Ladies and Gents, I Give You Author Zrinka Jelic!

Just in time for Christmas! I've got the wonderful Zrinka Jelic hanging out with us today! And not only is she kicking back for a bit with a glass of wine and a plate of tasty cookies, she's also kind enough to share a piece from her recent Christmas novella, Deck the Halls. So Zrinka? Take it away, my dear!
No matter how hard I tried to write about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and no, I’m not talking about back to school, my thoughts kept drifting to sad side of the Christmas. To those who won’t be so fortunate to spend this Special Time Of Year with their loved ones, or to those struck with hard times. And how could they not with everything that’s happening in the world? So to Shake Up (my) Christmas happiness, I turned to music. Because All I Want For Christmas Is You to be happy and cheerful.
Since Santa Clause is Coming to Town, I better watch out, not cry or pout. You know he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. Kids already cannot wait for Christmas as the city streets are turning into Winter Wonderland.
Holidays Are Coming and I hope they find you in a good spirits. And if the weather outside is frightening, stay safe and cozy by the fire that’s so delightful, and Let It Snow. But if you’re Dreaming Of a White Christmas, at least you are someplace warm and sunny.
So here’s to the Last Christmas, present and future. Let’s raise a glass and make this holiday cheer last all year.
I leave you now, in better mood than I found you I hope, with a blurb and an excerpt from my newest release “Deck the Halls”, a paranormal Christmas novella.


It isn’t the string of crappy jobs, or people’s irrational urge to spend their money, or even his inability to ask Julie out on a date that Zach can’t get excited about Christmas. It is the fact that today is his last day he gets to spend in his preferred human form.

When jealous Tia, a wicked sorceress disguised as the pack’s alpha female, tries to force his wolf out a day early, all-consuming anger sends him into a rage against her. She punishes shape shifter Zach, by changing him to a dog. He has 48 hours to save his family and trade his life for someone else’s in order to break the spell—the only problem, Julie’s cat Miss Molly knows who he is and won’t let him near her owner. But Julie’s safety is the greatest importance and he sticks by her side.

Julie can’t resist falling in love with the stray dog she rescues. She prolongs putting a found dog ad in the local newspaper just to keep him for another day. Strange thing is, the animal reminds her of Zach.

Confronted with the woman who stole the man she secretly loves, Julie discovers the truth about Zach. When his dog form proves useless against the powerful alpha werewolf, the help comes from unforeseen allies.

Tia approached with slow steps. He panted. Would she finish him off?
      “Such insolence deserves a special punishment. What did you hope to gain by this pathetic attempt?” Her sinister laugher ended in a long sigh. “Let me see, what to do with you? Hmm… what I set out to do before your overconfidence got the worst of me. If you can’t be a man, then be his best friend.”
She muttered some intangible chant. Golden fur sprouted on his front legs. What the hell? Silver, his fur was silver not golden. He wagged his bushy tail and a sudden, unexplainable desire for someone to throw a stick for him to retrieve overtook his mind. Wait a minute, focus man, something is terribly wrong here. He tried to growl. Instead a deep bark escaped his throat. A dog! The bitch turned him into a frigging dog. What sorcery was this?
      “That’s much better.” Tia licked her muzzle and turned away from him.
      “Damn it, Tia, undo this.” He barked after her, but she only sped away, her menacing laughter echoing in the foggy parking lot.
      “Perhaps your witchy little sister knows the contra spell.” Tia’s words bounced in his head just before the darkness swallowed her.
      Lexa! Yes, she studied magic, but would her powers break Tia’s spell? He darted away, summoning his sister through their special sibling connection. His Goddess wasn’t protecting him this night, but if Luperca had any mercy, maybe, just maybe his sister might be able to find someone who could break Tia’s curse and free him of this ridiculous form.
He meandered through the crowd of people hugging their shopping bags.
     “There’s a dog without a collar loose.” A man shouted, picking up a small boy in his arms. “Someone should call animal control.”
      Zach scampered away and stuck to the empty streets away from any shopping malls or crowded plazas. Once he cleared the city, he opened up into a free run across the thin layer of snow on a farmer’s field. He paced at the edge of the copse, calling Lexa by emitting shrill whimpers. Had Tia or her bullies gotten to his sister? If Lexa couldn’t meet him, he might end up living in dog’s body forever.
A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, Zrinka Jelic writes contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and sometimes adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic’s love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but when it rains, it pours.  
Pick up a copy of Deck the Halls today!


