Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back to School Blog Hop with Linda Ulleseit

EXCERPT FROM Wings Over Tremeirchson

The sound of a galloping horse whipped all four heads toward the livery and the village beyond.
“Corryn, up now!” Branwen said.

He put one foot into a stirrup and swung up on Ceri’s back. The horse pointed her nose in the air and snorted, her wings stretched out to their fullest. Grigor tightened his grip on her lead rope, reaching for the clip that would release the mare once Corryn was strapped in.

Ralf’s jaw dropped in disbelief as Davyd reined in the livery horse. “Unhand that mare!” the tavern keeper called in authoritative fury.

Branwen stood between Davyd and Ceri, hands on her hips and head thrown back in her Celtic warrior pose. “She is ours now! Corryn, go!”

Corryn gathered the reins and kicked Ceri into motion. The mare reared, pulling the lead rope out of Grigor’s hand. Ralf could see the whites of her eyes as she hopped backwards, wings floundering, the rope trailing.

“Come on, baby, fly!” Corryn shouted.

Ceri bolted forward, ears still plastered against her head. The sudden jerk threw Corryn backwards. He lost his stirrups and bounced out of the saddle along the mare’s rump. Still holding the reins, he fell sideways onto a wing.
Grigor grabbed for the lead rope and missed. Branwen screamed and ran to help. She let go of the other three horses, who neighed and backed away. Still on horseback, Davyd urged his horse forward, knocking Ralf to the ground. 
From his hands and knees, Ralf stared in disbelief as Corryn slid off Ceri’s wing and landed in the grass where she’d been peacefully grazing only minutes ago. Ceri reared again, but Davyd grabbed her lead rope and pulled her down. Dismounting, he stroked the winged mare’s nose to calm her. She trembled under his touch. The three livery horses disappeared over the hill toward home.

Branwen stood horrified, eyes wide above her hands clasped over her mouth. Ralf stood up and brushed off his skinned knees, taking a deep shaky breath. Corryn did the same. Grigor hung his head in defeat. 

“You incompetent, stupid children!” Davyd raged. “You could have injured a very valuable animal!” Ceri flattened her ears again at his tone, and Davyd continued in a calmer, colder voice. “I chose to ignore you when this idea of a winged horse for Tremeirchson was just a crazy notion, but I can’t have you endangering High Meadow.” 



Linda took her first creative writing course in seventh grade, accumulating a closet full of stories that she never showed anyone until 2007, when she was already involved in a career as a teacher. Currently Linda is a sixth grade teacher at James Franklin Smith Elementary School, where her students are some of the early reviewers of her books. Her favorite subject is writing, and her students get a lot of practice scribbling stories and essays. Blending her passions for history and fantasy, Linda wrote On a Wing and a Dare, which is set in medieval Wales and features teenagers saving a herd of flying horses. Four more flying horse books followed this first book, including Wings Over Tremeirchson, which is an ebook novella that introduces the world of flying horses. Most recently, Linda released Under the Almond Trees, a novel about three California pioneer women. Linda lives in San Jose, California with her husband, two adult sons, and two young yellow Labrador retrievers. When she’s not writing or teaching, Linda loves to cook, cross-stitch, and read.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm not lazy. I just take my time.


