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Monday, February 29, 2016

March Madness, Money, and My Muse

On the first Monday of each month I gab about what's going on with me, my writing, and life in general.

March Madness


March is here already! I could swear we JUST celebrated New Year's. It's madness, I tell you.

Last month was a busy one, and this one looks to be the same. I'm over the moon to announce I began sending out my newsletter again! I'll be offering exclusives and contests, so if you haven't subscribed yet, look at the top of this site for the sign up box.


Money


February and March seems to be when I start trying to overhaul my budget each year. Maybe it's because tax time is rolling around again. Maybe it's because the year is still fairly new, but far enough past the whirlwind of post-holiday bustle for me to turn an eye to where things are headed. Either way, when spring is on the horizon, I like to take stock of our household finances and set goals for the future. We're in the process of prepping to buy a house in the next year or two, so it's been a month of pulling credit reports, putting away pennies, and seeing where we can cut back in order to save faster. So what happens? Naturally, my phone goes on the fritz, and I was simply FORCED into shopping for a shiny new one. ::bats eyes in loving wonder:: LOL.

 In fairness, I skipped over the brand-newiest of the new phones and settled for an upgraded, but still "discounted" older model. With a ginormous 5.5-inch display screen. Muwahahaha.



My Muse


Sadly, my muse has been highly irritated with all my left-brain plotting and number crunching. Muses, I have found, could give two snips about finances. The whole notion is so un-creative and terribly, unforgivably boring. So while I did make *some* progress on my next novella, Fire of Beltane, my muse sat me down for a scolding, and I promised to pay a lot more attention to him in March. Yes, my muse is a male. He is a handsome devil, too much so for his own good. While he can be prone to fits of jealousy when ignored, he's also known, at times, to take off on unsanctioned vacations when I'm clinging to him most. Y tu, Brutus? It's give and take when you're dealing with a muse. And mine can be quite the taskmaster. With six-pack abs and, occasionally, a cigar clamped between the perfect teeth in a gleaming, movie star grin.


  • ~*~*~*~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday: My First Writing Award


On select Thursdays, I like to share a throwback to past writing, trailers, or randomness.

(Writing Wednesdays will begin next month, when I am back on the correct weekly schedule.)

When I first started writing, I never dreamed of penning a full-length novel. I was all about short fiction, and I managed to get a few stories published in magazines and online webzines. One of these, The Christmas Present, won a short story contest on (the now defunct) KeepitComing.net back in 2004. I was over the moon! As part of the prize, I was invited as a guest on an Internet radio show to give a reading of the tale.
Back when I thought I would be writing mysteries and horror, The Christmas Present veered away into the land of romance and urban fantasy. I'd been fascinated with snow globes since I was a child, and a chance conversation about them sparked the idea for a tale about a snow globe with magical properties that transforms a man's life.

Here's an excerpt from The Christmas Present:


A loud pop startled Ted awake. Logs in the fireplace sizzled and crackled in protest over the roaring flames. Flames? The thought sat him straight up. He hadn’t started a fire. He’d barely gotten home to gift wrap the globe. . .  
            The globe that was now missing, along with the rest of his living room. In its place was a cozy, wood-paneled cabin he had never seen before. Bed springs groaned beneath him as he pushed aside a colorful quilt and got to his feet. Where am I? he wondered silently. Am I dreaming?
            No, youre not dreaming, boomed a friendly voice. A short slip of a man with laughing eyes and ebony hair regarded him from an armchair across the room.
            H-how did you know what I was thinking?
            The other man shrugged. Didnt. But they all say it.
            Ted strode to the center of the room. Who are you?
            The stranger set down a newspaper on the table beside him and rose. From the bottom of his sole to the tip of his knit cap he stood not an inch taller than five-foot-two.
            Phineas C. Cottle, Ted. Folks just call me Finn.
            You know my name?
            Finn chuckled. Oh yes, and a great deal more, friend. Its all here, plain as plaid. He handed Ted the newspaper hed been reading.
            His eyes widened. Hey, thats me! His picture was on the front page. And the next. And the one after that. In fact, the entire paper appeared to be a detailed history of his life: parents, school, jobs, everything.
            This is nuts. This, he waved the paper at Finn, is not real. And neither are you.
            The other nodded, a gesture that caused his chin to rub against his cherry red sweater. Yes, fine. All a dream, if you want. That done and said, lets get on with it.
            Get on with what?
            Your Christmas present, of course.
            Teds thoughts buzzed in a tangled mess, like too many fireflies trapped in a jar. Yes, trapped. He had to get out. Whatever was happening to him, he should fight it. 
            Im leaving.
            He burst through the cabin door and headed for . . . he wasnt sure. He just wanted to get away. So bent was he on the thought of escape that hed taken several steps before realizing the ground under him was crunching and giving way.
            Snow? Now I know this isnt real; it never snows here, he declared to the empty winter air. Guess I have gone nuts.
            He headed across the blanketed landscape away from town, his steps growing increasingly difficult from deepening snow. Ted soon regretted his hasty exit from the cabin. His feet, burning with numb cold, competed for attention with stiff fingers and a chapped face. Pine tree after pine tree drew in behind him as he walked for miles, it seemed, until he finally saw a change in the scenery. Footprints! Familiar footprints . . . his heart sank. He’d been going in circles. But hadn’t he struck straight out from town?
            Cant get any farther.
            Ted jumped and discovered that Finn had managed to catch up. Heavy clouds of breath hung in the air in front of him, betraying the strain of his exertions. Finn, on the other hand, looked as warm and dry as when they met in the cabin.
            He crossed his arms in front of him, tucking hands under armpits. Look, assuming I buy into this delusion, what is it you want from me?
            Im a guide, Ted. Or part of your dream, whichever you believe. I want nothing and give nothing. What you must give, youll give to yourself.
            Eyes rolled. Gee, thanks for not clearing that up. And what am I giving me? No, let me guess . . . my Christmas present.
       Well, the chance to regain your Christmas present.
            Regain?
            You read the inscription on the globe, yes?
            “The snowglobe? What’s that got to do with
            Declinatio Temporis, Finn cut him off. Or, in the Latin, to turn aside time.
            He rubbed the bulbous nose, setting glasses askew. “You’re being given a chance to alter your Christmas present . . . by turning aside the past. One chance.”
            Turn aside the past? You mean, change things?
            Indeed. The globe gives those it chooses one chance to alter destiny. A most precious gift, Id say.
            Ted frowned. Where am I?
            Dont you recognize it? The old man gave a sweeping gesture. Truly a wonder, wouldnt you say?
            He looked back the way theyd come. Dotted pine trees; a snowman; tiny buildings.           And suspended above it all, a giant star glistened.
           No
          “I’m . . . inside the snowglobe?”
            That was it, then. Eight years of misery and guilt had stolen his sanity. He waited for panic at this realization to shoot up from his abdomen. Instead, there was an odd sense of calm. Funny, he thought. Still, changing the past . . . if he had to suffer hallucinations, there could definitely be worse ones.
            He turned to face his guide and sighed. What do I do?

            Finn let out a hoot. Right then! First, lets get inside. Need clothes a bit more fitting for the weather here.
*

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Reflections of Danger -Snippet Sunday

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm still posting from Book 4, Fire of Beltane. The series trailer is live and posted to the right.

Last time, Jorandil, god of Beltane, was taken to a room containing a mysterious crystal bowl. We ended with the Fates telling him that the bowl was the real reason he had come to them.

We pick up a couple sentences later...


“You can see many things in this looking glass,” Morta said. “For example.”
She floated closer, beckoning Jorandil forward, and with a hoarse whisper and a wave over the surface, the liquid began an agitated rippling and bubbling until he drew near.
The twisting in his stomach gave way to a brief flutter when he peered over the edge of the bowl to see not his own reflection, but that of someone else.
“Cadence,” he said.
She sat at a table, her blue eyes sparkling from some unseen light source, her pouty red lips pursed into an enticing bow. His stomach began a slow burn.
“I did not come here in order to see her again,” he said, though the fine edge of a rasp scraped along the words.
Morta gave a rather indelicate snort.
“Not even when your actions have placed your lover in grave danger?” Nona asked.


