Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I'm sure you've noticed my absence for the last few weeks. What can I say? As a military spouse and a mother of two youngins', one with special needs, my time is very...limited? This time of year, as Christmas approaches, I'm pretty much overbooked. I'm also about to begin my traditional Treat Blitz, which involves the making of several varieties of cookies and other treats, from scratch. So, I'm gonna have to bow out till January.
Also, I gotta say that some of the reason I've been away is because the some of the folks around me don't value or respect my time. Much love to the docs who treat my son's many health conditions, but asking me to drive two hours from my home to the hospital on a weekly basis, sit around the hospital with two hungry, cranky, stroller confined kids for hours on end, then drive two hours back? Just so you can say you saw my son? Well, allow me to point you to one of my patron saints: S'aint Happenin'. Can somebody put a stop to the madness, please? Oh wait, I already did.
I know my son is popular, don't worry, you'll see him again come January.
I'm working on two historicals right now, as well. One is in the first draft stage, the other in edits for an early 2012 release. So, in order to have a few slivers of time to tame my 'fro and bathe and things like that, I'm trimming my schedule. (Pronounced shed-yule. LOL)
Whatever you celebrate, I wish you peace, blessings, and all good things. See you in 2012.
Until Next Time,
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Sorry I've been so tardy in announcing the winner. My son had a cataract removed last week, and that kind of threw everything off. Life as a mom of two youngins'- it is what it is.
Anyway, I'm happy to announce that I've chosen a winner, with the help of Random.org's number generator. Lisa George, come on down! You've won my blog hop prize pack.
I'm hard at work on the edits for my sweet historical, Kissing the Captain, which Kianna hopes to have out in e-book on December 8th. Those of you who still love a printed book, don't worry, that's coming in February.
I'll be back the week of the 17th- because I'm having all four wisdom teeth extracted on Veteran's Day (the 11th). Y'all pray for me, I'm quakin' in my boots!
Thanks to all who participated in the Blog Hop. It was a lot of fun, and I hope to get in on Drea's Holiday Hop, if there's still space.
Until Next Time,
Friday, October 28, 2011
This year, I'm participating in Drea Becraft's Bewithching Halloween Blog Hop, along with a whole slew of talented authors! I'm excited about doing this, it's my first hop. Gee, I hope I'm good at it, LOL.
Here's an excerpt from Embrace the Night, my latest in the PHOENIX Files paranormal romance series. It's the first meeting between the hero and heroine, John and Tatiana.
Approaching Dr. Black's office, he found the doors open. Just as he'd expected, the doctor faced a rear window, with only the back of his leather chair beyond that ridiculously large desk visible.
"Thank you for coming, Agent Groves," the deep, booming voice emanated from the chair. "Enjoying this lovely weather?"
John scoffed. "Sure." He removed his fedora. "So, what's the mission?"
"Hold on now, speedy. You'll find that out when your partner gets here."
After his cross county trek, he found himself a little annoyed that his partner hadn't already arrived. "Well, where is he?"
A female voice answered from behind him. "I'm right here, and I hope you can tell I'm not a he."
He spun around in the direction of the sound, and saw her standing there. She was statuesque, nearly matching his own six feet four inches in height. She wore some sort of spandex workout gear, shaded red, that clung to her lithe, shapely body like a second skin. Her dark hair, streaked with red, clung to the sides of her bronze face as is she'd been sweating. Her flushed appearance was strangely appealing.
She raised an eyebrow, folded graceful arms across her chest. "Are you gonna just stand there gawking at me, or introduce yourself?"
Right away, John decided he did not care for her attitude or her mouth, regardless of her loveliness. Annoyed, he approached her, stuck out his big hand. "I'm John Groves."
She shook his hand with a firm grip. "I'm Lieutenant Tatiana Yates. Nice to meet you, Agent Groves."
He could feel his eyes widening. Did she say lieutenant? They expect me to follow orders from a woman? Doing his level best to hide his surprise, he responded in kind. Then he and his shapely superior both stood near Dr. Black's desk.
She announced, "We're ready to be briefed, sir."
"Good, because there have been some strange happenings at the museum of history," Dr. Black began. "Artifacts seem to be getting up and removing themselves from the premises."