Cover Reveal - Nowhere to Run

Well, it’s about time. It’s been three years since my first novel, Invisible was published. I am proud (and relieved) to finally have another novel under my belt.
Nowhere to Run is a romantic thriller, set in small town America. Here’s what it says on the back of the book that little thing we all call a blurb.
What’s a girl to do when she falls in love with the man whose mission it is to bring her down?
With the murder of her only sister, Sara, just a few months past, Lily Valier—a woman of beauty and substance—tops the sheriff’s list of suspects in small town Maine, and for a very good reason. Dear old Dad had willed his fortune to Sara and only Sara, leaving Lily to fend for herself. However, with no murder weapon or witnesses, the evidence against Lily is only circumstantial.
Enter P.I. Aiden O’Rourke, black-haired and blue-eyed, charged with gaining Lily’s trust and learning her secrets, all to finally get the goods on her. Things move fast and feelings run deep, yet when Lily discovers the truth about Aiden, everything begins to come apart.
Aiden’s torn. Despite his feelings for her, Lily is the most logical suspect, with a great big fat motive. Except something’s not quite right. Aiden trusts his instincts and they’re screaming at him to have a look at a former suspect with far more to hide than first appeared. With little left to lose, Lily decides to stand her ground, and staying put has its consequences when the murder weapon finally turns up—and it’s Lily’s gun.
What happens to love, when trust is betrayed?
The ghosts of those we love never leave us. They live on in our hearts but break them too, Lily thought as she flipped the sign on the door of the Higgstown Diner from “Open” to “Closed.” Then she sank wearily onto a stool at the counter, finally at the end of the workday. Now she could let loose the heaviness weighing her down. Hot tears stung her eyes and she let them. It was OK. There was no one around to witness her breakdown. She rested her head in her hands and heaved with sobs.
“Sara, please talk to me. Give me a sign you’re still around,” Lily said to the air. “I miss you so much.” More tears washed down her cheeks. It had been three months since her sister’s death, and there was still no escaping Sara’s ghost. Even the chipped Arborite counter where she now sat, with the wonky red upholstered stool that swiveled just a little too much to the right, brought back memories. Lily could see her older sister as plainly as if she were standing in front of her now, black hair piled high in a bun and that blue eye shadow she was so fond of. Lily smiled through her tears.
Sara had been a whiz at the grill, whipping up orders faster than Lily ever could. God, how long had the diner been a part of their lives? More than twenty-five years, she guessed. They were just kids when their mother, Nancy, bought the place—Lily, seven, and Sara, twelve.
A creak came from the back of the diner. Lily lifted her head to listen. Another small groan of the floorboards. Could Sara be giving her a sign?
“Sara?” Lily slid off the stool.
A tall, dark figure loomed in the doorway.
Lily froze, her heart near exploding. “What do you want?” she choked out in a thin voice.
He stepped nearer. “Open the register.” His voice was a deep whisper.
A balaclava hid his face; the seams of a dark gray coat strained over a thickly muscled physique. He aimed the gun in his right hand at her chest.
Her feet seemed rooted to the floor.
“I said, open the register.”
The man moved close enough for Lily to catch his scent—a mix of sweat and cheap aftershave. He shoved her forward, snapping her from her stupor, and followed as she made her way behind the counter to the cash register.
A glowing red light caught her attention. She hadn’t turned off the coffee maker! In one quick movement, Lily grabbed the pot’s plastic handle and launched the scorching brew at the woolen knit of the intruder’s balaclava. The gun landed with a thud between his booted feet as he clawed at the steaming mask plastered to his face.
Now was her chance. Lily shouldered past him to the front door. Her fingers, thick and clumsy with panic, fumbled as she tried in vain to turn the two deadbolt locks. She ordered herself to calm down. Take a breath. C’mon, you can do this, she told herself, but her heart jackhammered in her chest, and her ears pulsed with the rush of blood behind them.
Suddenly, a face appeared on the other side of the glass front door of the diner, sending Lily backward, nearly tripping over her own feet.
The stranger on the other side of the door took her in. A look of confusion flickered across his face. Then, as if coming back to himself, he yelled, “Hurry. Unlock the door!” The cold night air whipped his dark hair wildly around his face. His pale blue eyes locked on hers.
Panic had hijacked her brain. She didn’t know what to do. He could be an accomplice.
Finally, in case you’re interested, here’s my bio, written pretentiously in the third person:
Jeanne Bannon has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. She currently works as a freelance editor and writer and is represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

Jeanne’s debut novel, Invisible, is a young adult paranormal romance, published by Solstice Publishing and has recently been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.

On October 3rd, 2014, Nowhere to Run, Jeanne’s latest novel, is set to be released by Etopia Press. Nowhere to Run tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, Jeanne is finishing up work on her third novel, Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller.
When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys spending time with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a cuddly and affectionate Boston Terrier named Lila and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.
Twitter: @JeanneBannon

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Power of Love, by Heather Scavetta

There’s an old folk tale about a young mother who lost her child and is inconsolable. The wise man of the village tells her to go from house to house to find what everyone shares—and what everyone shares—is loss. It’s the universal experience.

Although we all will grieve the loss of our loved ones, we can learn how to reconnect with them. Through prayer and meditation, we can shift our awareness from the physical to the non-physical. We can witness firsthand that death is but an illusion. We can heal. We can find joy again. Author Heather Scavetta discovered that reality when she began developing her clairvoyant abilities after the death of her daughter, Elizabeth, in 2004.

In The Power of Love, Scavetta shares her personal journey of receiving visions and afterlife communication from her daughter, loved ones, and spirit guides who encourage her to persevere through her grief. Having no previous ability, Scavetta shows that opening up spiritual gifts is accessible to everyone. Through personal examples, she shares how to open your own psychic and mediumistic abilities, and she discusses the many ways spirit can reach us.

