Thursday, December 29, 2022

A Little #Christmas Cheer for your eReader! Fire & Ice Christmas by @meganslayer #christmas #Holiday #romance #hotread

 Check out this fun Christmas romp for your holiday pleasure!! 

Fire & Ice Christmas by Megan Slayer Coming Soon $3.99 Sale Price: $3.39

Magic happens at Christmas and Fieren wants to make this one a holiday for the ages.

Holly, mistletoe, big fir trees… plus fire and ice?

When it comes to Christmas, Isla is vital. She’s the water elemental in control of creating Christmas snow and ice. She frosts the windows and adds the perfect bit of snow to the trees. But being a water elemental in control of ice makes romance difficult. She can’t get close to anyone without putting on the big freeze. She needs the perfect man to balance her ice with a little heat.

Enter Fieren. The fire elemental knows she’s his counterpart, but they haven’t always gotten along. This Christmas he’s determined to forge a connection with Isla and make this chance last far beyond the holidays.

Magic happens at Christmas, and Fieren wants to make this one a holiday for the ages.

Buy it Today
Or on:
Apple Books
Barnes & Noble




Copyright ©2022 Megan Slayer

“You have to convince him to play along.” Santa nodded once. “Isla?”

She knew when she’d been summoned to the great ballroom that it was a mistake to answer the summons. She’d had the feeling she’d get conned into doing something. Santa didn’t make requests often, but when he did, they were doozies. This wasn’t going to be easy. Not by a long shot.

“We need him to make the sparkle and crackle for the party.” Santa shook his head. “Isla, you’re the only one who can convince him. He’s sweet on you. I bet he’d bend over backward for you.”

Isla folded her arms. She wasn’t fond of being pushed, but Santa knew how to get to her. Sweet on her. Fieren? Not possible. Bend over backward for her? Not a chance. She crooked her eyebrow. “How do you know this?”

“I’ve talked to him.” Santa rested his hands on his hips. His thick red suit jiggled when he laughed, and the fur pulled tight across his belly. “He tells me all sorts of things. It’s a gift because I’m Santa. Everyone one has a wish.”

“Right. And I’m his wish?” More like he wished she’d go far away. She knew Fieren too well. They might not be enemies -- rivals was a better term for it -- but he wasn’t fond of her.

“You’d be surprised.” Santa’s eyes twinkled. “We need both of you to help with the party. It won’t be Christmas Eve for the elves if there isn’t any fire or snow. That’s your forte. You bring the ice, snow and frost, while Fieren brings the fire. You can do it, and he’ll want to help.”

“Christmas Eve is tomorrow night. That’s a tall order, me conning him into helping. Especially for one night.” She shook her head. “I don’t think it’s feasible.”

A vision of Fieren filled her mind. The man was so annoying. He argued with her, constantly melted her ice, and she swore the flicker in his eyes never left. He went out of his way to make her life miserable. What was worse, he was handsome as hell and knew it. He wore his jet-black hair short on the sides and a little long on top, so it flipped over his brow, giving him a rakish appearance. His dark eyes twinkled, and his cropped moustache and beard added to his attractiveness. He walked with a swagger and wore his clothes tight enough that anyone could see he exercised.

He was sex on legs.

Every girl in Peppermint Valley wanted him, but none had him -- least of all her.

Did she want him?

No. He could take those sexy eyes and muscles somewhere else.

She bit back a groan. No matter how hard she tried, she’d never ignore the fact she did like him. He drove her nuts, but she wanted to get closer to him. Of course, she did…

Santa folded his arms, matching her stance. “Well? Are you going to do it?”

She didn’t want to. She was a proud elemental. An ice princess, of sorts. She flicked her fingers and snow appeared. What did she want with an annoying, know-it-all fire elemental who wore that suit way too well?

“Isla?” Santa tipped his head. “You’re thinking about it. You’re the only one who can create perfect Christmas snow. It’s all you. The ice isn’t as sparkly unless you’re the one who makes it, and the frost you make on the windows is top-notch. You’re my best ice elemental.”

