Saturday, September 20, 2014

Deleted Scene: Chasing the Green Fairy


I was just looking through my folder for Chasing the Green Fairy, Book II in the Airship Racing Chronicles Series, and realized that my readers might like to read a scene from Chasing the Green Fairy as I originally wrote it. This is not technically a deleted scene, but it was significantly revised from its original, hot version. For those of you who have not yet read Chasing the Green Fairy, this is a spoiler for Chasing the Green Fairy so I am posting it below the break.

Please note that this is a pretty hot scene and is intended for mature readers . . . don't get steamy surprise.

Chasing the Green Fairy spoiler alter!
Proceed with caution.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Falling for Books Blog Hop: Win my Starter Library!

 
It's the Falling for Books Blog Hop! Are you ready for fall? Many thanks to Lilybloombooks for organizing the hop!

Fall season has arrived . . . at least, that's what they tell me. Here in Florida, not much marks the arrival of fall except "back to school" and the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. But fall in Florida has its own charm. It's finally cool enough to keep the windows open, the lawn stops growing at rain-forest rates, and it cools off enough to plant flowers (summer kills everything but tropical plants here). But sometimes I miss fall in New England. Maybe that's why my dark fantasy/zombie series "The Harvesting" is set in the Great Lakes region of the United States.



The Harvesting is a dark fantasy novel, but it is also filled with images of fall (the season of decay, after all) . . . apple picking, pumpkin patches, vineyards, and the occasional reaping of humans . . . what's not to love? My husband and I were married in North East, Pennsylvania in October. It was a beautiful time of year. Nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, North East boasts a microclimate where vineyards flourish. The very air in North East is perfumed with grapes at this time of year. It's divine.


Fall is also a great time to find new reads. For this blog hop, I have my "starter library" up for grabs.

Giveaway Time:

Win my starter library! The winner will receive ebook copies of Chasing the Star Garden and The Harvesting. These may not be exchanged for cash value.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Please note that Chasing the Star Garden is an adult steampunk romantic adventure series and contains several steamy scenes. It is intended for mature readers. The Harvesting is recommended for a PG13+ audience.


Keep Hopping:






Interest in getting a first look at new works, release previews, free short stories, book extras, heads-up on sales, and other goodies? Sign up for my mailing list! I give away a free signed paperback to one subscriber with every newsletter! Only good stuff, no spam. Click here to join!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cover Reveal & Pre-order Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens


I'm stirring up something amazing!

This December 3rd, I will release Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens, Book 1 in The Lady Macbeth Saga. I'm really excited about this novel. It has been, literally, a decade since I first started writing the book. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous. I just realized that it takes a lot of nerve to select one of Shakespeare's most famous characters and try to make her real, likeable, and complex. I hope I've done the job!

Novel Description:

Something wicked this way comes . . .

Gruoch is born to rule, but long before she becomes Macbeth’s queen, ancient forces claim her soul.

Marked from birth by the old gods, Gruoch is initiated into the ancient religion of her ancestors and begins learning the mysteries of the Goddess Cerridwen. But not everything is as it seems. Soon the Battle Goddess Morrigu imposes her will, and Gruoch finds herself at the mercy of the Wyrd Sisters.

With King Malcolm plotting, the Wyrd Sisters schooling her in arcane craft, and haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch feels her fate is not her own. That is, until she meets a druid named Banquo. Gruoch’s heart is swept away when Banquo awakens something in her more powerful than duty, magic, or destiny: love.

This retelling of Shakespeare’s classic work leads readers through an unforgettable saga of one woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

Begin the Lady Mabeth Saga with Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens.



Keep me in your cauldron!

The novel is now available for pre-order on Amazon if you'd like to order:

Pre-Order Lady Macbeth

You can also add the novel to Goodreads!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22850019-lady-macbeth-daughter-of-ravens



Join my Facebook Release Day Party: Click Here

https://www.facebook.com/events/818072448233401/


How about a sneak peek? Below, please find the Prologue for the novel. Keep coming back, I will be release Chapter 1 on my blog very soon! You can also join my mailing list for an early look.

Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens

Prologue

I’ve been defamed. The Bard of Avon dubbed me a villainess, an angry, evil murderess. I’m forever painted as an ambitious, blood-hungry queen. They’d have you take me for a mad woman. Slander. Small men tell lies. Poets tell half-truths. Maybe I am a bit mad, but who wouldn’t be after all I have seen? Regardless, I don’t want you to believe such deceits. I don’t want my name to go down in the annuals of times with such epitaphs. My name. What is my name? Have you ever heard it? Did your professor of English ever utter it? My name is quite the mystery. My father gave me one, my aunt dubbed me with another, but in the end, my wyrdness ruled all. Yet I’ve always wondered, who was the Bard really talking about when he titled his Scottish tragedy Macbeth?

