get to read an interview with this outstanding author, you can call in on our Blog Talk Radio show and speak to Amber. Ask her questions about Play Fling, her other great books, or her experiences as an author. Don’t miss out on all of the fun. #weliveforfun

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interview with Journey of Tara author Brian Hutchinson

Welcome back to the blog, everyone. Hope all of you survived Superbowl Sunday. #whatagame This week, we take a look at a new book, Journey of Tara, by indie author Brian Hutchinson. Have you ever wondered if mankind would survive its first encounter with aliens? Well, Brian has his theory which we will be discussing on Blog Talk Radio, tonight at 3pm PST. Journey of Tara is a Sci-Fi tale set way in the future, like 2000 years into it. #howcoolisthat

After reading the story, we wanted to learn more about the author so we had a chance to sit down and talk with Brian about his book.

Why did you choose to write in the Science Fiction genre?

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s – and on shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica. And one of the four TV stations (Yeah – four – can you believe it) showed nothing but movies on the weekends so I got hooked on a lot of the old Sci Fi movies. Also took a class in school where we studied it. Plus you can cover a multitude of subjects in Sci-fi. The biggest thing I suppose is if you need something in the plot line that isn’t available presently – just invent it.

As a writer, where do you draw you inspiration?

This is always a hard question for me; I don’t see how other authors answer it. I draw most of it from my imagination, where I spent most of my free time while I was growing up. I’ve managed to be around people, even my step kids, who have supported me in my efforts of writing.

To help readers get a feel of what type of writer you are, is there another book you could compare yours to?

Book – not specifically –how ever I suppose you could say it is similar Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones movies with a little bit of The Terminator thrown in.

Will there be any sequels to Journey of Tara?

I have thought of that a lot, but I was waiting on some feedback on it. I do have a few ideas floating around in my thick skull.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

That’s an easy one – Marcel. She controls more than they think she does.

Mar was great, with her witty sense of humor. So, aside from Journey of Tara, have you written any other books? 

I have another one on Smashwords called The Set'la. I have a few in progress, a mystery, another sci fi and one horror story are trying to work thier way put of my head.

Besides writing, what do you do for a living?

I'm a security guard for a conduct security company. Been dough this for nine years, before that I was a courier.

How do you balance writing with everyday life?

I manage to write a little, not enough, when I'm at work or right when I get home. Just a little. I need quiet so occasionally I might get a few peaceful hours in the early morning. My star back is videogames  I play World of Warcraft too much.

Where can readers find your books?

At this point I don't have anything in print, just on Smashwords. Journey of Tara is also available on Barnes and Noble for the nook.

Where can your readers find you on the web?

Usually playing World of Warcraft...Oh you mean like a profile thingy – on Twitter and Face Book

Would you care to share an excerpt from your book?


     She was dreaming someone was poking her in the shoulder. It started as a poke, and then turned into a shove. As she opened her eyes, she was staring at a man wearing a tan jumpsuit, wrinkled and torn in places, as was his face. The patches on the elbows and knees were about as worn out as the face framed with shoulder length salt and pepper hair. The steel gray eyes bored into hers as he introduced himself, “Ms. Vanderpool? I’m Captain Bran of the Marcel. You can call me Dirk. You’re a pretty heavy sleeper; Lisa’s been trying to wake you for twenty minutes. We have your luggage on-board and I’m just waiting on you.”
Tara checked the bag she was holding, the disc was still there. Then she looked out the window. Her jaw dropped as she saw the centuries old pitted and scared cargo vessel. “That’s the Star Liner taking me to T...”
Dirk quickly interrupted her, “Shh, not in front of the hired help. You need help with your other bag?”
“No, after you Captain.” She replied sarcastically, with the emphasis on Captain.
Dirk walked towards the air lock, feeling Tara’s eyes boring into him as they entered the cargo area of the Marcel. She stopped and glanced around the hold. The whole room took up three decks of the old freighter. Walls lined with shelves adorned with empty graviton restraints. In the far corner of the hold were the only three containers she saw. They looked empty, unused for years. The walls were marked by shadowy images of boxes that once sat unmoved for long periods of time.
“Do you always travel this light?” She asked.
“Well business has been a little slow. That’s why I’ve taken on passengers. We have a long trip ahead, so I’ll show you to your cabin.” Dirk never was much of a people person, he just wanted to lock this lady in her cabin and stay away from her until they got to Old Earth.
“It wouldn’t be the Presidential suite would it?” Tara asked.
Dirk’s eyes became ice cold as he turned and looked at her, trying hard to hold back his temper, “Lady, like I said it’s a long trip, stay out of my way and we’ll get along fine. Okay?”
“Whatever you say, Captain. Lead the way.” She was enjoying this. However, she didn’t want to push her luck with this guy and get tossed out an airlock somewhere.
The two of them walked towards the nearest lift. She paused as she watched him walk through a dark arch and disappear. Taking a deep breath she followed right behind him and found herself in the lift that she hoped would take them to her cabin. From the crowded, quiet confines of the lift, they walked into a long, steel paneled hallway. The discolored seams along the walls were more proof of the age of this vessel. They stood in the middle of the hallway; which only had two arches in it, one on each end, and something that looked like an escape hatch across from the lift. The alpha/numeric pads embedded into the bulkheads near the arches looked new. Dirk walked up to the closest arch and punched in a few numbers. The blackness shimmered for an instant and then cleared, revealing a spacious room lit only by the lights in the corridor.
He deposited her bags in front of the arch and said, “The code is 2001, you can change it if you like. The lights come on when you pass thru. If you need anything, hit the Com panel by the door and say ‘Mar’. That’s the ships computer. Have a nice stay.” He turned and walked quickly towards the lift, to finish whatever he was doing before he had to deal with her.
“Thank you Captain, by the way you can call me Tara.” She requested to his back.
Dirk paused, probably wanting to make some stupid comment on her name, she thought. But, he didn’t take the bait and disappeared into the lift with a wave of his hand.
Tara picked up her bags and stepped into the cabin. As she stood in the archway, the lights flickered on, and she stared, awestruck by the sight before her.