Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my dragons to yours, hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving weekend with those you love!

Artwork Copywright: Kenny Durkin

I am thankful for you, my readers, who make my job fun. Stay tuned for a fun December, with the 50,000TH Hit Giveaway starting Monday, December 2! ~Mysti

Monday, November 25, 2013

NEW RELEASE & Giveaway: The Blacksmith's Son by Rebecca Thomas

The Blacksmith’s Son

by Rebecca Thomas

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Formats Available In: Digital

Publication Date: November 25th 2013

Captain Quentin Drake returns home after his naval commission ends to find a groom being beaten in the village stables. He refuses to turn a blind eye to the lad's mistreatment and intervenes, taking the lad to his room. Only to discover the a woman.

After Ally Lockwood witnesses an earl committing murder, she fears for her life. She flees his estate and masquerades as a blacksmith’s male apprentice. Her ruse is up when a handsome stranger tending to her wounds disrobes her. Captain Drake lures Ally into believing she can return to life as a woman, but it may draw the killer back on her trail.

Purchase Links:


1835, Liverpool, England

Ally’s steps slowed and she glanced between buildings. Lightning flashed in the distance, temporarily rendering her blind against the black of night. She peered down the street, seeking any signs of movement. Carefully, she set the rifle down to tighten the belt holding up her trousers. She double-checked her cap, making sure no strands of hair fell loose.

After she was positive no one followed her, she picked up her rifle and crept along the stable’s back entrance. An ominous boom of thunder rumbled and a drizzle of rain spit across her cheeks. She paused, lingering in the shadows of the stable, waiting for any sign of people.

She leaned her shoulder against the door, gripping her rifle in one hand and a lantern in the other, and stepped inside. Wariness grazed her spine as she studied each hinged gate along the dirt walkway. Licking the rainwater from her lips, she gazed into the last stall on the right at the colt.

The young sorrel lay on his side, his body thrashing. Terror blazed in his dark brown eyes. He struggled to stand. His back leg was splinted and wrapped and unable to support his weight. Ally set the lantern down beside the colt with trembling hands. A wave of nausea overcame her. She clutched her stomach and willed her nerves to settle.

A spattering of rain sounded on the roof in a low steady hum. She pressed the cool base of the rifle stock against her cheek and hardened her resolve to do what must be done. The metal from the trigger burned into her finger. Gently, she placed the tip of the barrel against the colt’s temple. The colt’s dark eyes widened.

Time stopped.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered in a raspy puff of breath.

She steadied her hold on the rifle.

The colt looked at her as though he understood, as though he’d already forgiven her.
“I can’t do it.” The rifle slipped from her hands. She fell to her knees and retched.
Defeated, she dropped her chin to her chest and cried. How could anyone let an animal suffer so? She had to take him out of his misery. She had to.

A loud crash at the front stable door jolted Ally from her despair. Footsteps followed the screech of gate hinges.

“You there, boy—” The man pointed a slim finger at her. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Her blood turned cold in a jolt of recognition. She knew that face: Harrison Cross, the Earl of Linford. “M—Milord, I was just attending to this colt.”

“You.” A murderous rage flashed in the depths of his ice blue eyes.

She knew those eyes and she prayed he didn’t recognize her.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Rebecca Thomas:

Rebecca Thomas enjoys a love-hate relationship with Alaska. She lives there with her husband and two teen-aged sons where she appreciates all the unique things the last frontier has to offer. When she isn’t reading, writing, or playing board games, she is cheering for her sons at their hockey games and tennis matches.

COMING SOON: Hunter's Assessment by Karyn Pearson

 Hunter’s Assessment

Arcturian Bloodlines Series

by Karyn Pearson

Genre: Paranormal YA

Formats Available In: Digital

Release Date: TBA

 After years of training, they should have been ready for this. It was supposed to be a simple mission: eliminate the vampires and acquire the intel they’re guarding.

Shane Kantor figured that this hunter’s assessment would be like every other test the Hunter’s Society had thrown at him and his squad. But he was wrong. Now Shane might just lose everything: his life, his legacy, and worst of all, her.


            “Hi,” she said, extending a hand. “You’re Shane?”
            “Yeah,” he nodded woodenly, swallowing a lump in his throat as he shook her hand. “So you’re Sophie. My Predictor.”