A story of celebration about the amazing and wonderful experiences that occurred since Elizabeth’s transition, The Power of Love narrates one family’s story of how they opened their spiritual gifts to see, hear, and feel—and to know beyond any doubt—their daughter never left their side.


Over time, I slowly came to accept that Elizabeth would never be as she was in her physical form again. I would never hug her, kiss her forehead, brush her hair, or worry about her physical safety. There would be no graduations for her, no wedding, no grandchildren, but there would be beautiful new ways of seeing Elizabeth. 

July 1, 2004. Every year we have an annual Canada Day barbecue. I didn’t want to have a party this year, but I knew that Elizabeth would like it. The girls always baked when we had company. Cassandra was excited to make her maple-leaf cookies. I wanted for her to continue to have family traditions. That morning, Tony was up early taking out the patio furniture and cleaning the barbecue grill, but since it was only 5:30 a.m., I was still asleep. 

I was dreaming. And then the dream changed, and Elizabeth was standing before me. She was inches away from my face. I could see every detail of her face clearly. White light radiated behind and around her. Her eyes were so beautiful. She was love. There were no words spoken, only love. I stared at her face, taking in every detail. I finally looked away from her eyes and looked at her hair. It was short and curly brown. You’ve cut your hair. I reached up and touched a curl and pushed it back and smiled. It was over. I opened my eyes. I was in my bed. The room was dark and I was alone. But I was so excited. I ran outside to find Tony: She had come! She was here!

I have had other visits like that one. I will never forget those visits because they were real, with an energy of their own. Whereas dreams fade, those visits are forever etched in my mind, and when I recall each moment, I feel the emotions once again. I have seen Elizabeth at the end of a dream, vivid and real. And I have seen her in meditation. Sometimes, she was on her horse, galloping towards me or riding across my visual field. Often, I have seen her face. Her beautiful, big brown eyes looking at me, her flowing light brown hair around her. She always makes me cry.

Heather Scavetta, RN Non-Practising is a Reiki Master and founder of School of Miracles. She has been teaching meditation, psychic development, mediumship and Reiki since 2006. She has been channeling The Council since 2009.

Heather developed her clairvoyant abilities after the death of her daughter Elizabeth in 2004. In her studio in Caledon, Ontario, Canada, she continues to help people who have experienced loss and those seeking more in life to develop their spiritual gifts and open up to communicating with Spirit. She and her husband, Tony, have twin girls, and live on their hobby farm with Canadian and Icelandic horses and two German shepherds.

On a personal note - I have just received my copy of The Power of Love and am very much looking forward to reading it. As well, I will be meeting Heather at a local library event in our town next month. I do not believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason and it is for that reason I am very much looking forward to meeting Heather. Our paths have crossed for a reason.

Heather, I wish you only the very best of luck with your book ... Jeanne xo

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Broken World, a post-apocalyptic zombie novel

When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter.

The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl.

While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.


