Friday, January 24, 2014

Guest post, Loni Townsend

Profiling Characters with Music


It started when Shakira's Whenever, Wherever poured from my headphones and into my brain. The scene came alive in my imagination, and I knew that song embodied my character.


Granted, not everything fit. My character, Derek, is male. Some of the physical attributes Shakira sings about just don't apply. But the passion, surety, and obsession? Totally.


That doesn't always translate out onto paper while I'm writing. But it lingers there, in the back of my mind, shaping my character and waiting to come out.


Does that ever happen to you?


Some songs click, and my characters take on deeper dimensions. Or maybe a new character flares to life. My self-aware military commander, Cameron, has a bit of a thing for a girl. The songs Next Contestant by Nickelback and In the Next Room by Neon Trees fit him in my mind. But Some Nights by fun. also made the list. A different character, Kaio, would do anything for his brother. He's associated with You're Gonna Go Far Kid by Offspring. MaTisha can be a bit controlling and demanding. You and I by Lady GaGa added a bit of a playful side to her in my mind.


My debut novel, Thanmir War, oddly has the shortest playlist out of all my stories. In addition to the songs listed above, there is:

·         Why Don't You and I by Santana, featuring Chad Kroeger 

·         Devil's Dance Floor by Flogging Molly

·         ET (Album version) by Katy Perry

·         Psycho by Puddle of Mudd

·         Smooth by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas




Here is the YouTube playlist for your listening enjoyment:



What about you? Do you have music that moves you to write?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blog hop with Kelly Martin

I'm taking a break from my Idaho Writes month for an amazing author and her new release!


If Shane Davis had it to do over again, he wouldn't have gone out that night. He wouldn't have burned down the church. And he sure wouldn't have taken the annoying dead girl home with him.

Now that Shane has her, he has no idea what to do with her. He can't release her into the "wild" because people will recognize her (being a hundred and fifty year old town 'legend' will do that). He can't send her away because she can't take care of herself yet. And she can't stay because if people find her, they'll know he burned the church. Being eighteen now, Shane definitely doesn't want that fact coming out.

Unbeknownst to Shane, someone has figured out the girl's secret and will do anything to get it for himself... even kill the girl who isn't so immortal after all.


Shane jumped to his knees, but Lizzie grabbed his arm to keep him from attacking Drake. She wasn’t worth it.

Shane looked down at her, his face hard. “He needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.”

Lizzie opened her mouth to speak, but Drake beat her to it. “And I bet you are the one to teach me, right, Davis?”

“Shut up,” Cheyenne said, stepping in front of Drake. “You two just cool it. You’re acting like children.”

“He started it.” Drake sat back down on the rolling chair in a huff. He ran his hands thought his hair and sighed.

Lizzie tugged on Shane’s arm to pull him down to her. He complied, but didn’t seem pleased about it. He wrapped his fingers around hers, holding her hand. If Lizzie’s heart could beat, it would have beat out of her chest. Even though he was holding her hand, he kept his eyes on Drake and Cheyenne. Lizzie wasn’t even sure he knew he was holding her hand, but Lizzie knew and she didn’t try to let go.

Buy Links:


Kelly Martin is a bestselling author of four young adult/Christian novels: Crossing the Deep, Saint Sloan, The Deception of Devin Miller, and Big is Beautiful. Saving Sloan, the Saint Sloan sequel, will come out in early 2014. The first of the Hindsight series, Out of the Blue, comes out in February 2014.

My Links:

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Amazon Reviews:

"...It's been quite awhile that I have picked up a book that I didn't want to put down! Once again you have outdone yourself Kelly!

The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe is about 2 teenagers from 2 different Centuries with two different sets of beliefs. Set in a small local Tennessee Town, Lizzie is an innocent girl, and a local legend, who is a devout believer from the 1800's and Shane Davis is a child of the current century who has had,what some would call a rough life, and doesn't believe in anyone or anything. Brought together by one deliberate act of arson, the two are brought together to teach each other that life isn't always as bad as you perceive it to be.