She spied Fieren across the room. He’d shown up, eh? Of course, he had. Probably because Santa had called him. More like Satan… She swept her gaze over Fieren. He’d donned a blood-red suit, complete with a red-and-green plaid vest and his shiny dress shoes. He reminded her of a cross between the devil and a fire god, mixed with a businessman. Her mouth watered. Why did he have to look so good? Why did he have to be so… Fieren?

“Isla?” Santa laughed, and his belly really did jiggle like a bowl full of jelly. “Thank you.”

“I never said I would.” She hadn’t agreed at all.

“I can see it in your eyes. I’ll leave it to you,” Santa said. “I expect to see you both at the party tomorrow -- with the fire and ice.”

She gritted her teeth as Fieren approached. She hadn’t agreed to ask Fieren. Hadn’t even wanted to be around him. But here she was.

“Santa.” Fieren smirked. “I keep telling you we need to have a tropical Christmas this year. Do you know how many people would love that as the theme? The elves could show some skin, we could swim, barbeque, have fruit. It’d be a blast.”

She cleared her throat. Fieren knew she was standing there. He also knew the ways of the cosmos. Christmas meant snow. She made that snow. He had the summer, but she got the winter.

Santa chuckled. “You’re in fine form, Fieren.”

“Why not? It’s a great day for a little heat.” Fieren slid his gaze over to Isla. “You’re here.”

“Yes. I’m here.” She fought the urge to roll her eyes. “We need to speak.”

“What are we doing right now?” Fieren asked. “I’m talking. You’re talking.”

“I’m walking.” Santa waved and left them alone in the ballroom.

Of course, he was. Santa liked to start issues, then leave when they heated up. “Yeah.”

“Why are you so frosty?” Fieren asked. “Oh, wait. You’re an ice elemental. You’re supposed to be.” He laughed. “I crack me up.”


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

End of the Year Rant: I Hate Your Stupid Book by L. A. Kelley


Photo by Selena Koi

End of the Year Rant:
I hate your stupid book.

My spouse and I have an agreement. When either of us has a rotten day, we’re entitled to a five minute rant. It can be over anything, no matter how important or trivial. The boss must be an alien testing earth defenses or why would he have me redo that report five times? The children’s behavior can't come from my side of the family; I never sprinkled glitter on the dog. Why has that cloud been following me all day? The other person must sit still, listening attentively, saying nothing other than nodding encouragement and making appropriately sympathetic sounds. At the end of the five minutes, the ranter is done and feels much better, and the rantee can’t comment on the lunacy of the rant.

I’ve decided you’ve all earned an end of the year rant from me about the things in books as a reader that drive me bat nuts.

 1.      Cliffhangers in an unfinished series.

I like series. I do. I don’t mind when a book hints at the continuation of the story. But don’t get me interested in a book and the final page has the death of the hero or heroine and expect me to wait until you get off your lazy butt and finish the next volume where the person has been miraculously saved. (Yes, this has happened to me—twice.) Not only will I shoot daggers of dark thoughts in your direction, I will never ever read anything else written by you ever again. Not even a shopping list. So there.


2.      Unnecessary deaths

Speaking of deaths, the only reason to kill off a character is to advance the story. That’s it. That’s the ONLY reason. (I’m shouting, in case you didn’t know.) If you kill off a character because, “I have to make the reader feel something” or “It’s an action book and someone has to die” you’re a rotten writer. And what I feel is that I won’t read another of your stupid books again.


3.      Surprise! You’re a daddy.

This works in novels set in the past before social media when a love interest could show up ten years after the fact stupefied to find the ex-girlfriend is his baby momma. Nowadays, you occasionally read of abandoned babies or women with hidden or surprise pregnancies, but it’s rare. Let’s face it, in the electronic age everybody knows everybody’s business. The trope is old and worn out. Consign it to the “Only in Historical Novels" bin.


