Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Hunger Games

 With all of the excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming movie, you'd have thought I would have read this gut twisting adrenaline pumping YA series by Suzanne Collins to it's completion a long time ago. I did read the first in the series Hunger Games a while back before the buzz of Hollywood became a roar. I loved the first installment and for reasons beyond my control veered away from the delicious series and on to more personal projects. Even now I am waist deep in my own YA novel entitled Phoenix Rising and college work, but everyone needs a break once in a while. I decided to reward myself by reading Catching Fire and only just this moment finished reading the last page. I can't telling you how amazing it is. You wouldn't believe me....It is that darn good! It does what the title suggests. It catches fire and emblazons your imagination until you are running your own play by play movie in your head envisioning each action as you read. I'm starting the third in the trilogy as soon as I post this blog. Mockingjay is the only thing that can satisfy the hunger for this story. Let the games begin!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leanne's Halloween Bash!

 Today I'm sharing an excerpt from my novella The Gift. As a part of The Books Read ~n~ Makeup Blog Halloween Bash, I thought I would share an inside look into the main character's fear. I'll be giving away a free ebook copy of my novella in conjunction with the bash, so don't forget to stop by and check it out! Here:
 Happy Halloween weekend!

My reflection mocked my fear with its presence. Smoothing my long hair away from my face, I turned on the water, brushed my teeth and washed my face. A bright glint flashed in the mirror and I looked down to see the winged locket fall out of my black T-shirt. The silver shone with an inner light, and I had an overwhelming need to open it. It‟s funny how I hadn‟t thought to open it after I‟d unwrapped it.
The locket felt warm in my hands, as if pulsing with heat and light. Prying the wings open, a brilliant flash of light burst forth and I felt myself falling. Whispers and light consumed me. They were telling me something. All of them saying the same thing, but I couldn‟t understand. The sensation of falling combined with the whispers grew and I pulled myself in a tight ball. The urgent whispers continued, and suddenly, it all became too much to bear. Darkness closed in on me and even though I knew it was just my brain compensating, I screamed in terror.
“No! Don‟t let it eat me! No, daddy, please! It‟s coming for me!”
Tumbling into darkness, I could only let go and fall into the abyss. Memories flood my senses as old nightmares of the darkness taunting me resurface.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jowanna's YA Book Blog: Guest Post by Kat Deacon

Jowanna's YA Book Blog: Guest Post by Kat Deacon: I would like to welcome you to the Blog. Thanks for stopping by. Welcome everybody!! My name is Kat Deacon and I am a new YA paranormal...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome to My Release Party!!

 Wow...I can't believe today's the day!! Today my novella The Gift is out and availablefor purchase!! I really hope you all love Seri as much as I do. The idea came to mind aftermy amazing husband gave be this gorgeous locket for our fifteenth wedding anniversary.It's sterling silver wings formed a beautiful heart shaped locket. It struck me as very unusual and possessed a warm vitality. I had to write a story about it. But what kind of story can you write about a piece of jewelry? You need flesh and blood characters....not like a necklace can tell a story. Ya know? I needed someone special to give this gift to...someone who needed it like I did. Seri was the perfect choice.
To celebrate the release, I want to give one lucky commenter a free copy of my book!! So feel free to jump in and make comments...ask questions...whatever you like! As a treat there's a chocolate fountain with various fruits and cakes. I also have plenty of Starbucks coffee and hunky guardian angels to serve a delicious punch I stayed up late mixing up!! Watch the wings ladies....those angels sometimes don't realize their own wingspan!!
 Anyone who would like to purchase a copy of my book The Gift, can do so by going


     Also, don't forget to join us tomorrow for some more fun and prizes at!!


Come party with me tomorrow in celebration of my very first release The Gift!! We will have a virtual potluck so bring your favorite dish to share and maybe a hunky celebrity as well!! *Wink* My novella will be available for purchase on my publisher website I hope to see you here!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book review of MISFIT

Misfit by Jon Skovron

Jael is a sixteen year old girl going through some mega changes. Growing up with a demon hunter ex-priest for a father can be difficult, but learning you inherited strange powers from your dead demon mother takes the cake. If that's not enough, through in the strict Catholic school with an exorcist for a history teacher and you have an adventure no one should miss.

Jael is a wonderfully funny, unique teen with all the emotional issues every teenage girl goes through and I enjoyed reading about her battle against the Duke of Hell that murdered her mother. She's feisty, strong, and she corrupts your heart with her caring demonic powers.