First Review for Lights Out!

Okay, so in the midst of all the craziness that comes with the holidays, I just had to post the first review I received by the amazing Monique Fischer's blog All the Bookish Love. I had to control myself because when I first read it, I was at work...I'm pretty sure my co-workers wouldn't appreciate me squealing like a little girl. Or maybe they would, I don't know. The people I work with are pretty damn strange. So that being said, I think getting the first review for any book is always the hardest, hence the squealing. I was literally on pins and needles, waiting for Monique to post her thoughts. So check it out, boys and girls.

In the Mailbox....

Yeeeeeeeeeeah! Look what came in the mail today! Merry early Christmas!!!

Hit the Ground Running....

I'm not sure if I'm reading this right but take a look at this:

Happy Release Day!!!



RELEASE DAY FOR LIGHTS OUT! Hey everyone! My new book is up and running--available in ebook format and paperback! Check it out!!!







TWO MORE DAYS! I don't think I can stand it! Two more days until Lights Out is out and running wild and free! Brace yourselves!

It's Double Whammy Wednesday!

I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of the Black Opal Books holiday anthology, Things That Go Bump for the Holidays. This book contains a plethora of short stories that will creep you out, chill you to your core and make your jump out of your seat....all the while singing Jingle  Bells and baking Christmas cookies! It's coming to a shelf, Kindle and Nook near you on December 14th, 2013....that's right, exactly ONE WEEK after the release of my thriller novel, Lights Out.
So get ready, ladies and gents because this Christmas, the darkness is waiting for you...with an appetite.
Release Date: December 14, 2013

Release Date: December 7th, 2013

Less than 6 days and LIGHTS OUT is here!

ATTENTION: You now have less than six days to reach for your copy of Lights Out! Have a look, won't you:

A floorboard creaked overhead.
He stopped, looking up. Then he glanced back down at the door. The light glowed warmly. He backed away and made for the stairs.
He took them two at a time. The shadows deepened, clogging the corners and the ceiling. It seemed to grow darker the higher he climbed, the air hotter and thicker. It made his fingers flex around the gun in his hand. He made it to the top step and that was when the smell hit him. His eyes watered from too much Pine-Sol and ammonia that did nothing to cut the underlying stench of stale sweat and sex. He blinked the sweat out of his eyes, feeling it bead along his scalp as he quickly rounded the first corner he came to.
Keep moving, keep moving, he chanted to himself. Do not stop and think about this. Just keep going. The hallway stretched about thirty feet in front of him before it veered sharply to the right. It was dusty-gray with shadows, dim from lack of light. Wall-mounted sconces were unlit. The window at the far end was painted black. He ventured forward, carefully as if wading through unchartered waters. Holding the gun out in front of him, he slid quietly to the next corner.

One More Week.....

One more week, kids! Seven more days and Lights Out will be available for your greedy little hands, Kindles, Nooks or however you choose to read your stuff! So get ready and don't get caught in the dark!

Creeeeeepy excerpt from Lights Out...

 Okay guys---as you know LIGHTS OUT will be available for your greedy little hands on December I think it's time to post an excerpt....

"The air grew colder and with that came the struggle to breathe. He didn’t know if it was clau...strophobia but it came pretty damn close. His chest hurt and his throat felt like someone was cramming cotton into his mouth. He tried to breathe slowly, to at least calm the thundering in his rib cage, but the darkness around him fed the panic that was skating through his bones. The stones beneath his fingers were wet in some places and icy in others and, under his feet, things crunched and squeaked like he was stepping through snow and ice.
He hoped it was snow and ice.
Echoes came from all sides of him. It was impossible to decipher one sound from the next. He wondered if people who heard voices were anything like this. Just one gigantic ball of murmuring sounds and words that didn’t make any sense.
There was a scraping sound behind him."
Let me know what you think!


Giveaway is now closed and the winner is.....

A fellow Black Opal Books author and friend is the winner of the $20 Amazon gift card!
Thanks to all who have commented! Your thoughts mean a lot to me!

At last, the cover for my new book...

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so proud to present the cover of my new suspense book, Lights Out.
Courtesy of the amazing Nathan Mumper!