4.      Names that are wrong for the time period

I don’t care if you love the name Madison, your favorite daughter, aunt, cousin, nephew (I don’t judge) or niece is named Madison and you swore to them all you’d dub the heroine in your historical novel Madison. No one in 1880’s Gilded Age New York City ever had a daughter named Madison. The name didn’t become trendy until after the movie Splash hit the screen a century later. I once started reading a book, came across Gilded Age Madison immediately tossed it aside and struck this author off my reading list forever. Blech. This is just plain laziness. It only takes a few seconds to Google appropriate names.


5.      Glossaries

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not J. R. R. Tolkien. He’s allowed to have glossaries because he was a master linguist and actually invented languages that made sense. You can’t. You’re not that smart. I’m not that smart. However, if you write fantasy or science fiction a few invented words are allowed. That’s part of the fun of writing, but if your book requires a glossary, you’ve just written a rotten book. Nobody wants to go flipping back and forth trying to find what the heck a skylxy is and why it gamborth the flooz nords. Edit that hot mess immediately.


There. That’s it. My five minutes are done. Your turn. I won’t judge even if you sound nuts.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. Her family considers her a ranter extraordinaire.








Thursday, December 22, 2022

What Happened on the Winter Solstice Yesterday? By Tena Stetler


What Happened on the Winter Solstice Yesterday?

For the northern half of Earth (The Northern Hemisphere), the winter solstice occurs annually on December 21 or 22. In 2022, it’s December 21st.  (For the Southern hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs on June 20 or 21) On the day of the winter solstice, we are tilted as far away from the Sun as possible, which means that the Sun's path across the sky is as low in the sky as it can be.

Winter solstice marks the 'rebirth of the Sun' as it marks the shortest day of the year, when we have the least amount of daylight hours. It also marks the increase of daylight hours right up until the Summer Solstice when darkness ascends once again.

Want to Celebrate the Magic of Winter Solstice? Here are four suggestions.

1.     An interesting way to mark Winter Solstice is to celebrate on the eve of the 21st day of December by writing two small notes, one to write about a feature of the year that you want to let go, the second an inspiration or wish to fulfill for the year to come. Sounds kinda like a New Year’s Resolution, but different.

2.     The Druids began a tradition of lighting a Yule log to conquer the darkness, banish dark spirits, and bring luck for the coming year. Sounds good to me. LOL

3.     How about taking a moment to watch the sun rise or set. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face on a crisp winter day (okay the high will be -5F, low of -21F in Colorado brrrr) so this year I will be doing so from the warmth of my home, if the sun can be located.

4.     Light candles or fairy lights to symbolize the increasing daylight. I’m all for longer days and more sunlight.

Another thought is to celebrate with Lathen and Pepper at their Winter Solstice wedding in A Witch’s Holiday Wedding, on sale for a limited time for 99cents. Curl up in front of the warm, crackling fire, with a fresh bowl of popcorn, a steaming mug of hot chocolate and the heartwarming book A Witch’s Holiday Wedding.

What’s the book about you ask? Let me fill you in.

Elemental witch, Pepper McKay and former Navy SEAL, Lathen Quartz have built Lobster Cove Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on enchanted McKay land. During a romantic interlude on Halloween night, Pepper happily agrees to become Lathen’s wife. What better day than Winter Solstice for their wedding in a town that loves celebrations and Christmas. However, planning a wedding and operating their wildlife center takes a toll on both Pepper and Lathen.

 When the couple takes a much-needed break for Thanksgiving with family in Colorado, a Maine snowstorm fills the center with injured wildlife. Lathen finds himself drawn into a covert military mission, while trying to deal with issues concerning friends and family. Pepper wants to cancel the wedding. Is she having second thoughts? Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?

Wishing you a Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

 Hi Everyone,


Today’s post is about being a writer. It's ups and downs and maybe some life hacks.  I see things through my author's eyes, but a lot of this can be applied to life in general.

What have I learned over the years?

Perseverance and patience are needed because writing can be a long process. People ask all the time. When is your book coming out? When it’s done to the best it can, has to be the answer.

Disappointment and rejection happen. We learn what we can from criticism and let the rest go. Each comment teaches me something about writing and myself.

