Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Dream Inspired Story by Janice Seagraves || MATRIX CRYSTAL HUNTERS

Thank you, Melissa, for having me on today. 

Welcome, Janice! It's wonderful to have you here today. 

My current book is called, Matrix Crystal Hunters. And this more or less how I wrote the book.

The idea for the story came from a dream, about a woman studying rocks on a distant world. Someone came into her tent in the middle of the night, wanting to claim her as his bride. That scene stewed in the back of my mind for years. First off, I realized that this would be a science fiction romance, but then I had to figure out all the who, what and how: who this woman and man were, what were they both doing and why, and how fit it all together.

What helped me set the scene was a family trip to the Mohave Desert when I was in the sixth grade. We rock hunted along the great Colorado River, so I added that my heroine’s parents are rock hunters and have a store called the Rock Hound.

While on that same trip it rained hard, keeping two girls stuck in a modified van for three days, ugh. But, after the rain ended, the desert started to bloom. So I also added a storm that lasted for days and the blooming desert to my book too.

A book called, Deserts a panoramic vision, helped me with rock colors and formation,
which I bought at the now extinct Boarders Books (I still miss that store).

I think the most fun I had was making up the animals that live on this world: there’s the snags: a beast of burden that looks like a primitive humpless camel but with sweet faces of alpacas, vim a domesticated bird used for eggs and meat, nikki a long tailed rabbit, and my favorite the sherakeys. These huge horse like creatures are ridden only by the clan lords.

I decided the planet was called Zenevieva, which is also the name of the natives’ Goddess. The people who lived there are called zeemen, just because I liked the sound of it. The people are in two separate groups: the commoners and the clans. The clans were once a powerful and proud people that ruled the planet. However, things have changed for the people of Zenevieva. There’s a prime minister, so the clans have a less powerful role to play. But don’t tell them that. Pride rules the clans, and that pride is what my heroine stumbles into as she hunts for the matrix crystals.

Team Alpha Three’s spaceship is out of power after fighting a wormhole, and parked on the primitive world of Zenevieva. With half the team sick from radiation poisoning, the team commander entrust geologist, Maya Gladstone, to find enough matrix crystals to power up their spacecraft, so they can go home to Earth.

Vach Namaste of the powerful Clan Namaste, a native of the planet, has desired the lovely Maya since she stepped off the spaceship on that astonishing day a year ago. He’s hounded her every step since. As Hymeneal Night approaches, he makes plans to take her as his bride… willing or not. 

Available for purchase:

About the Author:
Janice Seagraves grew up with a deep love of science fiction and adventure stories. Always the consummate artist, she traded in her paint brush for a laptop to write breathless life-affirming novels that celebrate enduring love.
  She lives in a hundred year old haunted house (not kidding) with her husband of many years and their grown daughter. When not writing, you can find her in the yard either gardening or snapping a photo or two.

Author links: 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Snark Bite -- Twitter Trends

Writing advice in 250 words or less...

I've had a Twitter account for a while but I haven't used it for much more than promoting my daily blog post. In the last couple weeks, I've learned an interesting pointer I'd like to share.

What are trends and how are they determined?

From the Twitter Help Center:

Trends are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you.
How do you find what's trending?
  1. Sign into your Twitter account.
  2. Go to the page that says HOME...NOTIFICATIONS...# DISCOVER...ME.
  3. In the left column, beneath "Who to follow" locate "Trends".
  4. You'll notice that many of the words trending are hash tags, but some are not.
Through the trending window, I discovered #amwriting. With some imagination, a creative tweet can usually be crafted utilizing at least one of the trending terms.

Including trending terms in your Twitter posts doesn't guarantee discover-ability or a retweet, but empirical evidence seems to support the supposition.

Happy tweeting!

LOVE ENTWINED by Danita Minnis

Thanks so much for having me on today, Melissa! I am so excited to present a never-before-seen excerpt of my paranormal romance Love Entwined to your readers. Let me introduce Amelie and Roman, witch and warrior. Evil and good together in lust. Can they stay together in love? Come along for a sinfully good ride.

Hi Danita! Thank you so much for joining me on the Snarkology. :-)

Amelie Laurent is on her way to the top of the jewelry designing world with no time for men. Her orderly life is about to come undone when playboy and jewelry tycoon Roman Cardiff steals her away on assignment to a remote English estate. Roman wants Amelie all to himself but St. Clair Manor’s resident ghost has been waiting for her much longer than he has.

An unseen gunman takes a shot at Roman and he blames a business rival. But Amelie and Roman are to blame, for falling in love 200 years before in a time neither of them remember.

From the heartbreak of pre-Revolutionary France to modern day corporate wars, Amelie and Roman uncover a history of blood jewels, lust and demons. 

When Amelie discovers her inner witch she learns the real reason she was summoned to St. Clair Manor. Il Dragone will kill to get her back. Amelie will kill if they do.