Let me know what you think, guys! Leave a comment and you can enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Oh and perhaps it would help if I gave you a little synopsis of the book! Read on, if you please:
Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…
            Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past---and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.


Cover Reveal This Weekend!!!

What, oh what will the cover of Lights Out look like????
Find out this Saturday, November 16th! Stop on by, leave a comment about the grand reveal or about the teasers I've left sprinkled here and there through-out the week! Let me know your thoughts and you can enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card! 

More teasing coming your way....

Third time's the charm! Here we are, teaser #3 from Lights Out. So tell me, what do you think about first impressions?

Teaser #2 from Lights Out!

Hello everyone! As promised, another sprinkle of teaser from LIGHTS OUT....

Let the teasing begin!

And away we go kids! Introducing your first teaser of the week from my upcoming suspense novel, LIGHTS OUT. Feast your eyes, won't you? Let me know if it sounds like something you want to sink your teeth into.....

Week of Teasers!

Good people! Hello there! I've decided that the upcoming week will be known as...
As you know...or maybe you don't know but my new book, Lights Out will be alive and breathing on December 7th, 2013. So to commemorate this awesome event, I've decided to run a bunch of teasers from the book all this week on Facebook, leading up to the COVER REVEAL on November 17th! From there, I'll be running a little giveaway--a $20 Amazon gift card---to be given to anyone who comments on my blog about the book cover! Things like, "Do you like it?" or "Do you loathe it?" or "Does it make your head hurt?" or "What the hell is this horse s***?" Whatever your heart desires as long as it's about the book cover! And from all of you who leave a comment, I will put your names in a hat, draw one and presto! You're $20 richer--Amazon-style!
Does this sound like a plan or what?
Seriously, a week full of teasing?
I hope we can handle it!

And now....a teaser!

Here's a little something for you....


Where's the Book Cover???

  I am so excited, you guys! As I said in my last post, my cover artist has completed the cover for my new book, Lights Out. I am so humbled by this truly awesome piece of work and it will make its debut soon....for some reason, I'm not sure when I will unveil it. But what I do know for sure is that the moment will be soon! How's that for nice and confusing? Just what I want to do, bring confusion to all the readers out there! Ugh, this brain of mine, I'm telling you, it's the enemy! So on that note, ladies and gents, I must get to work on the blurb of Lights Out....the blurb?
Yes, the blurb.
The summary.
The back of the book where you read what said book is about. And dudes, seriously, it's harder than writing the actual book! Trying to condense emotions, plot, characters and everything else that makes the meat of the story into five sentences will drive you to the brink and quite possibly, well and truly over it and into the abyss below.
So I guess I'd better get started!

Writing...Scribble Out...Writing Some More...Scribbling Out...

Well guys, the second round of editing is nearly at a close. Lights Out is getting closer and closer to completion. There's one more round to go. I can see the finish line from here! Even as I go through it, page by page, line by line, I'm still not sure how I feel about this story. Is it too much? Is it not enough? At almost 500 pages, it should be enough, shouldn't it? I'll tell you what, though. It's definitely different than my first two books. Beauty Marks was a romance. Traffic Jam was for young adults.
                         Lights Out....this will have no choice but to be for suspense-lovers, thrill-seekers and decidedly not for young adults. There's not even a smidge of romance. But there's plenty of shadows, plenty of mystery and a decent helping of fear.
                        So, fellow readers, where will you be when the lights go out?

PS---My book cover artist just showed me what he has done and I literally had heart palpitations!


Author Spotlight on...Aneta Cruz!

Aneta Cruz
Hello folks! I hope the summer's been kind to you all because guess what? School is back! Let those tans and bad sunburns fade! Rev up the heater in your car and break out those lumpy sweaters! It's time to go pumpkin-picking! Apple pie in the oven is right around the corner! Halloween is ready to burst upon us with screams and chills! The cold weather is waiting in the wings...and like I always say, what better way to fight off those impending cold days and nights but with a good book! Well, hey, I've got one right here by debut author, Aneta Cruz!