Editing is often frustrating and tedious. There is so much to learn/know. Sometimes painful decisions need to be made with parts of the story or character you love but need to change vastly or eliminate altogether. In a rush of emotion, words pour over the page, often in an unruly fashion. Cohesion and logic take a back seat to growth. Once you step back, the delete key becomes your surgical scalpel and critique partners your nurses. For instance, I love telling this about my husband.

Pete had a love-hate relationship with a Holly bush in front of my house. For years he tried trimming to keep it under control. One day he’d had enough. Grabbing his saw, he went to the ground and cut it down. The funny thing, a couple of weeks later, green sprouted from the stump. Today Pete carefully trims it to keep it from becoming the overpowering entity it once was. The holly today is healthier, and so are the plants around it.

Editing used to be my arch nemesis, but over the years, I’ve come to that same love/hate relationship as Pete and his Holly bush. Sometimes my work is overwrought and drastic steps need to be taken. In the end, though, I’ve found the worth of a worn-out delete button.

Writer’s block can happen, and here are a couple of tricks I’ve used.

Go to the end of your book. Do you know where you want the characters to end up? For instance, a romance usually ends with a happily ever after. Then work backward. What steps does your protagonist need to take to get there?

Get to know your characters. I’m a visual person. As a character develops, I’ll scroll through images of what I believe they look like and put them in my heading. Ask them what they want. What would they do in this particular situation?

Pay attention to your choreography. How do the characters move from one place to another? Since I also write fantasy, there is a play sword in my office. I’ll grab it to play out a scene.

And finally, take care of yourself. I’m guilty of staying at my desk for long periods. Focus is good, but so is life. Get out of the chair and take a short walk. Make time. A brisk ten-minute walk around the block can clear cobwebs. Go out with your significant other or friends. If you’re not living life, how can you write about it?

What are some of the things you use to work your way out of a rut?

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Ho-Ho-Ho! Happy Holidays for Writers! by Elizabeth Alsobrooks


If you are writing a story that takes place in the winter, it doesn’t make much sense to ignore the holiday season. Even if your character doesn’t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza you need to acknowledge that fact and give a reason for it. Maybe their house burned down on Christmas and their family died. That would tell the reader a lot about that character.

Even if you talk about them celebrating a holiday such as Christmas it’s important to give some details about how they celebrate it. Where they live and the size and beliefs of their family have some influence on the character’s traditions, but personality and personal taste figure in it as well.

For example, how do you prepare for and celebrate Christmas? Do you decorate your house inside and out? Perhaps you put up a tree and hang a wreath on the door, or go all out like Tim the Tool Man. Do you open all your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Maybe you only open one on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day. Do you celebrate with friends and family? Who hosts? Why?

Do you host or attend parties? What about office parties? Are they elaborate or intimate? Do you give extravagant gifts? To whom? Do you buy the gifts personally and put a lot of thought into it, or do you farm the chore out to underlings or gift cards? How about your characters? All these details speak to both the character’s lifestyle and personality, so it’s important to make sure they actually fit your character. If not, be sure to explain the anomaly.

Now you and your family of characters have a very Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Blood Moon

I hate following Marilyn's great closeup of TikTok.  Congrats on an interesting and useful post!

My post is not nearly as worthwhile.  It's rather late and I'm tired, so my post will suffer, but here goes.


In this lunar eclipse, the moon is a red-orange shade.  The color is caused by Rayleigh scattering of sunlight through the Earth's atmosphere, refracted light from around Earth.

The first in four consecutive total lunar eclipses, a tetrad, occurred on April 15, 2014.  The second was the Blood Moon I saw on October 8, 2014.  It was quite an experience, and I am very glad I climbed out of bed to witness the spectacle.  The remaining two eclipses took place on April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015.  This tetrad is one of eight during the 21st century AD.

Last century (can you believe we can call the 20th century “last century”?), Mark Biltz predicted that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would occur in the fall of 2015.  The seven years of the great tribulation were to begin in the fall of 2008.   He claimed that the next tetrad would coincide with the Apocalypse. He was wrong, of course.