Is there more to the legend of "Lonely Lizzie" than what Shane has learned from a 2nd grade field trip and tales spun through out the centuries?

Is it fate or some sort of Black Magic? Are they star crossed lovers? Or just two lost and lonely souls meant to meet at this particular place and time to teach each other that there is more to life than what you feel at the moment you chose to do something you may find yourself regretting forever? Is the destiny you chose for yourself in that one moment of hurt,sadness or anger, the destiny chosen for you for all eternity?." Gina, Amazon


"Oh Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. You had me a bit skeptical with this one. An dead girl who isn't actually dead after 150 years?! I've read my share of paranormal stories...some good and some not so good. You got me with this one though.

How the symmetry of events in this book went from one instance the next was perfect. And the last half of the book literally had me parked on the couch with my heating blanket unable to move until I finished. And let's not even get into the twists in the book...just wow.

I want to say so much, but I won't for fear of spoiling some major 'oohs' and 'ahhs' and 'ohemgees' in this book..." DMC, Amazon

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Q&A with Rick Just about his book, Blood Anjels

1. Who is your favorite character from Blood Anjels and why?

My favorite character is Lasa, the heroine. Secondary characters from a couple of my other books would rank as favorites of mine, but in this case it is the lead. Lasa is discovering herself in so many ways. She is honing her skills as a hunter, becoming proficient at aerial acrobatics, and finding her first love.

2. When did you come up with the idea for the story?

Around Christmas, 2012. I’m an artist as well as a writer. I had been doing a series of mixed media angels made from exotic woods and distressed copper. Those creations are nothing like the angels of myth and religion. I wanted to create a world for them. One morning the opening images for Blood Anjels came to me in that moment we relish between sleep and being fully awake.

3. It’s the New Year, what would the main character’s New Year’s resolution be?

She would resolve to live.

4. What sets Blood Anjels apart from the other angel novels on the market?

Mainly, the book draws next to nothing from popular mythology. Tacking wings on a human to make an angel always seemed preposterous to my scientific mind. The complexity of the musculature would make that nearly impossible, not to mention the enormous wingspread such a creature would have. The angels familiar to most people depend on the supernatural for their ability to fly. What a wonderful ability. I wanted to create a people who could fly because they evolved that way. My anjels are the apex predator of their world. They have a well-developed religion that resembles Christianity not in the least.

5. Is Blood Anjels a stand-alone novel, or a series?

I wrote Blood Anjels, which is an adult novel, as a stand-alone. I also wrote my first YA novel, Wizard Chase, as a stand-alone. It became a trilogy. I may come back to the world of Blood Anjels, someday, but I have two books in cue ahead of that. My next YA book, The Crappy Used Diary, should be out in the spring or early summer. My next adult book, Dog Run, should be ready in the fall. 

Visit my author page at
my book blog at  
and my website at 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Q&A with the lovely Debey Sklenar

Knue who Slew the Dragon.



Q – Who is your favorite character from Knue and why?

A – Princess Eve. She's not afraid to do things her way, and she's very intelligent. Even the dragon in the story can't help but like her. Princess Eve is a very strong character, and I personally like strong female characters. I also like that she is not afraid to speak her mind and let her dislike of Uctus be known.

Q – When did you come up with the idea for the story?

A – Over a decade ago, and I must confess, another part of this trilogy—Love and Absinth—was really written first. Knue who Slew the Dragon actually grew out of that story. Princess Eve appears in Love and Absinth, and she (along with a couple of other characters) just sort of demanded to have their stories told. When they were complete, I sent them out to a few different agents, but fairy tales weren't in vogue at the time, so I just shoved them to the side and began working on other things. With the revolution in publishing that e-readers brought, in combination with the fairy tale genre becoming more popular, I thought I may as well dredge them back up, re-edit and proof them, and send them off into the world.

Q – It's the New Year, what would the main character's New Year's resolution be?

A – Great question! Knue is a character that is very unsure of himself. He does have courage, but doesn't believe he does. His New Year's resolution would be to emulate the courageous knights of the Continent. Hey, what a coincidence! That's exactly what he learns to do in the story!

Q – If you were to bump into your main character, would you find them at a concert, clothing shop, or book store?

A – Clothing shop!  :)  As mentioned above, Knue lacks self-confidence. He definitely wants to appear self-assured, even if he doesn't feel that way inside. In the tale, he actually wishes for different clothes as he heads out to follow the princess' plan. But maybe I've said too much . . . .

Q – Is Knue a stand-alone novel, or a series?

A – Both. Okay, I suppose I should explain a bit. Knue who Slew the Dragon was written with the intent to be able to stand alone. That said, however, it was also very much written in combination with two other fairy tales. The characters of each overlap, so that the two major characters from Knue who Slew the Dragon—Knue and Princess Eve—also show up in each of the other two tales. Each of the three tales were written in this way, so that you can find the two main characters from Love and Absinth in Knue too, and likewise with the final fairy tale, Sycorax and the Sorcerer.


And if I might stretch your imagination for a moment, watch out for time in the trilogy. Each story runs along its' own timeline, but if you compare the three tales to each other, you will find that time is not a chronological line. This was done to sort of question our concept of time. The same with certain overlapping scenes. In one tale, you might think you know what's going on, but another tale might have a very different viewpoint, and significance, for that identical event. This was done to question our perception of reality, and where better to do that than in a fairy tale?


I would like to point out once again, however, that these tales are each written with the ability to stand alone. So if you just want to read a charming, classical-style fairy tale, Knue who Slew the Dragon might be a good place to start.


Thank You, Cyndi, for having me on first100pages! I look forward to reading your blog to see what my fellow Idaho Authors are up to during the month of January, as well!

More info and buy links:

She plans to have "Knue" free on Amazon on Friday, January 24th. She also plans to have "Love and Absinth" free on Friday, February 14th. She is hoping to get "Sycorax" ready to go before the end of January. So be sure to take advantage of these sale dates and keep an eye out for "Sycorax"!

Buy "Knue":

Friday, January 10, 2014

Q&A with Bestselling author, Leah Sanders

1.         Who is your favorite character from Taming Wilde and why?
Taming Wilde is the third book in the Waltzing with the Wallflower trilogy I wrote with Rachel Van Dyken. As far as the series goes, I'd have to say my favorite character overall is Bridget. From Taming Wilde, however, I’m going to go with Anthony. That is mainly because he provides the comic relief. He’s been a fun character throughout the series.
2.         When did you come up with the idea for the story?
One day while we were working, Rachel told me that she wanted  me to write a regency with her. I was not overly excited about it at first, because I hadn’t written a regency before. We started brainstorming and came up with the idea for Waltzing with the Wallflower, book one in the trio. Since it was based on twins, it was only natural to write the other twin’s story in Beguiling Bridget. And when that was done, it only seemed fair to write the story of their wingman, Colin Wilde, because he had had such a rough go of it in Beguiling Bridget. I mean, we couldn’t just leave him hanging like that. J
3.         It’s the New Year, what would the main character’s New Year’s resolution be?
There are two main characters in Taming Wilde. Colin Wilde would probably resolve to learn the ropes of his new station and perhaps give his brother-in-law as difficult a time as possible in the process. Gemma Reynolds would likely resolve to be bolder and overcome her obsession with what other people think of her. She did a pretty good job of it in Taming Wilde, but no doubt she still has a ways to go.
4.         If you were to bump into your main character, would you find them at a concert, clothing shop, or book store?
Gemma wouldn’t be caught dead in a book store unless Bridget dragged her into it. It would simply be too horrifying an experience for her. She is a musician though and would likely go to a concert. I would expect to find Wilde there as well, since wherever Gemma goes, he is sure to follow.
5.         Is Taming Wilde a stand-alone novel, or a series?
Taming Wilde is book three in a trilogy. The first book is Waltzing with the Wallflower, featuring Ambrose and Anthony Benson, twin brothers who entertain themselves by performing a Pygmalion of sorts on an unlikely candidate each season.
The second book, Beguiling Bridget, tells Anthony’s story. A bet between the two brothers that he cannot get the wallflower to fall for him. Only this time the wallflower is much more stubborn. And she has no intention of falling for anyone.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Having Fun Yet?

We are a few days into my Idaho Writes month. I hope you're all having as much fun as I am. I know when your average person thinks of an author, they think of New York, of big cities and loft apartments. I live about as far away from a big city as one could get. I chase kids and help my husband grow crops. Heck, just this week I had a baby calf in my laundry room because it was so cold outside and the little lady didn't have a mom to look after her. Never a dull moment around here... at least not to us. Dull no, unglamorous, you bet. But authors can come from anywhere and can be anyone. Who knows, maybe the sixty year old greeter at Wal-Mart has a story in their head that they're just waiting to tell. I wanted to dedicate my blog this month, not only to showing off my state's amazing authors but also to breaking stereotypes. To show the world that anyone, from anywhere can be a successful author.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Q&A Session with Indie Author, Merri Halma

    Greetings, thank you for having me, Cyndi. Indigo Traveler is a spiritual fantasy book for middle readers to adults.

   Xander Veh, a thirteen –years-old, is an Indigo teen who is very intuitive. He’s very telepathic, and often picks up what a person is thinking without meaning to. In another world, called Cura’, a war is brewing. The crow judge who is the unseen guardian of it, is sent to get Xander and bring him there to help them end it.

1. Who is your favorite character from Indigo Traveler and why?

    It is difficult for me to choose a favorite character in the series. If I did, I would say it likely my Minotaur, Donnair, because all he wants to do is sit or stroll around, playing his lyre, writing songs and poetry and entertaining the villagers with his stories. He doesn’t want to fight, but has learned some magic spells that are woven into his stories. My stories are about breaking stereotypes, to find the lovable being deep within.

2. When did you come up with the idea for the story?

    Indigo Traveler started out in 2001 when my son was two years old. He asked me to tell him stories, so I did. The stories evolved from there. I wrote one book based on them, but it is no longer on the market. I’ve been honing this series for quite a while. I’ve started and stopped many plot lines, that I still want to go back to and finish.

3. It’s the New Year, what would the main character’s New Year’s resolution be?

     Xander is not so sure about New Year’s Resolutions. Though, if he had one, it would be to get closer to Sarah, and find a way to get Geoffrey, his griffin from Cura’, to Nampa, Idaho. He also has learned to be careful what he wishes for and not to make wishes while he is with his friend, Milo, who has the ability to make wishes come to reality.

4. What sets Indigo Traveler apart from the other high fantasy novels on the market?

     To my knowledge, there are no other fictional or fantasy books out that have Indigo Children as the heroes. Few people are aware of the special kids; they need to see themselves in stories so they don’t feel so alone.

5. Is Indigo Traveler a stand-alone novel, or a series?

    In all, there will be about three books in this Indigo Traveler series.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New York Times Bestselling Author, Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel is one of the most talented and truly sweet authors I know and to top it off, she's from Idaho! She asked me to feature her awesome new release, Elect. It's part of the Eagle Elite series.

Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will.
In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

You can buy it here:

Here are two others that are not only bestselling books, but novels that you will want to re-read every year!

I'm not your typical girl. I've been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness...until Wes Michels offered to be my light.

I didn't know that time wasn't my ally -- that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer--each moment as it came--but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it's the end, it's only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn't--I wouldn't ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

Buy it here:

"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal ...

Buy it here:

Idaho Author month

Not many of you know that I am from the great state of Idaho. But lucky me, I am. I will be hosting and featuring some local authors this month. I'm very excited to show off some of my state's talented writers. Check out their posts, and if the urge strikes, go buy their books and support a local indie writer.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New coming soon tab

Check out the new coming soon tab for a first look at release dates, covers, and more!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cover Art Promo

If you're in the market for cover art, message me with the promo code NY2014 for 25% of premade or custom cover art! Visit my Facebook page to see all of the premade covers I have to offer.

75$ and under