What do you think?  


About Fire of Beltane:
It is the time of Beltane, and Jorandil, son of Herne, secretly wishes his presence could be known and his touch by the woman chosen as his sabbat partner. Then Cadence comes along, aware of her angel's visit, mesmerized by the beauty of his wings and the power of his touch. Sealing the veil between worlds divides them, but neither can forget the other. And when their pursuit of answers reveals that dire trouble awaits Cadence, a trouble Jorandil was responsible for creating, he must defy his father and risk unleashing an even greater danger to save her.

About The Sons of Herne:

The god Herne has appointed eight of his most virile, headstrong sons as keepers of the pagan holidays. To honor their sabbat, each must join with a mortal female in a ritual to maintain the balance between worlds.

It is the year of The Thousand Seasons, and the Fates have secretly conspired to mark the end of an era by granting the gods one thing they lack--a true union of male and female that will last beyond the passion of a sabbat joining.

Herne’s sons will wrestle with the conflict between sacred duty and their own yearnings, a struggle will not only challenge their beliefs, but may threaten the success of rituals that must be observed lest the mortal and immortal worlds collide in chaos.

Read Book 1 of the series, Season of Light, now available on Amazon!

~ * ~ ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *







For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Now Available:Tallisun: God of Ostara (Sons of Herne 3)

TALLISUN: GOD OF OSTARA
Book 3 of the Sons of Herne series
February, 2016

BUY NOW
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They will hunt each other for a love they never expected…

It is the time of Ostara, and Tallisun, god of the sabbat, has little interest in fulfilling his duty by bedding a woman for the ritual of spring. He would much rather be part of the Thousand Seasons hunt that his father, Herne, forbade him from attending. When Tallisun goes off on a hunt of his own, he nearly shoots a beautiful earth woman who wanders in front of his arrow. To retaliate for costing him his trophy, he steals her garments while she bathes in a nearby lake.

Harper is camping solo when her clothes are taken by a handsome, well-built male who is sexy as hell, but clearly off his rocker. After all, who runs around the forest wearing antlers and claiming to be a god? But to her shock, Tallisun proves his antlers are real, and the god of Ostara has intentions toward her that are far less than platonic.

He has an intriguing proposition: let him hunt her in the woods. If he catches her, she will become the spring maiden in a carnal ritual he has become more interested in than ever. Harper wouldn’t mind a one-time rendezvous with such a delicious morsel, except for his aggravating doubt in her survival skills. So she has a better idea. He will not hunt her. They will hunt each other.

The contest of becoming both hunter and hunted will take them to a place of primal yearning, and their sabbat union will awaken unexpected consequences that complicate their mutual decision to part amicably after the ritual is through.

Excerpt:

Harper listened to his words, her brows raised, wondering how she’d managed to bump into such an unstable man. What must have happened to him to make him disavow belonging to the entire human species?
Tallisun, if that was his real name, was the most attractive man she’d met in a long time, and how crazy was that? His looks didn’t matter, though, only the fact that he was clearly disturbed. He thought he was a god—the god of some spring sabbat—and he wanted her help with a pagan ritual to make spring official. Ha! She bet he did. No doubt he’d lured women in with this speech before. How many “spring maidens” had he conned into bed with his fake horns and golden contact lenses? Or maybe they weren’t fooled at all, but they just didn’t care. He was certainly gorgeous enough to contemplate doing all sorts of rituals with.
What would he do when she turned him down? Her eyes kept flicking to the bow and quiver sticking up behind him, as well as her knives that were closer to him than she would like. What if he didn’t give her a choice about this “ritual”? Then again, if he had plans to harm her, he could have done so already. So maybe he would go away quietly when she turned him down. She just had to make sure to do it politely, so as not to agitate him.
“Well, I must say I’m flattered,” she said, trying on a smile. “And of course it’s tempting. But I’m afraid I’m not up to such an honor.”
His head cocked. “You are not being sincere.” He took a step closer. “You do not believe me.”
She backed away. “No, it’s not that at all. It’s not you, it’s me.”
“Pull on my horns.”
She made a face. “We went through that already.”
“I will make you see that I’m telling the truth.” He reached up and pulled the antlers himself. “See? Try.”
Curious despite herself, she stepped closer and reached out. He bent slightly to oblige her, and she gave an experimental tug. She frowned and pulled harder.
“Oh my god,” she said, and after a pause, she yanked hard enough to jerk his head forward. “How is this possible?”
She dug through his golden hair, leaning closer, inspecting the area where the horns sat on his head. No, where they stuck out from his head. His scalp grew up over the first section of the antlers, hair and all, where it was wider at the base.
His scent surrounded her, so male that her body felt more aware of him with each inhalation. The aroma of clover, dewy and fresh, assaulted her senses. His scent invoked memories of childhood, when days were spent lying on her back in the grass, watching clouds roll by while their shapes morphed into unicorns and princesses and brave knights galloping through the sky. He smelled like heaven. Masculine, take-her-to-the-edge heaven. 
Harper glanced down to see that her rather thorough examination had brought Tallisuns’s eyes into very close range. He was staring almost through her with that smoldering, golden-brown gaze, and his irises twinkled with more than a little amusement.
“They really don’t come off, do they?” she said, taking a step back.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Flourless Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


When the weather is cool enough, I do love to fire up the oven and do some baking. I'd been in the mood for some homemade muffins, but since I'm trying to limit sugar and gluten, I needed something different.

Enter these flourless babies! I saw different versions of this recipe on Pinterest, combined them, and made  a couple adjustments. Bananas and peanut butter go together so nicely, don't they? And you can mix the batter right in your blender or food processor, easy peasy. The muffins rise into puffs and taste devine. The family wiped out a batch the day I made them! 

If you're allergic to peanuts or are following a more Paleo-style diet, substitute any nut butter for the peanut butter. The maple syrup can be omitted, but I found the muffins a bit bland that way when my taste buds were wanting a sweeter muffin flavor.

Flourless Banana-Peanut Butter Mufins

 Ingredients

I managed to get a photo before these disappeared!
2 bananas
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp pure organic maple syrup (or honey)
1 cup of peanut (or other nut) butter
1 apple, peeled and diced (optional)
a handful of chopped dates, prunes, or raisins (optional)
1 tsp baking soda


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse together banana and eggs until smooth. Add salt, maple syrup/honey, and nut butter, blend well. Add fruit, if using, and pulse til mixed in. Add baking soda and blend til combined. (Don't add it sooner or overdo the mixing here, or all the baking soda magic will happen in the blender and the muffins will turn out flat). Pour batter into a greased or lined muffin tin, each cup about 2/3 full.  Bake for 11-15 minutes until puffy and set. Let cool, if you can stand the wait, before serving.
  
Makes about a dozen muffins


Enjoy!
~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Crystal Bowl -Snippet Sunday

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm still posting from Book 4, Fire of Beltane. The series trailer is live, and in case you missed it, I'm including it below. I'm also excited to announce that Book 3, Spirit of Spring, is out today! 

Last time, Jorandil, god of Beltane, accused the Fates of meddling in the love lives of his brothers, who are also sabbat gods like him. We ended with the Fates calling him faithless, frightened, and desperate.

We pick up a few sentences into Jorandil's reply...


“I cannot be taken by the absurd passions you have stirred in the other gods and still remain keeper of Beltane,” Jorandil said. “The very nature of my ritual precludes it.”
“Duplicitous,” said Decuna, pointing at his reflection in accusation. “You have come for other reasons.”
“Proof,” Morta said before he could argue, and she gave a dramatic wave of a long-fingered hand.
The room plunged into night again, but before Jorandil could blink, they appeared in a room of carved obsidian, where shapes and figures writhed as they crawled around the walls in a strip maybe three hands tall. More compelling was the focal point in the middle—and the only object in the room. A crystal bowl sat on a pedestal, lit from beneath, and within the bowl rippled an unnatural, glowing liquid.
“What is this?” he asked.