I read a book called Four Blood Moons by John Hagee.  In April, Hagee’s book was No. 4 on the The New York Times Best Sellers list in the advice category.  Hagee does not preach that the Blood Moons are a sign of the end times but stated in his sermons to his congregation at Cornerstone Church that every prior tetrad of the last 500 years coincided with events in Jewish and Israeli history that were originally tragic followed by triumph.

The proclamations that a "blood moon" serves as an omen of the coming of Jesus is derived from the Book of Joel.  “The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes,” again mentioned during Pentecost by St. Peter, as recorded in Acts.

The only other time I have been this interested in religious lore was when I was researching my book about the angel Lucifer.  Originally titled I, Lucifer, and written in first person from Lucifer’s point of view, it has since been rewritten and is now titled Gylded Wings.  It is was released by The Wild Rose Press.

In my research, I found that the idea Lucifer is the devil comes from this passage in Isaiah 14.12 (New American Standard Bible):  “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!  As I understand it, this was said in a conversation between the King of Mesopotamia and Lucifer, and there is some doubt, in this version, whether the King speaks to Lucifer or Lucifer speaks to the King.

So, this 14th day of December, you have had your dose of Biblical lore. The next Blood Moon occurs on March 14, 2025.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Geezer on the Clock App by Marilyn Barr


I didn't think I was old...until I joined "the clock app."

I’ve learned a lot in my 40+ years on this planet and much of it applies to my adventures on TikTok. Many of my friends thought I lost my marbles when I joined TikTok, claiming our kids are more likely to be on the app than my ideal readers. There is a small corner of the clock app where book lovers congregate and where even the geekiest author can find stardom. Booktok is full of women who love to read. They are looking for new authors, books outside the mainstream favorites, and besties who love books too. Booktokers are so influential that they bamboozled the experts who predicted paperbacks would be obsolete by 2023. They are whale readers (read more than 100 books per year according to Goodreads) who are ravenous for paperback books to make videos, live stream readings, and shelfies (photos and videos of what's on your bookshelf). So how did this geezer find a way to fit in? Here are my TikTok TakeAway Hints:


1.     I kicked off my feed with a video stating I was from Jurassic Park. While I love using the ‘simple makeup’ CGI filter to disguise my inability to put on the goop, there is no hiding my age. I didn’t want to mislead followers into thinking I would be dancing on camera anytime soon. No bikini shots either. My first piece of advice is to have fun with your generation. There are trends corresponding to every age group from Boomers to Gen Z. You just have to find them by searching your hashtag.

Sound and Video effects are property of TikTok

 2.     Make bookish friends before you collect author friends. Who is following the hashtags of your genre, and why aren’t they your friends yet? These followings serve two purposes. First, they are your ideal reader. TikTok’s algorithm will suggest new friends based on current friends and you want those to be readers of your genre. Second, and IMHO more importantly, they will show you the templates, sounds/songs, and videos that are popular with your ideal readers. The point of TikTok is to use the popular trends so don’t worry about “getting in trouble” for “copying.” Speaking of trendy friends, do you follow me yet? Find me here -


3.     Stitches and duets are some of my most popular videos on TikTok. This is where you add to an existing video made by someone else. After we were released from quarantine, it seemed that every niche group scheduled a convention. These conventions are filled with magnificent cosplayers of any book character you can imagine. I was skeptical until I found an all-female, pirate-punk band whose lead singer is an exact match for Magda of my Walk the Walk series. My duet where I hold the book cover next to a promo clip for their band is my most viewed TikTok to date. I’m literally holding my book while they display musical, artistic, and cosplay talent.


Duet is with Cassandra Cosplays and the Derina Harvey Band

4.     CapCut is a simple app used for video editing. It downloads onto your phone and uses a lot of the same video embellishing tools as TikTok. Until recently, TikTok has suppressed video distribution of TikToks with CapCut watermarks. However, CapCut has branched out into making TikTok templates, and these are taking the clock app by storm. Authors who aren’t comfortable showing their face love using these templates to create movies containing their book covers. Find CapCut here -