Jael's dad and Uncle Dagon...and yes that DAGON, the demon God, help Jael learn to use the gifts she was born to in order to survive. It's refreshing to see the familial bonds flourish during this heart warming story. Jael also has a love interest and a best friend who come in to own their roles in this wonderful story and make you love them just as much as I know you will love Jael.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me want to be in the book with this character, helping her conquer those demons. I can't wait for a sequel!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Love letters

 I wanted to share a love letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah. My husband is deployed and found this letter online and sent it to me. He said that this letter conveyed how he felt about me in a way that he couldn't express so eloquently. The letter is untouched by the cruelty and harshness of the world and how Major Ballou may have felt about the war....he didn't let it tamper with what he wanted his wife to know. The love he expresses is profound and heartbreaking. After reading this letter, I realized that this is the kind of love we strive for. This is the kind of love romance authors write about and this is the kind of love every one of us dreams that we can both give and receive. I hope you enjoy the letter as much as I did. Thank  you to for having the letter in its entirety.

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .

Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sitting Here on a Wednesday Night

Sitting here on a Wednesday night...knowing I have homework to do. I find myself creatively seeking other things to do. I should be reading my text book. I have an assignment on anxiety disorders and bi-polar disorder. I've played a few games. I am currently enamored of Alice...on PS3...freaking awesome costumes, storyline, special effects, and lots of blood. I'm not a huge gamer person, but I love puzzle games and this is a really great one. Alice in Wonderland is perhaps one of my favorite books of all time and this spin of the classic story into a video game is thrilling to play. You are Alice and you get to go back to Wonderland, but this time it's darker, bloodier, and you aren't exactly in your right mind. Who needs to do homework when you can go kill the Red Queen again? Not me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Visiting a Memory

I often weave through the memory to seek the source of why and how I am here. Sometimes it's a dream and other times a nightmare. I can hear the laughter and see the smiles of my family and my love. Just like in the movies, you can instantly tell when the arc to the story rises and the colors drain from the scene. Melancholy strings play in the background warning of tragedy yet to come.

Blood and tears mark where I have tread and I know I cannot go back ever. I'm cold and the grief overwhelms me into letting go. I don't want to be strong. I don't want to weather the storm. Sobbing replaces the music and I try to ignore the twinge in my heart at the sound. I want to drown the sound. Please make it go away.

Your voice calls out to me, begging me to stay. Your voice is hoarse from use at my bedside and you still plead for me to be with you forever. I try again to shut out your voice, but my walls are cracking and your love is breaking through me. Oh God...I don't want to feel's too soon. Just let me go.

The moment I felt you, agony laced through my body bringing me back. How could I leave? You needed me. You wanted me still. My body bathed in renewed anguish latches on to the strength you offer. It is a tender offering...microscopic in its entirety, but you give it to me and I make it mine. Without you, I have no strength. With me, you are strength invigorated. We faced the darkness and our wounds still fester deep. The deeper the wound, the bigger the scar, and those scars prove the depth of our love.

I still fear the darkness. I still fear the pain. I fear so many things that it paralyzes me. I don't want to be afraid anymore. I don't want to hurt anymore. I want to face the darkness. I want to live each day knowing we survived and are stronger for it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Review of Spellbound

Traumatized Emma Connor goes to live with her rich Aunt Christine on the upper East side after losing both her brother and mother, and then suffering at the hands of her alcoholic step father. Fitting in with the uppity rich kids proves more difficult after having a confrontation with the school's queen bee. The devastatingly handsome Brendon Salinger takes up for her in the snide quarrel and Emma becomes smitten.

Brendon and Emma fight their growing attraction for different reasons. He isn't used to actually caring about someone and she is afraid that she's not good enough. Too make matters worse, Emma is wearing a crest that can mean only one thing. They are cursed soul mates destined to lose each other over and over. After befriending a cool teen goth witch, Emma confirms the curse is real and she and Brendon must fight to break the curse or forever lose a lifetime of love.

I found this story intriguing and it definitely had that special something keeping me turning the pages. This love story was sweet and touched my heart. The author Cara Lynn Shultz conveys the fear and heartache so prevalent in teens and young love perfectly. My heart raced right along with the lead character and found myself yearning for her to fight back and triumph. She didn't disappoint me! I absolutely recommend this book if you enjoy happy endings. I know I do!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jumbled Thoughts

I apologize for not posting much lately. Life has thrown me a few curve balls. I'm dealing in the best way I know how. Writing. A ton of ideas keep filling my head and the only problem seems to be in which order to put them. I've written many scenes for the upcoming Nephilim series, but haven't found my opening scene yet. Never fear...I'm on to something big here and am excited to share with you. I will try and post a few snippets soon from the current book and will be posting a sneak peak of my Novella "The Gift", that started it all. Thanks for all your support! Hugs!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Funny WOW!