The diner is crowded. I have to squeeze my way between waitresses and patrons, dodging trays and elbows. I bet they haven’t had a crowd like this in here since the 1950s.
There’s a line for the restroom. I stand at the back and dig through my purse until I find Emily’s picture. She smiles at me, and my heart aches.
I didn’t want to give her up, but I was sixteen. It wasn’t safe in my home—if you could even call it that—and there was no way I could bring a baby there. It was just me and my dad. Mom had run off with a neighbor when I was ten. Not that I can blame her for leaving, but I do blame her for leaving me. She must have known dad would need a new punching bag if she left. She obviously didn’t care. That hurts even more than the beatings did. That she didn’t care about me.
I loved Emily the moment I saw her. She was so tiny and pink, and her face was all smashed in from birth, so ugly-cute like all newborns. I loved her enough to give her to the Johnson’s. They sent me updates for a while. Nine months, to be exact. Then they stopped. I can’t blame them. It wasn’t an open adoption, and they never got a single response from me. Maybe they thought I didn’t care. Truth was, it just hurt too much.
The woman behind me coughs on the back of my head. Hot, moist air hits my hair and brushes it forward. I start to turn around so I can yell at her, but I freeze. She’s not the only one. Half the people in this diner are hacking their heads off. People slump over in booths, their breathing raspy and their faces bright red. A woman moans and shivers. She has on two jackets, but she still shakes so hard her teeth clang together. Her face is covered in sweat. The man next to her urges her to eat something. But he coughs too.
My stomach aches. I’m going to be sick. It’s here.
I forget the bathroom and head back to the table. I have to pee, but I can do it on the side of the road. We need to get out of here. Joshua is back. The three men are tense. They look up when I walk over.
“It’s here,” I say, but they already know.
“We’re gettin’ our shit to go,” Axl says.
He’s pale. So is Angus. His face isn’t as hard as it was before. Death tends to do that to a person. Turn them into spaghetti.
Even Joshua shakes, and he knows he’s immune.
I sit down and wait, wringing my hands on top of the table. My hands tremble so hard that when I pick up my glass to take a drink, it spills everywhere. I set it back down.
“We still need supplies.” Angus’s voice is hollow.
“Why don’t you and the Doc head to the convenience store and grab us some stuff? Vivian and me’ll wait for the food,” Axl says.
Angus gets to his feet, and I stand to let Joshua out. People cough on them when they go by. Angus clenches his fist when a man sneezes on him. But the anger melts away and all the color drains from his face. He walks faster.
“Guess we’ll know soon,” Axl says.
I nod, but I can’t make my mouth work to say anything. My insides curl into a ball. They grow tighter each time I think about it. I should be relieved. Soon the suspense will be over, and I’ll know whether or not I’m going to die. But I’m not. I don’t want to die, and the thought of it happening makes me want to hurl.
Axl and I don’t speak. We just stare at each other. The diner is amazingly quiet, considering how full it is. People cough. There are a few quiet conversations. Otherwise it’s silent. Deathly silent.
“Thought the end of the world would be more dramatic than this,” he finally says. It makes me jump.
I look around. It is the end. It’s written on the face of every person in the diner. I’m sure it’s on mine. “There should be chaos or panic. Something.”
“Probably is. In the cities.”
He’s right. Here the people are too disappointed. They were so close. They passed their physicals and thought they were in the clear. That they were going to make it. Is that what’s going to happen to me? The thought sends a shiver down my spine.

About the author

 Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California.
Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

Buy links:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Revenge the Cowboy Way by P.A. Estelle

Hi everybody.  I’m Penny Estelle.  First let me thank my good friend, Jeanne Bannon for allowing me to barge in and leave a teaser of my new book Revenge, The Cowboy Way.


I was a school secretary for 21 years, retiring in 2009.  We moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ.  We live on 54 acres in a very rural area.  Actually we live “off the grid”, on solar and wind only.  A real adjustment for a city girl.  I love it.  Nothing like walking out your front door and hear coyotes howling and seeing a sky bursting with stars.  It is breathtaking!


I write for all ages – from the very young, to the “Young at Heart” older folks!  From time travel adventures to family drama and romances.  Find out more about my books and myself at:


                                       Teaser for Revenge, The Cowboy Way


He put his hands on both sides of her head, trapping her and leaning in close, his face inches from hers. “Listen carefully. I don’t give a damn about what you demand. You made the biggest mistake of your life when you chose to rob me, and now you will suffer the consequences of that choice. Now, unless you have other ideas on how to entertain me, you will high-tail it over to that bed and get in it so I can get some sleep.”


His voice was like steel, and Joanna wasted no time doing exactly what she was told. She hadn’t taken two steps before Brian grabbed her arm. “Take that bulky robe off first.” Defiance filled her face, but before she could respond, Brian continued. “Don’t test me. It’s been a long night.”


Hate glittering in her eyes, she untied the sash and took the robe off, throwing it on the floor, leaving a pink-flowered flannel nightgown as her only barrier. She got in the small bed and hugged the wall. The bed was barely big enough for Brian, let alone both of them.

Blowing out the lantern, Brian lay down, reaching for her. She struggled as he scooped her next to him, his arm snug around her waist. Tears of frustration gathered in her eyes as she tried to escape his hold.


“All this squirming around is giving me ideas, Jo.”


Links to purchase the book:





Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interview with Chrystal Vaughan

Why did you decide to write a mystery/thriller?

My first book was a thriller...more of  a horror novel really. My students were upset that they couldn't read it since it had adult content, so I wrote Dead in the Water specifically for them. I really had to dial back the content to make it YA friendly.

What genre does your book fall into - cozy, mystery/thriller, suspense, police procedural, etc.?

My second book is a Young Adult paranormal thriller (through Solstice Publishing). I self published my first book, Sideshow.

What prompted you to write this book or series?

It was all about the students, who are very thrilled that I'm a writer. I've had a few of them ask me to sign their copies, which is so strange but kind of neat.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

I think my book is character-driven. I really tried to capture the attitude of a teenage girl with the character Eva. Part of the book is excerpts from her journal, and the other part is told from the point of view of her boyfriend, Jesse. It was harder to write from a teenage boy's perspective, not having ever been one of those myself, but I had ample material to study for character development.