5.     Many authors are hesitant to add “one more social media app” when they are already juggling 3-4 of them. It is a lot of work to maintain relationships with fresh content every day when all you want to do is write. I challenge those authors to use the SnapTik app to remove the TikTok watermarks from their TikToks and upload them to their YouTube channels as shorts or Instagram/Facebook reels. Caution: If you use copyrighted songs in your TikToks, Instagram/Facebook will put a note on them (no big deal) but YouTube will restrict who can view your video based on licensing and country of origin. Find the SnapTik Downloader here -


6.     TikTok allows for pinned videos just like Instagram. These spots are great for professional book trailers and video resumes. Using the ‘timer’ function, you can start and stop recording at preselected points in your favorite song for quick costume/book changes. Presenting all your books in one video gives potential followers your resume without individualized contact. The more info you make available, the more inviting your feed will be. Check out my TikTok video resume. 

Song by Meghan Trainor but the clip belongs to TikTok.


7.     Are there trolls like on Instagram? You know who they are – two photos (one with a puppy) on their feed, private account, or just flower emojis as their bio, and they slide into your DMs with “hey” and nothing else. Are those bozos on the clock app? Yes. Do they steer clear if you add “wife” to your bio? Also yes. It’s worth the 4 characters in the 80-character limit to avoid them. Also, the “promote it on” commenters aren’t on TikTok…yet.


8.      How can you sell books if there aren’t buy links to your posts? Once you have 1000 followers (which is easier than you think with the welcoming Booktok community), you can put one link in your bio. Just like on Instagram, making the most of that link is key to your success. I highly recommend creating a Linktree with all the links you wish to highlight at that moment such as BookFunnel or StoryOrigin group promotions, pre-order buy links, and links to your favorite blogspots like Paranormal Romantics. I also recommend having a link to where Booktokers can buy autographed paperbacks directly from you. Nothing makes an unboxing video collect hearts quite like an author’s signature. If you have a “call to action” in your daily video, you can easily change out your Linktree for something more specific and change it back once the video distribution slows down. Plant your link tree here -

9.    TikTok NOW. This feature is the newest and the easiest to use in TikTok. You enter the NOW feature by clicking "Friends" at the bottom of the screen. When the window changes, the top of the screen will have two options: Friends (the videos of people you follow) or NOW. You can't view the NOW posts without posting in the last 24 hours. When you elect to post a camera window appears. If you tap the big red button it takes a picture of what is in front of you. If you hold down the button, you can take a short video. After your front short, the timer starts counting down. You have 5 seconds to move your camera before it takes a selfie. This is great if you are reading, writing, or watching TV. Your followers are with you in the moment through the post. Since I have two black cats, I love to play with this function with one cat posted on each camera angle.

Whether you are 8 or 80 years old, there is a group of TikTokers waiting to welcome you—even paranormal romance readers. Just like every other performance art, the key is putting yourself out there as far as you are comfortable. If your video is cringy because dancing with your book cover under a full moon isn’t your thing, your video won’t go far. However, if your main character’s name is hard to pronounce and you make a contest where everyone guesses the pronunciation—you can strike gold. The best part of the TikTok algorithm is that each video is rated, distributed, and shadow-banned individually, so every video you make is a fresh start. Ready to build your following of paranormal romance lovers? Why don’t you become one of mine? Follow me here and we can show each other the latest trending videos in paranormal romance. I look forward to seeing you on the clock app.


Note: I have no affiliation with TikTok, the other social media platforms mentioned, the creators of the sounds in my videos, or the trolls who comment ‘promote here.’ The above article is just my experience, and may not be reproducible by everyone.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Interview with a Mage by Keri Kruspe


When I immerse myself creating my latest novel, the characters I come up with take on a life of their own. It begins when I outline the intricate details of their lives and their past that creates who they are. I dive deep into developing personality traits that sometimes end up five or six pages long! I’m sorry to say that most of it doesn’t end up in the story but knowing how they’d react to certain situations has saved me from getting stuck more than once.

In the final installment of the Ancient Alien Descendants series, the main hero and heroine not only have the normal aspects of growing up, but they’ve had to deal with having supernatural powers as well. As the story progressed, my main goal was how do I make people who were once perceived as gods become more… um… human? Then I asked myself, if I had unlimited power over others, how would I handle it? What would stop me from succumbing to temptation and turn into a power-hungry egomaniac?