John snickered. "It's more than likely a fader," he said, shaking his head. Faders, with their powers of invisibility, were often caught doing things they shouldn't, simply because they thought they could get away with it.
Tatiana looked thoughtful. "If things are being taken, and it's not an inside job..."
"It's definitely not an inside job," Dr. Black interjected. "It's not even a human job. Whoever is doing this doesn't always use doors or windows to enter the building. I've seen the security footage."
She clapped her hands once, loudly. "This isn't an ordinary fader, then. It's got to be a sublimer, since they can pass through solid objects."
So, she's already figured out the case. Why does she need me along? John cleared his throat. "Do we have any leads, Doctor?"
"Not at the moment, but we've set up surveillance at the museum."
"We don't need leads," Tatiana said, eyes lit up like the fourth of July. "I know exactly where to start."
He watched as she produced a tiny cell phone from her armband and punched a number into the keypad. “Who are you calling? Don't we need to get going?”
She didn't answer, but held out her open palm, effectively dismissing him. “Marcelo, where are you? Mmm Hmm. I'll meet you there in 45. I'll be needing your help on a case. Okay. Bye.”
He rolled his eyes. God, she's rude.
Ending the call, she turned to him again. “Alright, let's go.”
Sparks are gonna fly, as you can see. I hope you'll check out Embrace the Night in print, Kindle or Nook Version.
Anyway, participation in this hop means a prize. Don't you just love free stuff? I'm offering a "swag pack" to one lucky reader, that will include a copy of Darkness Rising, bookmarks, a 2012 calendar, magnet, and pen. Pretty sweet, huh? To qualify for the prize, sign up as a follower for this blog. Want an extra entry? Like either, or both of my Facebook author pages between now and Monday, October 31. My Kianna Alexander page is here, my Alexandra Kane page is here. That's a total of three chance to win, my friends! So get on the good foot, as they say.
Also, I hope you'll check out the bevy of talented authors participating in the hop, by clicking on the image in this post. I'll update you Tuesday on the winner. Good luck, y'all!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Alexandra Kane is celebrating her brand new release EMBRACE THE NIGHT, the second book in her sexy paranormal series The Phoenix Files with a great new contest and offering up a fantastic prize package - an autographed print copy DARKNESS RISING - the first book in The Phoenix Files, along with a glass beaded jewelry set, calendar, and bookmarks!
John Groves is a professor of World History in Raleigh by day. But outside the world of academia, he uses his special talents as a telekinetic to fight crime as a member of PHOENIX.
Tatiana Yates owns a beauty shop in downtown Durham. After leaving the hot curlers and shampoo bowl behind, she releases the tigress within, running free in the forests around RTP. And ripping the bad guys a new one as a seasoned PHOENIX operative.
When the two are paired together to solve the mysterious disappearance of priceless artifacts from the North Carolina's Museum of History, can they fight their fiery attraction long enough to get the job done?
WIN - To get your name in the hat for Alexandra's great prize package, head to Alexandra Kane's Website to find out what other name she writes as and the title of her book under that name. Email your answers to AuthorIsland at yahoo.com, along with your mailing address. Get your name in the hat a second time by leaving a comment on Alexandra's Blog with which of her three releases you're most interested in and why. A winner will be drawn on November 21st - Good luck!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Through the magic of technology, I managed to be in two places at once this weekend. First, I was with the wonderful folks over at the Coffee Thoughts blog, giving a little bit of info on myself and my books. I also joined an illustrious, talented group of authors at the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers signing this past Saturday, at the Sheraton RTP in Durham, NC (my hometown).
I'm happy to say I had an entourage of sorts: my parents, husband, children, uncle, and uncle's lady were along for the ride. I had lots of fun, as I always do when meeting the readers.I sold, signed, and chatted to my lil' hearts' content.
Anyway, I know you've read that I was on the fence about doing the next book in the PHOENIX Files series. Well, reader response to Embrace the Night has been very positive so far. I will definitely say that if sales do well, and reader feedback stays as good as it has been, then I'll plan for a spring 2012 release of the third PHOENIX Files book, "Midnight's Serenade." This will be the story of Marcelo, the Italian sorcerer, and Dr. Le'kisha Byrd, a dermatologist by day and succubus by night. The plot thickens from there....LOL.
My deepest thanks to those who came to the signing. If you couldn't make it, don't despair- you can get the books in print, Kindle, and Nook formats. If you'd like a package deal on the series (print or pdf), drop me a note at alexandrakane_1ATyahooDOTcom and I'll take care of you.
Thanks again for all your support!
Until Next Time,
Monday, September 26, 2011
I'm happy to announce that Embrace the Night is now available, in Kindle, print, and Nook formats! It's a teensy bhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifit early, and I absolutely love the final result. I hope you will too.
Also, Bitten by Paranormal Romance gave Embrace the Night a four star, "Pack Howl" review. You can read the review here.(Note: You'll have to get past the adult content warning.) Thanks to Bitten, and to the reviewer, Kayla, for taking the time to read the book.
Also, if you're in North Carolina, I'll be signing books from 4-5pm on October 8th at the Sheraton Imperial in Durham. It's in the RTP area, and I'll be joined by some other illustrious authors, including Cherry Adair, Sabrina Jeffries, and many others. This event is sponsored by Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. I am a member of the chapter, and am just getting my feet wet as the newly installed PR coordinator.
I have a chat at the CTR forums (click the pink coffee cup on the sidebar to go there) this Thursday night 9/29, entitled: Women in Charge: Can Men Handle it? I'm sure it will be a lively conversation. I'll also be blogging at the CoffeeThoughts Blog on October 8, and I'll pop in throughout the day to answer your comments and questions.
Whew! I'm one busy belle... but I'm doing what I love so it's all good. Thanks so much for your support, and please, if you loved my book, tell a friend. Word of mouth is the best advertising a writer can get!
Until Next Time,
Friday, September 9, 2011
This week I have obtained a new author group, in the vibrant CoffeeTime Romance and More forums. Look to the right of your screen and you'll see the clickable button, at the top of the side bar, that'll take you right to it. I'd be much obliged if you joined the forums and joined in on the fun! I'm giving away free gifts to the first ten members of the group, so don't miss your chance!
In other news, I received my proof copy of the print version of Embrace the Night. It's beautiful, I must say. The cover and interior look right nice. There are a few minor formatting errors, which I'll take care of. Don't ya'll fret none, as we say in the South. I'll have it all straightened out in time for release day.
Next on the agenda is getting the Kindle and Nook versions set up and loaded, I should have that done by weeks' end. I'll also have a pdf version, which I'll burn to discs. However you prefer to read, I should be able to accommodate you.
Well, I'm off to reformat. See ya'll later!
Until Next Time,
Thursday, September 1, 2011
So, I've finished Embrace the Night, and gotten it back from my editor. I'll be making a few last minute corrections and polishing it for release on September 29th.
Alas, there were no takers on last weeks' contest. No one wanted to admit to being embarrassed, which I suppose I can understand. Sheesh, I told my story. Come on, people.
Anyhow, I've recently enlisted the services of Ms. Denita Tuttle over Author Island, and I'm sure she will have a fabulous contest plan. When details are released, I will post them here.
Meanwhile, try not to burst as you wait for September 29th to roll around, LOL. I have several appearances coming up, both online and in person. My calendar is filling fast...and I'm trying to work around a dreaded appointment with an oral surgeon to have wisdom teeth extracted. Have I mentioned my absolute terror about that? Yeah, I may be grown, but I. am. terrified.
Look for me on release day at the CoffeeTime Romance and more e-loop, where I'll be chatting from 7-9 eastern. Also, I'll be blogging on October 8th at the CTR Blog.
If you're in North Carolina, I'll be signing books from 4-5 at the Sheraton Imperial in RTP; and the illustrious Cherry Adair will be there, as well as some talented bestselling authors from my local RWA chapter. More details on that as I get them.
So, hang in there. Embrace the Night is coming soon!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Those of you who've read Darkness Rising know it starts off with a pretty rough night for the heroine, Lalah Norris. If you haven't read it yet, I'll give you the first couple of lines so you get the picture.
"Lalah awoke in a pool of cold, sticky blood. Her clothes clung to her like a slime second skin, the metallic scent invading her nostrils."
As you can see, Lalah wasn't exactly headed for a stroll down the primrose path.
Anyway, I'd love to hear from you about a rough night you've experienced. College shenanigans, public embarrassment, and faux pas of all kinds are welcome. Just keep it PG, please. From the comments posted, I'll pick the most compelling or funniest story, and that lucky reader will receive a reader swag bag, including a free autographed copy of Darkness Rising and some other goodies!
I'll start it off by telling my own embarrassing tale. When I was in my freshman year of college at St. Augustine's in Raleigh, I was walking with a friend to be inducted into a national honor society. I was wearing a mint green suit, just for the occasion, high heeled shoes( anyone who knows me will tell you I rarely wear heels), and perfectly coiffed hair. Well, as my friend and I passed by a boy's dormitory, a huge black trash bag filled with water was dropped on us from the third floor of the dorm. Needless to say, I went nuts and charged in there, brandishing a shoe. Luckily my friend dragged me away, and we went to the ceremony, damp, but determined to celebrate our academic accomplishments.
So share your pain. After all, we've all been there. I'll choose a winner from the comments and notify them no later than August 31st, and I'll also announce it here on the blog.
Until Next Time,
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
This week, I'll be releasing Under the Winter Moon. It's young adult paranormal fiction, and it's a short story. Josephine Lewis, the main character, is a child coming of age at the dawn of the 1980s, in Mississippi. The story is rated PG, so it's fine for all my regular readers plus some newer, younger ones. It will be available on Kindle soon for a mere 99 cents. Just a little something to hold you over until Embrace the Night comes out.
Here's a little sneak peak at Under the Winter Moon.
Mama’s flouncy blue skirts rustled beneath her red cherry print apron as she hustled around the kitchen, trays of food balanced in each hand. Her brown skin glowed under the dim light, from the Vaseline she used to combat dryness. Stopping for a moment, she placed her hands on her hips and stared at me with steely eyes.
“Girl, if you don’t stop staring and help me, I’ll pop you good.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I stood from my spot on the peeling linoleum floor, straightening my own dress. I may have only been eight, but I knew Mama was serious. “What do you want me to do?”
“Well, you can start by sweeping the floor, then dust my knickknacks. And be quick about it,” Mama huffed as she thrust the broom into my hand. “I want you to finish before the New Year come and go.”
It was New Year’s Eve, 1980. The New Year would be upon us in a matter of hours, and Mama wasn’t about to lose her reputation for throwing the ‘best parties this side of the Mississippi.’ As I swept the old, well worn hardwood floor of our little house on Magnolia Avenue, I gazed out the window through the white lace curtains. It was just after dusk, and the street was nearly empty. I didn’t even realize I had stopped sweeping until Mama’s voice interrupted my reverie.
“Josephine! Child, go outside and sweep off that porch. And don‘t dirty up your party dress.”
That was me. Josephine Lewis. Mama named me after Josephine Baker, a woman she greatly admired. As I zipped up my winter coat and stepped out into the chill of the December night, I knew something was different. Not necessarily wrong, just different. I also knew that if I didn’t do what Mama had asked, I’d be in deep trouble. Just as I started to sweep at the far corner of our rickety old porch, I saw something. It was nothing more than a glimmer in the corner of my eye. But since there was no streetlight in our side yard, it was out of place. Cautiously, I leaned over the rail and gazed into the darkness on the side of the house. Again, I saw it; just a brief flicker of light, like a match had been lit and immediately extinguished. Intrigued, I jumped off the porch, broom in hand, and walked cautiously toward what I’d seen.
“Hello?” I called out into the darkness, my voice barely above a whisper. “Is anybody there?”
No answer came. A cold breeze swept through the trees around me, causing their branches to sway and dance. Then, directly in front of me, I saw the flicker of light again. This time, it grew in size, burning and widening right before my eyes, until it took shape.
It was the shape of a person.
Until Next Time,
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
As promised, here is the conclusion of my short story, Prelude to Darkness. "Prelude" is actually a prequel to the events of Darkness Rising, the first in Alexandra Kane's PHOENIX Files series. I intended to post it sooner, but I've been hard at work on the second book in the series, Embrace the Night. Look out for that September 29th.
So, here it is: the exciting conclusion of Prelude to Darkness.
Prelude To Darkness: Part 2
The next morning, an intense, heavy banging on the front door shocked Lalah out of her sleep. She scrambled out of bed and into a red robe, then rushed from her room to determine the cause of the commotion.
As she joined her sisters, already leaning against the bannister on the second floor landing, they exchanged looks of confusion. Cole, his face a mask of anger and irritation, stalked by them, with their father's rifle in his hand. Shirtless and clad in a pair of gray sweatpants and slippers, he could be going downstairs for coffee. But the weapon he clutched and the expression on his face told a different story.
Arriving at the front door, he roared, “Who's out there, banging on the door like the damn sheriff?”
From the other side of the door came a shouted reply. “Watch your tone, boy! It's your uncle Bernard!”
He briefly turned back to look at them and roll his eyes, then he propped the gun against the wall and opened the door.
The wide framed Uncle Bernard stalked in a moment later, with his wife Rachel and teenage daughter Roxanne trailing behind him. Lalah waved at her favorite cousin, and she waved back timidly. Once they were inside, Cole shut the door and leaned against it, arms folded.
Faye frowned. “Uncle Bernard, why in the world are you here so early, with all that noise?”
“Shut your yap, Faye. You know why I'm here.” The old man's brows furrowed so deeply they became one.
Rachel, her petite form perched on the arm of the sofa, tried to calm her husband. “Bernard, let's be reasonable.”
“Reasonable!” Bernard was shouting now. “You think it was reasonable for my brother to pass the leadership of this pack to a woman?”
Lalah stared, trying to process what she was hearing. Could her uncle really be a big enough asshole to come here, the day after they buried her father, and yell at her mother?
Cole's eyes were blazing by now. “It's disrespectful to insult the dead, Uncle Bernard.”
Bernard got very close to his nephew, thrusting his face forward. “Oh, is that so? And what are you gonna do about it, young buck?”
A low, growling sound behind Lalah made her turn away from the scene on the lower floor.
Her mother advanced from her bedroom, taking slow, deliberate steps. Ruby Norris' did not look happy. Fangs bared, she stood at the top of the staircase, her arms folded. “I'm not gonna have you disrespecting my family in my house, Bernard.” Her voice was as sure and steady as ever.
When he heard his name, he turned toward his sister in law. “I'll ask you the same question I asked your boy, Ruby. What are you gonna do about --”
Before he could finish his statement, Ruby took a single, powerful leap, landing with a thump on her slipper covered feet, directly in front of where Bernard stood. She reached up, as he was several inches taller than her, and grabbed both his ears, pulling his head down until their faces were level to each other.
Lalah had seen her father do that before. It was a panthera power play, used by alphas to demand respect from pack members.
“Bernard, I'm only going to say this once. Coles' will left me the leadership of this pack. I intend to serve because it was my husbands' wish. Obviously I love him more than you.”
He opened his mouth, but quickly closed it when Mama growled again.
“If you can't accept me as alpha, you are welcome to leave the pack.”
She released her hold on him, and Bernard stumbled backwards. His face was a mask of shock and anger.
“I'll never accept a female alpha!” he shouted, backing toward the door. “Come on Rachel, Rox. We're leaving.”
“Where are we going, Daddy?” Roxanne looked at her father with pleading eyes.
“Wherever I say! Now let's go!”
Cole moved away from the door to let them out, and Bernard pulled his daughter along behind him, even as she wept.
In the threshold, Rachel turned back. “I'm sorry about this, Ruby.”
Mama nodded, and then Rachel left hurriedly to catch up with her family.
Flopping down on the couch, Mama rubbed a hand over her forehead. “I can't believe what a hothead your uncle is.”
“You showed him who's in charge, Mama,” Faye called, making her way downstairs.
Lalah shook her head, wondering if she'd ever see her cousin and aunt again. Uncle Bernard, she could do without, but she loved Rachel and Rox.
With no answer to the question in her mind, she wandered downstairs to fix breakfast.
Dramatic, huh? I'll be back soon with more info on Embrace the Night. In the meantime, stay cool and keep it classy.
Until Next Week,
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
So, I'm off on a new blogging adventure. My last blog was just Kianna's, so now that Alexandra's come out, it was time for a change.
Anyway, my first Alexandra Kane release, Darkness Rising: PHOENIX Files Book 1, is available now. Yes, right now, in print, for Nook, and for Kindle. It's a tale taking place in Fayetteville, North Carolina, an area rarely visited by novelist. The heroine, Lalah Norris, is a black woman who can shift into a panther, and the hero, Junjie, is a Chinese-American man who can shift into...well, just about anything. Intrigued? I'd hoped so. Be sure to swing by Amazon or bn. com to pick it up.
Some curiosity was expressed to me by readers about the events leading up to the story told in Darkness Rising. And so,to answer some of those burning questions, I will present, in two parts, a short prequel called Prelude to Darkness. Part 1 is below, and part two will follow this time next week.
Until then, happy reading!
Prelude to Darkness
Lalah Norris bowed her head low, brushing away the fat teardrops falling from her eyes. Behind her, the sun was dipping low on the horizon, heralding the end of a solemn day.
Before her, her mother wept openly over the fresh earth that covered her father's casket.
The service had ended a few hours ago, and they were the only two remaining at the graveside of Cole Norris, Sr. Even her siblings, older brother Cole Jr., and younger sisters Faye and Cordelia, were gone home. Lalah remained, because she didn't want to leave her mother alone at a time like this.
As she stood a few feet behind Ruby, all she could see was the back of her long, white dress and wide brimmed hat. But she could clearly hear the echoing sobs, and each time she thought she might stop crying, her mother's anguish started the flow of tears anew.
When she thought she could bear no more sadness, she approached her mother, wrapping gentle hands around her shoulders. “It's time to go, Mama.” Her voice was as soft as her heart for the woman who'd reared her with love and wisdom.
Ruby looked up at her, eyes red rimmed and swollen from crying. For a moment, she looked as if she would protest. Then, an expression of resignation crossed her face. “Okay, baby.”
On the heels of her whispered words, she escorted her mother to the waiting sedan. Once inside the black leather interior of the car, they held each other for the duration of the ride home. When they arrived at the big house, she found her siblings there, waiting for them.
Cole took his mother's hand as soon as she stepped into the house. “Come on upstairs, Mama. The bed is freshly changed for you.”
Cordelia, holding her infant daughter against the shoulder of her own white dress, nodded in agreement. “He's right, Mama. You need your rest.”
As Cole led Ruby toward the staircase, thirteen year old Faye wiped her hands over her face, as if to hide the fact she'd been crying. “You need something, Mama? Want me to bring you some water?”
Ruby nodded. “Might replace some of the fluid I lost today.” With a light chuckle, she turned and let her only son lead her upstairs.
As soon as they were gone, Cordelia asked, “Lalah, why'd you let Mama stay by the grave so long?”
Lalah rolled her eyes. “What was I supposed to do, Delia, shoo her away? Mama's grieving the man she spent the last twenty years with, and she's got to do it her way.”
Cordelia made a face. “If you say so.” She resumed patting the baby's back, until the child responded with a resounding burp. “I'm just glad Daddy got to see his first grandchild.”
Silence settled in the room for a moment as the three young women thought back on the kind of man Cole Sr. had been.
“Well, I've got to get the baby to bed, so I'm going up to my room. With Micah out of town on business, I can stay here and help out with Mama.” Cordelia gathered the baby's supplies and made her way upstairs to the guest room she usually slept in when she visited.
Lalah looked at Faye, her youngest sister, and the baby of the family. Her brown eyes were filled with a mixture of fear and sadness. She looked so stricken, Lalah felt compelled to say something. “Everything will be alright, Faye.”
She gazed up at her. “I know, Lalah. But right now I just miss Daddy so much.” An errant tear slid down her cheek, and her hot pink painted fingertips dashed it away just as quickly.
Sitting down on the couch next to her, she held her baby sister close.
After they'd been sitting there a few moments, saying nothing, their brother's voice echoed above them. “Mom's in bed, and I'm turning in, too.”
They sat there a little longer, then the two sisters went to their own beds to rest from an emotionally trying day.