Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Welcome Nia Shay

Today we're hosting, author Nia Shay for CBLS Promotions. One lucky commenter will receive a free copy of Nia's new book, Dark Angel's Ward.

Title:  Dark Angel's Ward (Angel Warden Series, Book 1)

Author:  Nia Shay

Publisher:  Self (Moonwild Press)

Length:  80,000 words

Sub-Genres:  Contemporary, M/F, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy



Two years ago, Jandra Maxwell walked away from the secret Fairlight Society and started a new life in a quiet Texas town. When her former Ward, the dark angel Zeph, seeks her out and begs for her help, Jandra faces an impossible choice. She knows he can only offer her heartache, but she can’t turn her back on the only man she’s ever loved.
Zeph teeters on the brink of madness, pummeled by emotions his angelic blood once rendered him incapable of feeling. Driven to protect Jandra from a threat he can only glimpse in nightmares, he refuses to leave her side. As they explore the mystery of his recurring dreams, they discover the Fairlight Society has been keeping a terrible secret – one they’ll kill to protect.
Fighting for her life isn’t so easy when Jandra’s also fighting her heart. Her inexorable attraction to Zeph may save them...or may damn them both.



“Sound and fury,” I murmured aloud.
I didn’t repeat it; he probably wouldn’t have understood even if I had. Ever since I’d read that phrase in Macbeth I’d always associated it with this feeling. It was one thing to be selectively psychic – at least the only thoughts I usually heard were Zeph’s. But when he and I were truly joined, not just in body or in mind but in the very essence of our beings, I got a taste of what it was really like to be half angel. And I hated it. I couldn’t fathom how to cope with hearing the thoughts and prayers of half the damn city. Except maybe by dissociating large portions of my personality, like he had. Zeph’s mind could be a scary place.
“Jandra? Are you sure you’re all right?”
I dragged my attention back to the matter at hand. “I told you, yes.”
That seemed to satisfy him. At least he didn’t argue with me anymore. His fingertips brushed the side of my face. “Thank you.”
“Whatever.” I raised bleary eyes just in time to see his mouth descending on mine.
Our lips met before I could stop him, and once I felt his warmth I couldn’t quite bring myself to complain. I ended up moaning into his mouth instead of pulling away. Encouraged, he brushed his tongue across my lower lip, his hands stroking upward over my belly.
My body remembered this – his embrace, his touch. As I arched my back in unbidden reaction, he cupped my breasts, his long fingers splayed and caressing. I gasped, feeling his surge of fierce enjoyment as the pleasure he wrought in my body echoed through his own.
Which was just the reminder I needed. I wrenched away from him, hissing, “You are not allowed to touch me that way!”
“I can’t help it.” Zeph’s eyes were violet fire. “When you feel me and I feel you … how am I to resist?”
“Here’s a suggestion: how about going away and leaving me alone for the rest of my life? Wasn’t that the plan?”
He sighed, his gaze going distant. “I released you because you begged it of me, Jandra. Not because I desired it. Your pain was crushing us, and you couldn’t seem to heal while you were with me. But now you have healed. You are whole again, and strong.”
“So you’ve come to break me all over again?” I accused.
“I’ve no intention of hurting you.” He reached for me, but I evaded him. Instead, he pinned me with his gaze as he spoke his greatest lie. “I love you, Jandra.”
“No you don’t!” I shrieked, balling up a fist and darting forward to punch him in the chest. “You do not love anyone or anything. You are not capable of it!”
“Perhaps that’s true,” he said calmly, enfolding my fist in one large hand. “Or perhaps your love has changed me.”
The tears came as hot and fast as the resonance of his soul had, and they burned just as deeply. “I never loved you.”
He said nothing, merely released me and retreated to the doorway while I wept. As my sobs faded into racking gasps, he cast me a long look and muttered, “Yet I am the one reviled as a thief of souls.”



Nia Shay is a reclusive weirdo who lives in a tiny concrete box in the middle of the Arizona desert. (No, seriously.)  In between dealing with mild OCD and an epic caffeine addiction, she finds time to mold the voices in her head into cohesive sarcastic remarks, and sometimes even a story or two. She has been penning such tales, almost all of them with a decidedly paranormal flavor, since the second grade. Now that paranormal fiction is the "in thing," Nia has decided to overcome her extreme distaste for trends and jump on the ol' bandwagon. Join her on her harrowing journey through the twisted corridors of her own mind—that is…if you dare.

Good luck, readers! Thank you Nia, for being our guest today. Remember, leave a comment today on this blog for the chance to win a free PDF copy of Dark Angel's Ward. If you share on your FB page or Tweet this post, you can win additional chances.