     I've been swamped lately. What with school, kids, husband, and deadlines approaching, I really haven't had much time to sit and think. In the past month, I've lost a loved one, written a few research papers, cried at my child's art show, and finished a novella. I took that novella and submitted it to a publisher in hopes of getting it published as a part of a Prom themed anthology.
     Yesterday, I was offered a contract on my novella. heard me right. I'm smiling from ear to ear right now. My big cheesy grin dripping with excitement. I did it. When I typed those final two words "The End", I thought that would be the best feeling ever since having my babies, but receiving that email accepting my work is right up there. This became a lesson in achievement for me. I had to prove to myself that I could do this...really do this. I've wanted to be a writer since the third grade Young Authors competition, but somewhere along the way, I lost my confidence.
     We all struggle with our goals in life. Some of us struggle more than others. I think a huge part of that is that we don't stop to think about what we have accomplished already. We don't think about what we are truly capable of. Most of us are so concerned with self-defeating thoughts, we paralyze ourselves from new goals. I've been guilty of that for a long time.
     I lost my mother a few years ago and it woke me up to where I stood in my life. I had to ask myself if I'd done everything I wanted to do. My answer was no. Why? Why hadn't I done the things I wanted to do? I had no answer for that. I don't want to have any regrets. Losing my mother made me realize my life was filled with regrets. Good news for me was that I still had a chance to fix those regrets. 
     My mother gave me a lot of things. I will be eternally grateful to her for introducing me to my love of books. She showed me that no matter how your life was going, you could escape for a little while into a magnificent imaginary world. I fell in love with books so much, that I wanted to be a part of them. I wanted to write and give that same feeling to someone else. Thank you Mom! Now I get to do that with my novella. I'm not stopping there. I plan to keep going with more and more wonderful stories. I hope you share my dream with me and escape for a little while in one of my worlds.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Blues...

     Waking up this morning, I had a sense of foreboding. It was then it hit me. Today is Monday. Cue the scary music.  DUN DUH DUNNNNNNN!!! Yes I know, in the grand scheme of things, the fact that it is Monday isn't cause for alarm. Today however...completely different story. I had to take not one cat, but two cats to the vet for shots. Insert grimace face here. You get my foreboding now right? I played up each and every possible scenario in my mind going over every possibility of disaster.
       Mature cat versus baby kitty. Mature cat aka Binx is a medium hair solid black cat with glowing yellow eyes. She exudes hostility lately due to the new baby kitty. New baby kitty aka Salem is a eight week old, solid black medium hair, SPCA adoption we picked up a week ago. To say that tension is thick right now would be sugar coating it. He likes her. She hates him. Your typical male/female relationship right?
     My stomach lay in such knots that I skipped breakfast and went early to get it over with. Half a mile and a car full of growls and hisses later, we arrive at the vet intact. I filled out the necessary paperwork and waited. I sat there hopeful with the new Sookie book opened in my lap and listened. No growls. No hisses. Complete and utter silence. If you could have seen my face, I am positive a look of bafflement and then of worry crossed my face. I double and triple checked...yep, they were both still breathing.
     I was truly at a loss. I had made sure to warn the vet techs and reception of possible cat war. Noticing the small smiles from reception, I now realized they considered me crazy. Even after going into the patient room, still no declarations of cat war. The appointment progressed at the usual boring pace and we paid our bill and left. Each cat received shots and ...nada...nothing...zilch... Can it be? Did I hallucinate the entire past week? Is there some larger cat war conspiracy waiting to ambush me? I'm scared...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Confessions of a Wannabe

My alarm screams and I jump out of the bed confused, mussed, and tired. What day is it? Is it bad that I'm not sure which day of the week it is? I slap my hand on the alarm willing it to cease and desist its shriek. Scratching my head and swiping a hand over my face, I make my body stand and walk towards my daughters bedroom. "Time to get up darlin." I hear a muffled hmmf and go to the bathroom for my morning toiletries. What day is it? Did I figure that out yet? Finishing up in the bathroom, I shuffle down stairs and let the new little black kitten we adopted out of the bathroom. Loud complaining mews greet me as I look down to see his cute face staring up at me. Scooping him up into my arms, I stifle a yawn and sit at my computer checking email. Salem, the six week old kitten purrs loudly, happy he's not trapped in the bathroom any more. I would leave him loose, but with a dog and a cat that we've had for years not happily accepting of his presence I figured for his own safety he'd less likely be eaten if I kept him locked up while I was sleeping. After scrolling through countless emails, I make a few notes on my "to do" list and sit a moment longer. I still need to finish my proposal for the YA anthology I want to be in. I still need to do my homework for college this week, as well as start on the reflective paper draft due Monday. Did I ever decide what day it is yet? Writing is a pure joy, but it's not always easy to organize my thoughts. A moment in the daily life of a writer isn't glamorous and full of hunky heroes. It's just a life.