Her debut novel, "Heartbreak Hotel" is sure to keep you toasty warm. It follows the mostly horrifying dating escapades of Kara, who only wants to find a nice guy to settle down with. That shouldn't be too hard...right? Check out an excerpt from the book:

Suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder. I turned my head, but there was no one there. Then I turned to the other side and directly in front of me was a man smiling ear to ear. He had eyebrows like the woodland creatures I used to read about in fairy tales. They hung over the rims of his John Lennon glasses whose lenses reflected the flashing neon lights. He wore a tie-dyed shirt and a pair of canvas pants that looked like he’d just pulled them out of the dumpster. Did he think he was coming to Woodstock tonight?

“Can I get you a drink?” he asked.

I frowned at his childish trick, then shrugged, and said, “Two pomegranate margaritas.”

“Two? Big drinker, huh?”

“One’s for my friend.” I pointed at Laura who was still trying to muscle her way through the crowd. He nodded then disappeared into the swarming mass. I pulled Laura out of the crowd. “Our drinks are coming,” I said and pointed toward the bar.

He returned shortly, passing us the cocktails. “I’m Ed, by the way. I run a very successful bank in Old Town,” he said and conjured up that ear-to-ear smile again. Why did he have to throw that in? Was it supposed to impress me?

Laura wrinkled her forehead as if to say Who’s this nerd? “Hi,” she said. “Do you have a friend around here? Three’s a crowd, if you know what I mean.”

“As a matter of fact, I do.” Ed turned toward the dance floor. While he searched for his friend, I kicked Laura in the knee. I didn’t want Ed to get the impression I was interested in him when I wasn’t. He wasn’t even close to being my type, not that I had one, but if I did, he would definitely not be it.

Ed waved at some guy on the dance floor. The guy nodded then quickly joined us. “This is my friend, Richard. He’s my driver,” Ed said, gesturing toward his friend who towered over Laura. “You ladies want to go somewhere less loud where we can talk?”

“Yes, let’s go outside,” Laura said immediately.

Good idea. I needed some fresh air.

There were two men smoking on the sidewalk outside Cobra. One was seriously intoxicated and could barely stand without the wall to support him. When the other man noticed us exit the club, he came over and quickly announced, “I don’t even know who this individual is. He just wanted to bum a cigarette off me.” He laughed and continued. “So what are you all doing this summer?”

“We just moved here. We work at an elite hotel. At the reception desk,” Laura replied, batting her lashes.

“Clever girls. Big money, huh?” The young man looked Laura and me up and down in admiration. “I’m going to Greece for two months. Dad works at the Embassy there, so that should be good.”

“You must be a spoiled brat, then,” Laura said and turned up her flirting.

He giggled. “I guess you could say that. Dad pays for the university and the Mercedes.” Then someone opened the door of the club and yelled for him to come in.

As he walked past Laura, she exhaled. “I want to be sp–sp–spoiled, too.”

But the man just smiled and went in.

I looked at my watch. It was already four in the morning. I raised my eyebrows at Laura. “We have to go.”

“Don’t leave! We haven’t had a chance to talk yet,” Ed whined.

I shrugged. “I have to be at work in two hours.”

“Where do you work?” he asked.

“At a hotel—”

I pinched Laura’s side to keep her from saying anything further. I was more than aware that Ed was attracted to me, but he gave me the chills every time he came into my personal space.

“You won’t be able to catch a tram this late, and I don’t want you taking a taxi. Richard will take you wherever you want to go.” Ed gave us one of his beaming smiles again.

“Fine,” Laura said in a bitter tone. “I’ve had enough of this night anyway.”

She sat in the front passenger seat of Ed’s black Audi, Ed and I in the back. Richard drove recklessly. I could feel every bump and pot hole in the street. I pressed my forehead against the cool window and just as I closed my eyes, Ed’s fingers slid across my back. He tried to rest his hand on my shoulder, but I immediately shook it off.

He leaned closer and smiled. “I hope to take you out soon.”

My skin erupted in goose bumps. His breath reeked as if something had crawled inside him and died. All I wanted to do was to get out of the car.

I tapped the driver’s shoulder. “Richard, can you stop? I’d like to get out.”

“What? Why?” Laura turned around. “We’re still a good mile from home.”

I scooted to the edge of the back seat and whispered in Laura’s ear, “This banker guy’s breath is gonna knock me out.”

Ed stroked my forearm. “What’s the problem?”

Your breath and the fact that when you touch me, my skin crawls.

“I feel sick, and I’m gonna throw up all over your car if you don’t let me out.”