I was born in the year 1010 of an Irish princess and an heir to the throne of Scotland. My mother was the reward from a raid into Ireland and a false treaty thereafter. She’s forgotten now, but I want you to know her name. I owe her that. They called her Emer after the Irish legend of Cu Chulainn. She was tall, thin, and had blonde hair that stretched to the floor. My mother died a short nine months after becoming my father’s, Boite’s, bride. My beginning brought her end. They believe she lived sixteen years. Not a long life. And me, I came into the word killing.

As I’ve sought to make sense of my life, my visions in the cauldron showed me my beginning. How did I eventually end up as I did? Andraste would have said it was all destined from the start, but I’m not so sure. My ill-fated birth came at the end of another of my father’s campaigns. As the corpses were paraded past the castle to the burial mound, I emerged squalling from the womb. I was handed to my father who was covered in more blood than me; the sticky red liquid on his chainmail stained the white of my swaddles.

“See here, child,” my father whispered, lifting me to the open window casement. “These men are of your blood. I set the mark of the old gods upon you,” he said, tracing ancient runes upon my brow, my natal blood mixing with the blood of the dead men. “Avenge your kinsman. I call upon the Morrigu, the ancient and dead Goddess of these lands, and ask her to claim you. Let her rise up and take you. Let her whisper battle cries for lullabies. Avenge with the magic of the old gods. Rise up, child, and carry our banner forth. Remember that you are a child of Kenneth MacAlpin’s line and rain vengeance.”

Dark clouds moved across sky occluding the full moon. A raven’s shrill pierced the silence. The old gods had listened.

“Hear now, sweet babe, Gruoch, hear how the raven calls.”

Thus the first name fell upon me, Gruoch, an awful sounding name uttered from an angry and vengeful man. Behind my father, the midwives crossed themselves. Though he attended the mass of the White Christ, those close to my father knew his heart belonged to the old ones. And me, the farthest from him, felt his beliefs most of all. Perhaps, in this, he did me a single justice.

Interest in getting a first look at new works, release previews, free short stories, book extras, heads-up on sales, and other goodies? Sign up for my mailing list! I give away a free signed paperback to one subscriber with every newsletter! Only good stuff, no spam. Click here to join!

Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop! Win $100!


Love all things Fairy Tale? We're celebrating them in all their forms . . . originals, adaptations, twists and retellings, sweet, steamy, or a little bit twisted! Hop through all the blogs for giveaways at each stop! And don't forget to enter for the $100 Amazon gift card grand prize drawing too! Many thanks to Herding Cats & Burning Soup for hosting this event!

I love fairy tales. People who read my dark fantasy/zombie series are often surprised to find creatures from folk lore roaming around my stories. How did faeries end up in a zombie story? In the second novel in this series, The Shadow Aspect, I'll begin exploring Russian fairy tales even further, delving into the myth of Baba Yaga. Your can read the Prologue of The Shadow Aspect here and see Baba Yaga. I have half a novel already completed on this mysterious crone from Slavic folklore. I can't wait to get that novel out to you!

But have you ever head of Baba Yaga? Well, if you've read Snow White you have . . . you just didn't know it!

 



Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga is an interesting character. She originates in Slavic myth. Baba Yaga was said to live deep in the forest in a house on chicken legs . . .  probably this was really a house on stilts but chicken legs is much more fun. And when her house is depicted on chicken legs, it can do fun things: turn to face away from visitors, turn to face the sun, move! Baba Yaga is the quintessential witch in the forest. Her house is often described ad being surrounded with skulls on posts. She also has a magical herd of horses that either fly or run very fast. Baba Yaga's image probably stems from an early Slavic goddess, perhaps a mother goddess like Mokosh. She may have been involved in a right of passage ceremony for young men brave enough to journey to Baba Yaga. The most well-known story is of Vasilisa the Brave, a young woman who braves Baba Yaga and wins. My readers might remember that Vasilisa is Grandma Petrovich's name.


Giveaway time!

What you can win at this Fairy Tale Magic Hop? One Rafflecopter: TWO prizes: I will be drawing two winners from my Rafflecopter. You only need to enter once to be eligible to win either prize.

Prize 1: A lovely book tote by artist Aimee Stewart! (US or Canada Only)


Prize 2: An ebook copy of The Harvesting! (INT)

 
 
 

Don't forget to enter the grand prize drawing!! Win $100!