For the remainder of the blog hop and links to other sites for giveaways and author interviews/reviews, please go to:

Sharon Hamilton

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A-Z Blog Challenge

I've decided to choose a theme this year in the A-Z Blog Challenge, which starts April lst and goes the entire month, or until we get to letter 26. This will be the second year I have done it. I met some wonderful people last year. This year the group is about twice as large.

My new theme? GRATITUDE.

I've had a real blessing over the past three years. My good writing coach/friend, Kristen Lamb has reminded me in her workshops and posts the value of sharp pointy objects and sharp people--who then smooth and shape us, polish us into the jewels we become.

As I sit and write this, I know some day I will be a well known author. Right now, I work at other things until this dream can be realized. But the wandering garden path that looks so enticing comes up for me each day when I awaken. By the end of the day, I've seen garages and boxes of stuff, closing statements, bills, attorney memos, banks and title companies, inspection companies and reports, office meetings, happy people, upset people, traffic and frustrations of all species. It's a bit of a challenge to remember that lovely bucolic path I took in my dreams, during my quiet time, in the morning. Even quieter now that I have sent my chickens off to a better place for them. And for me.

I read a prayer a few Sundays ago in church which sums it up for me:

We confess the daily bread you give us is seldom enough to satisfy our indulgent appetites. Our craving for recognition and significance causes us to ignore the needs of our neighbors. Forgive our lip-service in worship when our actions beyond this sanctuary do not honor you. Renew us by your grace and remind us what it cost, that we might live in humble gratitude for Christ.

I'm not going to make this a religious experience or blog. One could substitute several words in the above prayer and it would apply to other religions or philosophies, and let me make sure to say that my way is by no means the right way. Afterall, I've said it before, I'm a Christian with a bent antennae. The passion with which we get to live and love has me falling down on my knees with gratitude. And to be blessed with the gift of storyteller, is one of the best gifts a person could receive.

And like the Bible stories, the gifts sometimes come at a terrible price. It's always darkest just before the light of a new day. In our stories, the black moment comes right before the resolution. And like in our romance novels, the Happily Ever After is always there, delivering the promise, perhaps not giving us what we want, but what we need.

I'm going to do 30 days of gratitude, one day at a time, starting April lst. I will humbly walk the path and would love to have your company.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Being Thankful for What I Do Have

A much wiser person than me said one time, "Don't compare your insides with someone else's outsides." I have to remind myself about this all the time. Isn't it interesting, then, that I should pick careers that are highly dependent on what other people think: writer and Realtor?

Selling real estate for 25 years has taught me how to listen to what other people want, not what they say they want. Get the big picture. Be of service where they really need me. I tell my clients they could buy a better friend. But as far as getting the job done? I can definitely be counted on to tell them the truth. In an industry where people are often legends in their own mind, I became very successful because I tried to focus on the truth, not the fluff, the fantasy.

I even had rubber stamps made. One was a castle from one of the Disney brochures. Underneath it is the word Fantasyland. I'd stamp that in red on the lists of homes for sale, without offers. The other stamp said Reality, and it was a picture of a home with a sold sign across it. I would stamp that in green across the solds. Fantasyland or Reality?

Some days I want the Fantasyland, no question. I recently posted to my FB page the following:

There are definitely days when there is too much reality for me. Time for a good fantasy book, a spicy paranormal romance with characters I can fall in love with. Enough checking the stats on Amazon, checking other writer's stats on Amazon. I forget that not everyone can pop to the top of the charts with their first or second or even third book. I forget some days that the success lies in the words I write every day, not the checking my stats for what I don't have. No one writes like me. No one sold real estate like me, either.

One time I drove home from a very successful day. I had listed two homes, sold one and closed one. In the lingo of agents, it was a 4-deal day. I was on cloud 9. Until I drove past a home with someone else's sign in the front yard. I had thought they were my clients. But obviously, they thought otherwise. That yard sign stuck like a spear through my middle. Cursing and slapping the steering wheel all the way home, I am certain I made my family miserable. My husband reminded me, "What are you doing? You had a really great day!"

And he was right.

I've learned that I get to doubting things when I forget all the blessings in my life. I start focusing on what I don't have instead of what I do have. I have four wonderful children and 3.5 grandchildren. All healthy. All doing things they love. And despite my lapses in judgement, we've managed to have relationships I'm proud of. Adult relationships. I have the love of my life who has been by my side for over 40 years now. Who likes to read especially my spicy parts and believes in me.

Now how could stats on Amazon or Barnes and Noble ever compete with those things? Only if I let them.