What makes your book unique?

I think my book is unique because it focuses on the romance between Eva and Jesse but not in an explicit way. The book also focuses on what kids are capable of doing to each other, the horrible mean things they can say and do to those who are different. While there is an element of the paranormal in the book, the biggest threat to the protagonist is her peer rather than any paranormal entity.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I plot ahead of time...and then the characters decide if they like what I plotted. When I wrote my first book, I had an outline of every chapter, how I wanted it to go and where I wanted the book to end up. It totally did not go according to plan. For Dead in the Water, it began with the seed of an idea and took off from there. I didn't plan any of it.

How did you develop the names for your characters?

For Dead in the Water, I took the names of some of my students and used them for my own evil purposes. Some are anagrams; Eva (Evalyn) is the combination of several initials for several students, which is fitting because her personality is a combination of those students' personalities. I stole part of  Jesse's name from one of my fellow educators. And the character of Natasha Milligan is specifically stolen from my friend of the same name, who begged me to put her name in my book, so I did and I made her the bad guy too.

Do your characters swear? Why or why not?

In Dead in the Water, the characters don't swear much because I was trying to keep the content YA friendly, but yeah there is some swearing. If you could hear what I hear in the halls of the high school I work at, you would know that my characters are saintly as far as their language is concerned.I included some swearing because I wanted to keep the characters real, and teenagers swear an awful lot.

How did you decide on the setting?

I love Brookings, Oregon. I have made a personal vow to one day live there in a cottage near the beach and write books all day. Something about the wildness of the Pacific Ocean in that area really speaks to me. Even though some of the events in the book are disturbing, that doesn't sully the lure of Brookings for me.

Do you have a writing mentor?

I don't really have a mentor, per se, as in another author that guides me along the way. I'm very thankful to Kathi Sprayberry, Editor in Chief at Solstice Publishing, for her guidance and encouragement. She is also an author so it's nice to have that camaraderie.

I wrote a lot when I was younger, even won a few awards. Then I had kids, had a full time job, had gone back to school...I just didn't have the time anymore. My creative writing class for my bachelor's degree kickstarted the writing again. After that, I was addicted. I wrote all the time. One day, I was editing some pages on my first book and the teacher I work with (Annette) realized I wasn't proofreading a student's paper. She insisted on reading it. At that point I had never really shown many people my work but she was very persistent. And she loved it. She's been my cheerleader ever since and reads everything I write. She gives me feedback and advice, so I guess she could be considered a mentor.

What's your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

Recently, I started writing my books longhand, so that means I can take my notebook anywhere, anytime and write as the characters demand. My favorite place to write is in bed but I get some of my best ideas while I'm driving. I have a voice recorder app on my phone to dictate to while I'm driving.

What’s the first mystery you read?

The very first one was Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case. That was a while ago!

What’s next?

I'm in the middle of editing my third book, Conspiracy of Ravens. Look for a release at the end of June. I'm also writing my fourth book as yet untitled. And I have about seven more books that are either partially written or waiting for me to put pen to paper.

Anything you'd like to add?

I can't thank my friends and family enough for their support, and also the folks and fellow authors at Solstice Publishing. It's a lonely business, writing, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one that is reaching for the dream.


Twitter: TheChrystalShip

Chrystal (Christina) Vaughan (1976-present) was born in Ashland, OR and grew up all over Southern Oregon where she currently resides. She is married and has two daughters and a son; she enjoys teaching others and imparting her love for the written word to her students. When she is not writing, Mrs. Vaughan enjoys spending time with her family and various pets, knitting items of clothing she forces her family to wear, and is a voracious reader.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Meet author, KateMarie Collins


Looking At the Light: The companion to A Stab at the Dark, Looking at the Light focuses on what is good in the world around us. Be it a young woman finding a way to escape her sheltered home, an old toy welcoming a new owner, or a gremlin exterminator. The stories inside are meant to be uplifting, humorous, and give the reader hope that not all is bad in this world.



A Stab At the Dark: The companion to Looking at the Light, A Stab at the Dark focuses on what is wrong in the world around us. Be it a different type of guardian angel, the strange figure in the dark alley, or what lurks deep within the forest. The stories inside are mean to be creepy, make you shudder, and face your fears.


Born in the late 60s, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she's always been creative, she didn't turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two daughters, she began submitting her work to publishers. When she's not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism ("SCA"). The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and two cats in what she likes to refer to as "Seattle Suburbia".


You can find KateMarie at the following sites:

Twitter:  @DaughterHauk

Buy Kate's books here: