Monday, June 30, 2014

The Snarkology: Signups for new blog series: Writer's Block

Writer's Block

The awful condition that inflicts endless frustration and confusion.

The primary reason the laundry is folded and the dishes are washed.

How does it effect you? How do you deal with it?

Do you know the cure?

In August, the Snarkology will be launching a blog series dedicated to the most dreaded ailment known to authors. Signup to share your personal experience and wisdom with my readers...

If only you can find the words.

revised 7/2/14:  still open:
 August 7
August 13, 14
August 21

Leave a comment with your preferred dates to reserve your spot today.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Snark Bites: Today's Epiphany

I realized this morning that I need a Scottish Fold so I can name him MacGuffin.

Future Snark Cat "MacGuffin"

MacGuffin (a.k.a. McGuffin or maguffin) is a term for a motivating element in a story that is used to drive the plot. It actually serves no further purpose. It won't pop up again later, it won't explain the ending, it won't actually do anything except possibly distract you while you try to figure out its significance. In some cases, it won't even be shown. It is usually a mysterious package/artifact/superweapon that everyone in the story is chasing.  (Quoted from T.V. Tropes.)

6 Book Promo from authors of the SEALS OF SUMMER Anthology

The SEALs of Summer Military Super-bundle of ten novellas and novels hit both the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller lists… now read the next books from authors Anne Marsh, Cora Seton, Zoe York, Kimberley Troutte, S.M. Butler, and Jennifer Lowery.

SWEET BURN by Anne Marsh:
It’s supposed to be a quick wedding hook-up. She’s lonely. He’s available. After seeing Rio Donovan and Gia Jackson down the aisle, the sizzling sexual chemistry between Mimi Hart and Mack Landry has this pair burning up the sheets in a night of no-holds fantasies. One night. No regrets. And no promises. As Strong’s resident bad girl and bartender, Mimi has earned every inch of her reputation. Tattoos, motorcycles and dancing on the bar—Mimi’s all in. She’s fun and she’s tough, a hot sex-on-the-pool-table woman—not a sunset-and-kisses sweetheart. Until her wedding hook-up, Mack Landry, turns into a man on a sensual mission…and threatens to send her heart into freefall even as her own past threatens to catch up with her.

Print buy link for SWEET BURN:

To learn more about Ann Marsh and her books, visit her website:


When a damaged soldier and a disgraced Hollywood actress agree to marry for a year, can they remember that it's only supposed to be an act?

To learn more about Cora Seton and her books, visit her website:

THE MAZE by Jennifer Lowery:

Former Navy SEAL, Noah Kincaid, bears the responsibility of fellow counterterrorist operative, Atalanta Devayne’s, imprisonment, torture and retirement. Now the drug lord has resurfaced and set up an elaborate plan to exact his revenge on Attie. Noah and Attie must face challenges to overcome the past and accept their feelings for each other before the danger that tore them apart separates them forever.

To learn more about Jennifer Lowery and her books, visit her website:

LOCK AND LOAD by Kimberley Troutte:

When a Chinese gaming company tricks Amber Fitz into hacking the U.S. Department of Defense to extract weaponry secrets, can she trust Charlie Handly and his newly-formed SEAL team to get her out of China and protect the secrets in her hands?

To learn more about Kimberley Troutte and her books, visit her website:


Addison Hardy kept Navy SEAL Eamon Murphy twisted in knots growing up, with her vivacious smile and her gorgeous curves. He thought he was over his best friend’s sister. But finding her at the wrong end of his weapon three years later is only the beginning, and Murphy just might have to break all his rules to keep her safe.

To learn more about S.M. Butler and her books, visit her website:


Beth Stewart is ready to find a nice guy and settle down. But the only man who makes her tingle also drives her crazy in the non-sexy, work-related way. When her bosses hire Finn Howard as a marketing consultant for their growing winery, Beth is sure working together is going to be a complete disaster. Finn knows he can't give Beth what she wants--and a nice guy would walk away. But when a long day of work turns into a private night, fueled by wine and pent-up desire, he gives in to his baser instincts. Damn the consequences. Latest in the sexy small town Wardham series!

To learn more about Zoe York and her books, visit her website:

1 $25 Amazon gift card
1 Prize pack of Hotshot books
5 winners will each receive a Smoke Jumper book of their choice

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Scene Spotlight: THE ART OF LOVE AND MURDER by Brenda Whiteside

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date Published: May 2, 2014

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Word Count: 82,700

Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn't what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life. 

Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation. 

Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past...until Chance's connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?

Available for purchase:

The Scene:

The whistle brought Myles out of his reverie. He lifted the black enamel kettle, turned the burner off and poured the steaming water into the red cast iron teapot. The chain on the steeper warmed between his finger and thumb as he dipped it up and down in the hot water.

Lacy Dahl would no doubt visit Carol Katz. What would she tell the woman? Poor, bitter, old Carol. He let the steeper sit and took a tea mug from the cupboard above his head. She knew so little, what did it matter? After rinsing the cup with tap water, he removed the steeper and poured his tea, carrying it to the patio.

The sun shone on the Adirondack chair. He sank into the heat, closing his eyes for a moment to absorb the relaxing warmth, the old twinge of melancholy hovering. He rested the mug against his chest as if the added heat could kill the sensation. He’d created Muuyaw and what she created belonged to him. He deserved it. He’d loved her, nurtured her…lost her.

After all this time, more of Muuyaw’s art had surfaced.

It should be his.

His pulse quickened at the thought, and he wondered what to do to own it. Carol. He’d hear from her soon enough. Any excuse to contact him. How had he met her, God, so many years ago? The steam played wet on his face with the sip of tea. Raising his lids, he stared at the cascading white spirea along the back fence. How he loved beauty. She’d been a beauty and, if memory served him, she’d been a waitress as well as a student. But not a student of art. The brief affair satisfied him but not Carol. Her beauty paled compared to the dark haired, copper-skinned art student who’d sashayed into his class, awed him with her raw talent and who just happened to be Carol’s sister. Perhaps jealously more than lost love drove Carol’s bitterness. He didn’t care then, and he didn’t care now as long as her complicity satisfied his needs. If the sketches were authentic, and they sounded so, then Carol might be helpful.

His thumb tapped the cup edge. Yes, Carol would be helpful, and he’d not have to lay eyes on Lacy Dahl.

The author provides a director's commentary!

I hope to do this without giving away any spoilers! The scene is from the point of view of Professor Myles Sheffield, the antagonist. The professor has just learned that Lacy Dahl, heroine, is in town with some unidentified art and is seeking to know the origins. She found the art in some things of her birth mother, whom she never knew. Carol Katz is Lacy Dahl’s step aunt and an ex-lover of the professor. Only the professor knows who the artist is. Lacy is connected to the artist and because of painful memories he does not want to see her, but he does want to possess the art.

I like this scene because it is early in the story but packs a great deal of information without totally giving away too much.

The Villain:

Professor Sheffield played by Malcolm McDowell

Physical Description: Professor Sheffield is a young seventy-two year old. He has a shock of white hair, startling green eyes, tanned skin, and is physically fit. He gives the appearance of being cultured.
Short bio: Born in Newport Beach, California, he graduated from UCLA with a masters in art education. He never married. He’s an art professor at Northern Arizona University.
3 Positive Personality Traits: He’s easy to talk to, he’s organized and detail oriented, he has a charitable nature
3 Negative Personality Traits: He’s a womanizer, possessive, obsessive
After many years of a near gypsy lifestyle, my husband and I have finally landed on the northern prairies of Arizona. We've transitioned from city people to country folk. We share our rambling farmhouse with our son the farmer, his wife, my granddaughter and three dogs. Together, we’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or suspense, all my books revolve around those two facts.

Visit Brenda at
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at
She blogs about prairie life and writing at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

THE MATING GAME by Melissa Snark || Book Tour & Giveaway

Two males…two friends…a competition for the right to claim The Heart of the Iron Stone Pack.

An alpha female at her core, Theresa Sanchez struggles to protect her young daughter, but rivalries and politics create volatility in the pack. As Theresa comes into heat, lust and need rule her body. Her pack demands only the most virile male have her. How can she choose only one mate when her body craves two—the virile beta and the man she loves?

Zachary Hunter will do anything to take Theresa as his mate, even if it means killing his best friend. However, Robert Blane is just as determined to ascend to Alpha. Both their beasts howl to mark her flesh, but only one can survive to claim her.

But with enemies circling, they must fight…for the pack, for Theresa, and for a future together.

Warning: Book contains wolf shifters, pack politics, gritty fight scenes, offbeat humor, and sizzling sexual adventures between a ménage of partners.

Available at:


Fast Facts About Melissa Snark:

  • Melissa Snark is published with The Wild Rose Press & as an Indie author with five unique titles: A CAT'S TALE, THE MATING GAME, LEARNING TO FLY, THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON.
  • Her Loki's Wolves series includes THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON AND BATTLE CRY (to be released in 2014).
  • She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children and a glaring of cats.
  • She is a professional cat herder and unrepentant satirist who blogs about books and writing on The Snarkology.

Connect with Melissa Snark:
Email: melissasnark at