            “Yep, that’s me.”
            “It’s an honor to have you on my squad.”
            Sophie looked shyly away from him, laughing lightly. “No,” she murmured, shaking her head. “The honor’s all mine. I didn’t know you were the Grandmaster’s son. I feel lucky to have been chosen to be part of your squad.”
            “Yeah, I figure the Grandmaster wouldn’t want to leave her own kid stuck with just anybody,” Troy, the Marksman, agreed. “If it was me, I’d want to have someone like you well-protected. Wouldn’t want the Grandmaster’s son accidentally getting killed from having incompetent squad mates, now would we?”
            Shane frowned. “Let me just make one thing clear, alright?”
            “By all means, go ahead, oh righteous leader,” Troy drawled.
            “Forget that I’m the Grandmaster’s son. I don’t want preferential treatment. I don’t want you all to look at me and see Shane Kantor, son of Nadia Kantor, the Grandmaster and leader of the Hunter’s Society. I just want you to see me as your friend, your comrade. Nothing more, nothing less. We’re all equals here. Understood?”
            “Yes, I understand,” Sophie replied.
            Shane looked to Troy, waiting for his answer.
            The Marksman sighed, nodding reluctantly. “Alright,” he muttered, throwing his hands up in a gesture of half-surrender, half-compliance. “No favorites?”
            “No favorites.” Shane confirmed.
            Troy grinned. “So, Mister Not-the-Grandmaster’s-son, how good are you in a fight?”
            The Dancer’s eyes lit up with amusement as he regarded his new comrade. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

About Karyn Pearson:

Karyn Pearson is the author of Spark (Hellfire Trilogy #1) and full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. Karyn enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters when she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.”

Her current projects include Inferno (Hellfire Trilogy #2) and the first novel of the upcoming vampire series, Arcturian Bloodlines. When she’s not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven’t yet knocked down her front door.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

50,000TH Hit Giveaway UPDATES!

Deadline to submit donations: 

November 29 

Event Launch:

 December 2

As the kick-off of the 50,000TH Hit Giveaway draws ever closer, I wanted to let you know about some changes. Instead of hosting all the books in one long blog post as in previous Hit Giveaways, I'm hosting a separate blog page for each genre. On each page, I'll list all the books and merchandise donated and each listing will use a Rafflecopter form for entering the giveaways. If you're not familiar with Rafflecopter, it's super easy. All you do to enter a giveaway is to complete the "activities" listed, such as liking an author's FB page, following them on Twitter, or commenting on the blog, etc.

With this method, I think it will ensure more networking between authors and readers and will keep readers' private information hidden from public view. Here's an example of what each page will look like. You'll see the books with links to read their blurbs at the top, followed by their covers, followed by the Rafflecopter form.

Here is the tentative schedule:

*Anthologies -Dec. 2
*Sci-Fi/Fantasy - Dec. 3
* Thriller/Horror/Mystery - Dec. 4
*Romance - Dec. 5
*Erotic Romance - Dec. 6
*Children's/Teen/YA - Dec. 7
*Inspirational/Religious - Dec. 8
*Short Stories - Dec. 9
*Non-Fiction - Dec. 10 (Need more of these!!)
*Author Goodies - Dec. 11 (These are just for participating authors!)

**AUTHORS: Read this! There is still time to enter. Here are the EASY Instructions for participating**

If you have books or merchandise you'd like to donate (OR any author services like book cover design, editing, ad space, trial memberships, etc), please send:

*Book title(s)
*Genre (s)
*Book Cover(s)
*Buy Link(s)
*How many & in what format you're offering (e-book, print, etc)
*Any contact links you'd like readers to LIKE or FOLLOW to earn extra entries (ex: your Facebook author page, your website, your blog, Twitter, etc)
*If you are willing to ship any physical prizes OUTSIDE the US/Canada, please say so!

Send this info to with 50,000TH Hit Giveaway in the subject line.

***DO NOT send me your book files or merchandise. I'll send 

all winners to you.*** 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Two Author Essentials: Thick Skin & Blinders

That's a thick skin, in case you're wondering. Unless you're only writing in a notebook you store under your bed, you're likely to encounter criticism. 

If you can't handle it, that's ok. Your under-bed notebook is safe. If you still desire others to read your writing, be prepared for the wild ride ahead.

Deep breaths, ok? Here are a few tips I've learned along the way (and am still learning the hard way).

Before Publication

The critique process is essential to producing readable material. Other sets of eyes on your work is immensely valuable. Not only will critique partners help you write a better story, their differing viewpoints and critique styles will prepare you for what happens after you publish. 

Whether you're in a local writing group or an online one, it will take some time to find the critique partners you mesh with best. After all, you need to be a good fit for their work as well. Once you find your partners, learn to leave the ego at the door and accept their feedback for what it is. Some critiques may prove harsher than others. Resist arguing. Even if you find their critique style to be nails-on-the-chalkboard brutal, they've spent time and effort to read what you wrote and offer feedback, so be respectful enough to accept it gracefully. Learn to take all feedback with an open mind. Look for consistencies. If 2 or 3 people point out the same issues, chances are those are the areas you really need to work on. 

When you've finally polished up that story and survived the submitting process to find it a home...

After Publication

<--You better get a pair of these. Once your writing is made public, it's subject to public scrutiny. And so are you. Basically, the feedback you'll receive will fit into three categories:

1. If you're lucky, most of your reviews will be positive or at least civil and constructive. Thank these readers if you wish. Invite them to future book events, notify them when you release a new title, and be happy to have acquired some true fans of your work.

2. Eventually, chances are you'll get a really critical review, maybe even a downright vicious one. Do not respond at all. At least these readers took the time to read and review your work. They just didn't dig it, and that's cool. Really. Have some chocolate or a beer or cry into your pillow. They're not the readers you're writing for anyway. Remember that even the best-selling books of all time have haters.

3. And then there are the ultra-haters / cyber bullies. These are people who most likely have read nothing you've written, but still target your books with ugly ratings, reviews, and comments. Your only crime may be that you're connected to other authors they already hate or they might hate your book cover or maybe they missed the garbage truck. Who knows? If you dare confront them or their behavior, however, they'll jump on you with claws bared.


The best thing you can do is to distance yourself from them as much as possible. Be very wary of large book-related sites like Goodreads that you can't moderate yourself. List your books and go quietly into the night. Don't interact in groups, don't comment on reviews, and don't link your blog. If you come under fire, block the offending members. Notify the admins if you need to. Otherwise, it's best to just put on your blinders and pretend they don't exist. Stick primarily to sites that give you better control, like personal blogs, Facebook pages, etc.

And most of NOT let criticism keep you from writing. We only fail if we let criticism keep us from doing what we love. Be strong, work hard, and write for those who like what you write! They're the ones that really matter. ~Mysti

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: Walk Into Me by Jill Prand (& Excerpt!)

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Expected date of release: December 2, 2013

I know I will never get over her. Watching her walk away with him ripped my heart out and left it bleeding on the floor. But I can’t hide anymore. I have to face my life without her.

Brad has been in love with Lisa for as long as he can remember. One night years ago they took each other’s virginity but while it was the best night of Brad’s life, for Lisa it was a way to forget about Bobby. Or was it?

Brad re-emerges right when Lisa needs him most. Only Brad knows everything about her and when Lisa’s insecurities come to the surface the shoulder Lisa needs is Brad’s. Now Brad has to decide if he has it in him to trust his heart.

I walk through the door into the crowded house, looks like the gangs all here and then some.  I look around and see all my friends but the person who sees me first is her mom, “Brad! So good to see you,” she hugs me, “Lisa will be so glad you’re here. She’s missed you.”

I don’t know what to say to that. I know that Lisa loves me like a brother but I want so much more with her, “I’ve missed her too.” It’s the truth, staying away has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I even took the boat over to Fire Island for a couple of weeks hiding out at my sister’s summer house. She was not happy about that until I started to fix the outside shower. Now she tells me I can use it anytime I want as long as I fix something each time I’m there. Her husband can’t fix shit, damn Ivy League pretty boy.

I turn back toward the party and suddenly Lisa is in my arms kissing my cheek and holding me tight, “Don’t do that again,” she tells me. “I missed you too much.” She is running her hands over my shoulders and through my hair and if I don’t get her off me soon she will know exactly how much I missed her.

I release her and put my hand in the pocket of my jacket, “Happy Birthday Lisa,” I pull out her gift and hand it to her. She smiles up at me but keeps her hand on my arm like she doesn’t want to let me go. Maybe she does feel more than friendship towards me.  I look into her eyes and hope she can’t see how much I want her.

She looks down at the box in her hand then back up to me, “Do you want me to open this now?”

I want to see her reaction but I don’t want an audience, “No later, after the party.”

“Does that mean you will stay ‘til everyone leaves?” her smile widens.

“If you want me to,” I can’t say no to her, I never could.

Then he comes up behind her pulling her back to him and extending his hand to me, “Brad, good to see you.”

I know he is staking his claim but he doesn’t have to remind me that Lisa is not mine. I have known that for a long time, “Bobby,” I can’t bring myself to say more than his name. I really want to yell at him to get his hands off of her but he has every right to touch her. She is his.