Here’s another thought: If I lived on Earth for the last seven thousand years, how would I handle the rolling centuries watching all the changes mankind has faced? Wouldn’t you love to ask someone like that what they’ve seen? Get an insight into what humanity has done and forgotten over the millennia? Is any generation better than the last?

With these questions in mind, I decided it was the perfect time to interview the major hero in the last installment of this series, Alien Legacy: The Mage.

Meet Raiden. He is an alien-human hybrid born in South Africa around seven thousand years ago who is introduced to us in, Alien Legacy: The Empath. As the firstborn in a brotherhood of quintuplets, he inherits not only the privilege of leading his family through treacherous times but assumes the burden of doing it alone. While his younger siblings all have some type of majestic psychic powers, they only have to deal with a specific talent.

Not Raiden. He not only carries the paranormal power they do, but his is at higher level than theirs. Because of his unlimited ability, he’s terrified one day he’ll lose control and end up hurting someone. Or worse yet, create major destruction on a global scale.

I couldn’t wait to sit down with Raiden and get some insights from him that weren’t included in the novel. He agreed to meet me at a private tearoom that played soft instrumental music in the background with the enticing scent of incense floating in the air. The relaxing atmosphere along with the herbal tea made it easy for him to discuss his personal life.

Q: “Raiden, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. If you don’t mind, I thought we’d get some basics out of the way first. I understand you were born around 7000 years ago. Where was that and is Raiden your only name? Do you have a last name?”

Raiden: “When my parents escaped the Great Flood, they landed their spaceship on Mt. Kilimanjaro, where my brothers and I were born. It wasn’t until much later we moved the ship to the Himalayas, where it currently resides. 

For now, I use the name Raiden. Throughout the centuries I’ve used several names and currently don’t use a surname. However, the name I was born with is Shahadaku, which means ‘supreme strong bright weapon’” (he pronounced it shaa-haa-daa-koo). 

Q: “What would you say are your good habits and what do you struggle with daily?”

Raiden: (He sits back in the paisley armchair and takes a sip of his steaming tea before he answers). “If I was to be honest, what comes naturally to me is also my major struggle. I have a tendency to think things through and not allow myself to react thoughtlessly. I plan not only what’s needed, but I do my best to come up with several contingency plans.” (He puts the teacup on the round tabletop with his unusual eyes downcast.) “I find it hard to interact with others and prefer to be alone.” (He gives a slight smile and looks up. His eyes are larger than a normal human, somewhat like an anime character. The internal oval shape makes his irises and pupils wider. The double color of outer turquoise with an inner starburst of gold around the iridescent dark pupil is mesmerizing.) “While it’s second nature to me to block others’ emotions and thoughts, it’s still can be quite tiring to be on guard all the time. I admit I have a tendency to avoid people.”

Q: “That has to make you tense all the time. How do you deal with that?”

Raiden: “Around the 5th century I accidently met a young prince by the name of Siddhartha Gautama.

He’d renounced his position and wealth to seek enlightenment as a spiritual ascetic. During my time with him, I learned the art of meditation to ground myself.”

Q: “Oh my God! Do you mean you met the Buddha?”

Raiden: “Yes.” (He shudders.) “Before I met him, I’d lost a part of myself that kept me human. I’d become arrogant and unfeeling when dealing with others. I can’t imagine how I would have survived without his guidance.” (His gaze became dull and unfocused.)

Q: “Raiden, has meeting Jazmi helped you as well?

Raiden: (He startles and focuses on me. A dazzling smile lights up his handsome face as he spreads his hands wide.) “What can I say? Jazmi completes me. I no longer fear I’ll lose control or who I am when we’re together.”

Q: “One last question. What would you say has been the one constant thing that humanity has carried throughout your lifetime?”