Available for purchase:


When she placed another sketch on the board, they stood with heads bowed together over their collaboration of a necklace with a sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
He picked up the charcoal and started shading a circular edge to the drawing. “I thought I had changed this.”
She put a hand on his arm to stop him. “No, it should be rectangular-shaped.”
He didn’t look up, but kept drawing. “Is that what you want?”
She brought her hand over his to bring the revision to a halt. “And the surrounding diamonds should be cut like starbursts.”
“Not that I am keeping count, but that is the second time you’ve done that.”
“Done what?”
“Touched me. And besides the fact I cannot think when you do that, if you touch me,
I think it is only fair that I touch you back.”
Amelie withdrew her hand. She was surprised and a little relieved to know they had been working so hard she had forgotten, for a while at least, the overpowering attraction between them.
She took the charcoal and moved in front of him, careful not to touch him as she bent over the sketch. “Here, let me show you.”
He moved to her side and she smiled to herself. They were trying to finish the sketches of this set tonight. Apparently, he didn’t want to be distracted.
Sometimes Roman could be all business. He had that same single-minded determination in his eye that she knew was in hers. When she was done, she turned the drawing toward him.
He stared at it, a disquieted look shadowing his face. “I think it’s time we went down to the vault.”
Roman led the way to the vault on the underground level. “This is the oldest section of the manor.” His blue eyes held amusement. “Stay close.”
She was debating whether to take hold of his hand. “Have you ever heard of the Catacombs of Paris?”
“The mass crypt?”
“I feel like I’m walking the subterranean tunnels now with these stone walls.”
“That is a bit fanciful, Amelie.”
Ghostly wisps of air whipped past them…Jac-que-line…as they made their way through the corridors.
“Did you hear that?”
He grinned at her.
“I thought I heard something.” Though sensor lights came on and off as they passed under them, her skin prickled. It must have been the wind she heard, but for some reason, she was anxious.
He took her hand. “Just wine cellars and storage down here, Beauty.”
Their footfalls echoed against the stone floor in the cavernous gloom. She felt a tingling like cold fingers brushing the back of her neck. She avoided looking into the dark void behind them.
As on the drive up to the mansion that first night, she felt they were being observed while they made their way through the labyrinth. Passing stone archways leading to more darkness, they went down one long corridor. At first, it looked like a dead end. When they were closer, she could make out the safe’s huge metal door.
He entered some numbers on an electronic keypad on the wall and a heavy metal tumbler turned inside the door.
Compartments were carved into the walls of the cavernous room, faced with metal and more electronic keypads. A pirate’s bounty lay before them. Gold statuettes and antique vases stood gleaming in lighted wall cases. The floor was lined with rows of large glass-topped casements.
She followed Roman to the second row of casements, and stopped. Diamonds, sapphires and emeralds winked up at them. Pearls, jade and onyx gleamed.
Sparkling up at her from a bed of white satin was a dazzling sapphire and diamond set. A huge sapphire ring was surrounded by white diamonds. The stones in the matching earrings were almost as large.
She took a step forward. The rectangular-shaped sapphire was an inch in diameter, bordered by starburst diamonds at least a carat each in weight. A twenty-inch chain of diamonds looped around it.
Amelie gripped the glass casement with numb fingers. The necklace was an exact match of her sketch.
“These jewels have never left this vault. No one living outside of these walls, save for security, has ever seen this set, not in the last fifty years.”
“What is going on?”
He stared her down, his blue eyes frosted with anger. “That is the million dollar question, isn’t it?”
“There are things happening to me that I cannot explain.”
He took her by the arms. “What is going on?”
“I—I don’t know!” She started to cry.
He gathered her close and she buried her face against his chest. “Sweetheart, don’t.”
His voice was gentle now as he kissed her forehead, then her tear-stained face, one cheek and then the other.
She sighed when he kissed the tip of her nose. He prodded her lips open with his tongue, and the tide of desire they had managed to keep at bay all day swept over them.
Her body knew him, and in patent rebellion of her conscious efforts, it relinquished whatever the master requested of it. The hunger took on a life of its own. It cared nothing for her perception; it craved what it knew he could give, as it had in her dreams.
My love…
The woman came up from the depths. She had been waiting for this pleasure.
Amelie stood on tiptoe and put her hands around his neck. He lifted her, sat her down on the glass display case and stood between her legs. She shuddered as her nipples pressed against him.

Author Bio:

I should have known I would end up here...

My sisters and I walked ten blocks to the library every Saturday morning and picked up books to read for the week.

When I was older, I spent a couple of hundred dollars at Barnes & Noble and my mother thought I was crazy. I couldn't deny it - I just had to read (but I became sort of a closet-book-buyer after that).

I started writing poems first.

Song writing was next, when I realized I had a singing voice, then singing with local bands. It wasn't long before I just knew I was going to be the next singing sensation.

And now, here I am, a shower-singer (the enclosed tile room is almost as good as a studio mike) and happier than I’ve ever been, writing paranormal romance with a healthy portion of mystery, murder and reincarnation. It's romance through the ages.

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Books By Danita Minnis