There's still time to read book one of the series:

Watch for it on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple!

I live in Northern New Jersey. I am a wife and mother of two girls. 
I have been an avid reader my whole life, I cannot remember a Sunday afternoon that did not include my parents reading. We had a huge bookshelf in our den with a diverse set of authors like Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Mario Puzo & Danielle Steele. 

I have always had ideas and characters running around my head but it took a few good friends to push me to start putting them down on paper. 

I hope you enjoy my musings. Please feel free to contact me I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Back to Business

To quote one of my favorite lines from the ending of Ever After:
"I want you to know that I will forget you after this moment, and never think of you again..." ~ Drew Barrymore as Danielle de Barbarac
The cyber bullies of Goodreads and beyond can only make you a victim if you let them. They can only steal your joy if you let them. And I have too much joy in my life to let that happen. Truly, I am blessed. The people who really know me know the kind of person I am, and it's not a person full of hatred.

Having been personally exposed to their behavior for a short while already has me exhausted. I'm not sure how anyone keeps running at full throttle on such vileness. Maybe it's like crack after a while--the more you spew, the more you become an addict?

I'm choosing to ignore it and focus on the things I love most. I'm no longer using or recommending Goodreads or other websites that are uncontrolled in terms of moderation. I will continue to post articles on specific ways to protect yourself from cyber bullying from time to time. It's something we as writers really should be aware of, just like we should be aware of drugs and all the other dangers we and our children may face.

As in earlier articles I've written, this will also go down as "Things I've Learned...Usually the Hard Way". Happy reading and writing!


Meanwhile on Goodreads...

This weekend, as I've been spending time with family, reading, writing and basically doing things that actually matter, a heroic effort by a brave few is being carried out. Their mission: to take down high-and-mighty authors one lowly star at a time.

Bravo, Justice League! Bravo! We can all sleep better now, knowing you're out there

Friday, November 15, 2013

V 2.0: What's in a Word?

 It's been brought to my attention by a select few that the "R" word I used in the previous article is not politically correct and might be offensive to those with disabilities. To those truly offended, I apologize. I have family members with disabilities. I have several writing friends who have overcome tremendous disabilities to make their writing dreams come true. I would never mock them, nor any author for that matter. I am a firm believer in authors supporting one another and not the other way around. The objects of my select adjective were those who indeed can control their behaviors, yet choose not to. In this case, I'm referring to internet trolls, as in those on Goodreads and beyond. 

But, since they argued I should use another word in place of the original, here's a new definition for them: 
Hypocrite : a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs. 
This defines every single one of these haters who have attacked me and those I know (at least one of whom has a disability, by the way) with their one-star ratings, ugly shelves, and slanderous articles. There are screenshots showing them using the very same word with zest. I've seen them use much fouler language, but apparently that's fine. No nasty articles are written about them. 

Why? Because they're part of the "pack". They're not the author prey they hunt down on a daily basis. 

No matter how hard they try to spin up a big fiasco about me over an offense they pretend to be shocked and appalled by, I will not cower in fear, I will not stop writing, and I will not stop defending innocent authors and warning them about people who love to hurt others for pleasure. 

Free speech (no matter how much one abuses it) doesn't apply only to a certain few. It applies to us all. If you choose to spread hate and lies about someone, that someone has a right to defend themselves. And defend I will.

Oh, and for the record, this is my mantra

I believe authors and readers alike should be treated with respect. I highly admire and appreciate those who are genuinely interested in reading my work, even if it's not their cup of tea. I have never, nor will ever, criticize an actual reviewer for a negative review. I have never, nor will ever, rate a book I haven't read. I do not appreciate those who use ratings/reviews as a means of spite and disrespect. I am saddened by those who feel differently.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In the Words of the Immortal Mrs. Krabappel....


It's obvious Goodreads is nothing but a big joke in terms of legitimate reviews if you look at rating averages.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have fallen victim to one-starring "carpet bombers", who have obviously NOT read the actual book, but for whatever hypocritical troll reason have decided that book/author deserves their wrath.

As a book reviewer who actually USES Goodreads for reviewing books, I encourage all of you to NOT use Goodreads rating averages to determine whether you will read a book or not. Take a little time and actually scan through the reviews. You can tell easily who are real readers and who are not. All it takes is one click on most one-star reviewers' profiles to see that's what they do. Most have hundreds of ratings to their names with an average between 1-2 stars. Those are NOT readers. Readers actually read and talk about the book. 

I'm pretty sure this is the case with most every review site. Just do your research, people. You can't trust ratings any more than you can trust Obamacare.