“Richard!” Ed shouted and the car immediately screeched to a halt.

Sounds like something you want to dive into? Find your copy of Heartbreak Hotel at the following links:
Still not enough Aneta Cruz-ness for you? Check out where you, find her:
Did someone mention Facebook? Why, yes, I did! By liking Aneta's Facebook page, you can enter to win a signed copy of her book a-Muse-me[a]nt. A random drawing will take place on September 30th! So haul it on over to that Facebook page:
You need something to keep you company on those long autumn nights ahead and works by Aneta Cruz is just the ticket!



Wait a hear that?

Some serious decompressing is underway!
Come get some!

And now....a GIVEAWAY!!!!

Good people! If you've read my last post, you will find a review for Cathrina Constantine's, "Wickedly They Come." What better way to follow up a review than with a GIVEAWAY!!! So read on, if you're on the prowl for some good, solid reading!


Haunting visions, unusual strength, and special paranormal talents are the norm for Seeley and her sixteen-year-old daughter Jordan. Their lives become perilous when the leader of The Black Order stalks them, trying to fulfill a prophecy to consecrate Jordan to his lord—Lucifer.

Previously homeschooled and na├»ve, Jordan is inducted into the social culture of teendom at Elma High, where she encounters Mark, a mysterious new classmate, who is hell bent on keeping her unscathed from the forces of evil. But the battle between Heaven and Hell is escalating—and Earth is their battleground.

And if that blurb and cover don't capture your attention, go a little bit further and read an original poem and excerpt from the book:


Eyes like embers burn into my soul

As gnarled fingers stretch to sow seeds of terror

Weaving a realm of pandemonium

Nightmares pour a viscous poison upon sleep’s tangled web

And on and on the vision’s dance:

I saw the world blind and hollow

Floating in the void of space

Feeding upon the vapors of some

Translucent suspended beast

Disjointed bodies then did appear

Sprinkling death and devouring life

Coaxing earth into silent slumber

Blazing eyes again emerged

Red brightness true to hellish fire

Fixed upon my wandering eye

Flames burst upon the scene

Wild and wily, leaving not one piece to fix upon

Except for those eyes of ember…

The woman cackled. Ghoulish forms erupted from her clothing like scary jacks-in-the-boxes. “We know about your…shall we say…spiritualism, and Jack’s daughter has been called the warrior. Then there’s the prophecy: ‘The warrior will be one with Lucifer, and God will weep…’

“Mr. Trebane is somewhat…curious. You see, Jack was raised as a son of Satan, and you, a daughter of your deity. Now, to set the record straight, Jordan must be consecrated to our lord. Disciples are assembling as we speak.”

“No,” Seeley gasped. “I won’t allow it.”

“Mr. Trebane expected your reluctance.” The woman withdrew a small wooden box, like one that held tea bags, and offered it to Seeley.

Seeley looked at the item, leery of the contents, and the long sharp nails.

“Take it,” the woman said, jiggling the box.

Seeley frowned. The belligerent woman’s mouth twisted sideways and shadowy ghouls scuttled back through her lips. Under duress, Seeley opened her hand. The woman slapped the box into her palm, scratching her wrist in the process. Seeley ignored the swelling welts. The box teetered as if it were alive.

Tentatively she raised the lid.

Peering in, she was repulsed, lancing acid burning her throat. Inside was Jack’s bloody finger, the wedding ring still attached. The sight triggered Seeley’s gag reflex. Snapping the lid shut, she felt her breath come in short spurts as tears jumped to the surface. Covering her mouth in hopes of smothering her cry, she shook with tremors, envisioning Jack’s pain as they cut off his finger.

“I almost hope you don’t come. I’ll take pleasure in snipping off every appendage on his body and rejoice in his howling. And then I will slice the throat of the bastard who turned his back on—on us.” Gratified with Seeley’s cavalcade of emotions, the woman tossed her head backward and let loose a high-pitched chortle. Pivoting on her heels, she strode away.

Sounds good, doesn't it?  I had the honor and pleasure of reading Wickedly They Come and I can tell you, you won't be disappointed. So go ahead and leave a comment here on this blog post and you can enter to win a print copy of the book or a $5.00 Amazon gift card! 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to find out more about Cathrina Constantine? Here is a list of where you can, find her!
Twitter: @cathconstantine