Keep Hopping!





Interest in getting a first look at new works, release previews, free short stories, book extras, heads-up on sales, and other goodies? Sign up for my mailing list! I give away a free signed paperback to one subscriber with every newsletter! Only good stuff, no spam. Click here to join!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Indie Bookfest 2014 Photo Album!



Indie Bookfest 2014 Book Signing Prep!
 

 
I keep meaning to post some images from Indie Bookfest 2014 held in August at the Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, FL . . . but here it is, already September, and I haven't posted a thing!
 
This was my first writer's conference experience and it was fantastic! I've been chatting with authors Margo Bond Collins, Peggy Sue Martinez, and Jacqueline Garlick for more than a year and this was my first chance to meet them in person. And of course, they were as awesome as I expected them to be . . . and so were all the other authors. I admit to being a little star-struck meeting Maria Snyder and Claudia Gray. I'm pretty sure I sounded like a complete idiot. I ended up sitting next to one of the first authors I ever followed, Rebecca Ethington. Craziness! I met so many wonderful new authors, including fellow horror panelist, Rick Chiantaretto (who is, btw, giving away a trip to Costa Rica on his blog!!) And, of course, I got to meet the amazing Elyse Schramm from Contagious Reads! Love that gal!
 
So how about a few pics from my little adventure (BTW, high heels and walking far distances in Florida in August is a bad idea. Just an FYI).
 
Signing Space

Me and Elyse from Contagious Reads


Me and the wonderful Margo Bond Collins

Panel

Fantasy Panel

Me chatting gore at the horror panel (not the most flattering pic, but it is what it is, lol)
 
Want more details! Check out the Indie Book Fest page! Be sure to join us again next year!

Interest in getting a first look at pics, release previews, free short stories, book extras, heads-up on sales, and other goodies? Sign up for my mailing list! I give away a free signed paperback to one subscriber with every newsletter! Only good stuff, no spam. Click here to join!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens . . . The Date is Set!


Here is a little teaser for the full cover of Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens. I'll be doing a full reveal of the cover for Book I of the Lady Macbeth saga shortly, but I wanted to make sure my blog readers have a chance to hop onto the guest list for the release party! I will be holding a Facebook Book Release Party (meaning you can attend from your living room in your bunny slippers!) on December 3rd, 2014 from 7-9pm EST. I'm stirring up some fun (and lots of prizes!). Please join me!


 
I've also been busy on Pinterest filling out my board with all things beautiful and very Scottish! Come take a look!
 
http://www.pinterest.com/melaniekarsak/
 
I will be releasing Chapter 1 of Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens to my newsletter subscribers later this month. Want an early look? Please join my mailing list! I'll also be drawing a name from the mailing list for a free autographed novel! CLICK HERE (or in the sidebar) to join!
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Harvesting is FREE on Amazon 8/28-9/1!

http://amzn.com/B009GI3YBY

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to let my readers know that I have a little gift for you! In case you haven't picked up a copy of The Harvesting, it will be FREE on Amazon over the Labor Day weekend. If you're in the mood for something a little dark, you will have fun with my dark fantasy/zombie mash-up. And you will totally love Layla. Here is sweet Little Layla drawn up for me by artist Heather Ainsley. Isn't she cute?

Little Layla


How about a project status update? I have two projects that I am "this close" to launching.

Click for my Lady Macbeth Pinterest Board!

Lady Macbeth

Well, now I know why Shakespeare found Lady Macbeth so difficult to deal with. Once my editor and I dug into the project, we realized that, after edits, the novel was going to be something like 250,000 words long . . . more than 1200 pages. Yikes! We spent the summer breaking the book into manageable three parts. I will be releasing the first book in the saga, Lady Macbeth; Daughter of Ravens, as soon as the edits are complete. The novel is done, I'm just rolling that bolder up the hill to make it perfect for you!



Midway

Fans of The Harvesting series will be happy to know that Midway is about 2 chapters from complete. Midway is A Harvesting Series Novella that chronicles the story of Cricket and Vella, two apocalypse survivors, whose storyline runs parallel to Layla's.

Check out my board for Midway on Pinterest!

After these two ladies are put to rest I have a midgrade steampunk project in the works as well as The Shadow Aspect, Book II in The Harvesting Series. If I only had more time or could download all the stories in my brain  . . . I would be a happy girl!

ps . . . fans of Lily Stargazer will be happy to know that Chasing the Fog is in the line-up for 2015.

Be well!