Raiden: (His head tilts as he looks in the distance before answering.) “I believe it’s two things. First, I hate to say this, but it’s war. The never-ending pursuit of wealth and power amazes me. I have no idea why certain people crave this no matter the cost.” (His focus is back on me.) “But the best trait humanity has is we’ve never lost the capacity for unconditional love. I promise you, that quality alone is what will ultimately save us all.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Favorites, Failures, and Frustrations of 2022 by Jessica E. Subject

Hello! It's really hard to believe it's already December, and we're coming up to the beginning of a new year. Every year, I'm shocked by how fast the year passes by.

For my last post of 2022 on Paranormal Romantics, I decided to go over my favorites, failures, and frustrations of 2022. This could be a huge post if I include everything, so I decided to limit it to my writing, reading, and related topics. So, let's begin...


Reads - While I didn't read as much as I wanted this year, and started many books that I could not finish for various reasons, I did find some amazing stories that really stuck with me.

All of Us Are Dead by Joo Dong-geun (Webtoon)

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Sweet Home by Carnby Kim (Webtoon)

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Three Left Turns to Nowhere by Jeffrey Ricker, J. Marshall Freeman, and 'Nathan Burgoine

Movies and TV shows - going to stick with sci-fi and paranormal here. Some of these may have come out earlier, but I didn't watch them until this year.

Space Sweepers (Netflix)

FATE The Winx Saga (Netflix)

All of Us Are Dead (Netflix) - I watched the series after reading the Webtoon

Lost in Space (Netflix)

The Adam Project (Netflix)

Love and Monsters (Netflix)

Rim of the World (Netflix)

Reya and the Last Dragon (Disney+)

Turning Red (Disney+)


My biggest failure this year was not finishing the first book in my new series. I'm currently writing it, but I spent so much time planning it and other books in the series, that I got behind in actually writing it. I look forward to sharing it and more with you next year!


Many frustrations this year, but the one that affected my writing the most was when my computer crashed, and tech support couldn't even help me. So, that meant having to buy a new computer. And then trying to figure out how the new one works to get it to do what I want, when I want. Still working on that.

When it comes to writing and reading, the sci-fi and paranormal, what are your favorites, failures, and frustrations?

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Who Wants Magical Powers?

By Maureen Bonatch

I’ve always been fascinated by magic. Whether it was wondering how a microwave or fax machine worked or wishing I had magical powers like some of my favorite television shows. As my girls grew up, I always emphasized how magic surrounded them. 

Being able to open the van door with a raise of my hand (or a key fob behind my back) or the way I could see behind me with my back turned (if I could see their reflection on the television screen) helped to make them believers.

Because seeing the trick behind the curtain or debunking was never my desire, I love to look for magic in all things. 

But I also love to give my characters magical abilities ranging from mundane to magnificent in my books. 

Granted, having the power to heal would be a spectacular ability for many. Still, if I had to choose one magical ability specific to my needs, it would be to be able to teleport or orb.

I’m totally crushing on Leo and Paige’s ability in Charmed. 

I could be a better traveler. I hate to pack—and do a terrible job, and flying requires lots of preparation so my eardrums don’t cause me agony. 

Which Witch Would You Choose?

Here are some of my character's magical abilities:

  1. Abigail (Witch Shifter Series): Shift into a cat or other animals
  2. Carman (Grandma Must Die): Cast powerful spells
  3. Marissa (Charmed Cocktail Series): Create magical potions for various needs
  4. Celeste (That Magic Moment): Heal with touch
  5. Hope (The Enchantlings Series): Give hope or take it away with her touch
  6. Liv (Evil Speaks Softly): Hear spirits
  7. Sabrina (Forget Me Not):: See the future

So what would your magical crush be? One of the ones listed above? Or tell me one of your own.

As the cold weather continues be sure to Stay Cozy!
Happy Holidays!

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M.L. Bonatch believes music can be paired with every mood, laughter is contagious, and caffeine and wine are essential for survival. When she’s not doing the bidding of a feisty Shih Tzu, she’s a mom to twin daughters, exploring the beautiful woods of PA with her hubby and dancing as much as possible.

She writes paranormal cozy mysteries and paranormal romance as  M.L. Bonatch, urban fantasy and other genres as Maureen Bonatch.

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