“This is the real reason you are here,” Nona said, pushing back the mists of hair that had drifted in front of her eyes.


What do you think?  


About Fire of Beltane:
It is the time of Beltane, and Jorandil, son of Herne, secretly wishes his presence could be known and his touch by the woman chosen as his sabbat partner. Then Cadence comes along, aware of her angel's visit, mesmerized by the beauty of his wings and the power of his touch. Sealing the veil between worlds divides them, but neither can forget the other. And when their pursuit of answers reveals that dire trouble awaits Cadence, a trouble Jorandil was responsible for creating, he must defy his father and risk unleashing an even greater danger to save her.

About The Sons of Herne:

The god Herne has appointed eight of his most virile, headstrong sons as keepers of the pagan holidays. To honor their sabbat, each must join with a mortal female in a ritual to maintain the balance between worlds.

It is the year of The Thousand Seasons, and the Fates have secretly conspired to mark the end of an era by granting the gods one thing they lack--a true union of male and female that will last beyond the passion of a sabbat joining.

Herne’s sons will wrestle with the conflict between sacred duty and their own yearnings, a struggle will not only challenge their beliefs, but may threaten the success of rituals that must be observed lest the mortal and immortal worlds collide in chaos.

....And now, the trailer:







Read Book 1 of the series, Season of Light, now available on Amazon!

~ * ~ ~ * ~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ *







For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trailer Reveal: Sons of Herne Series

I've been promising a reveal day for the Sons of Herne series preview trailer, and here it is!




About the Sons of Herne series:

The god Herne has appointed eight of his most virile, headstrong sons as keepers of the pagan holidays. To honor their sabbat, each must join with a mortal female in a ritual to maintain balance between worlds. 

It is the year of the Thousand Seasons, and the Fates have secretly conspired to mark the end of an era by granting the gods one thing they lack--a true union of male and female that will last long beyond the passion of a sabbat joining.

Herne's sons will wrestle with the conflict between sacred duty and their own yearnings, a struggle that will not only challenge their beliefs, but may threaten the success of rituals that must be observed, lest the mortal and immortal worlds collide in chaos.

The Series:

Season of Light (God of Yule)
Awakening of Brighid (God of Imbolc)
Season of Spring (God of Ostara)
Fire of Beltane (God of Beltane)
Magic of Midsummer (God of Litha)
God of the Harvest (God of Lammas)
Sabbat of Freedom (God of Mabon)
Power of the Incubus (God of Samhain)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Schedules, Sagas, and Secrets

Happy Monday Musings! 

Schedules 


I'm all about schedules right now. Over the past month or two, I've been giving various aspects of my life some time management overhauls. Writing time, book releases, personal endeavors, and even homeschooling my daughter are all on a new schedule. Life has taken on a new rhythm that is thus far keeping my days flowing nicely. 

Since pretty much everything else in my life has been given a shiny new schedule, I figured my site should get one too! I'll be posting on a regular, but relaxed basis involving one Snippet Sunday post plus one additional update that will rotate through a different day each week.  Here's the new lineup:

 Monday Musings - updates on me, writing, and life in general
Too Yummy Tuesday - recipes either inspired by my books or that I want to share
Writing Wednesday - tips on craft and the writer's life
Throwback Thursday -  sharing some photo/video/book blasts from the past
Snippet Sunday (each week) -  an 8-10 sentence snippet from a current work in progress

...and of course, I'll be posting book releases and other news as they happen. (For instance, check out the Secrets section below!)


Obviously, I've started with Monday Musings for this week. Next week, I'll have a yummy recipe to share--healthy, delicious, and gluten-free! I'm sampling some right now and am looking forward to posting about it. 

Sagas

I have the next Sons of Herne novella coming out this month! Book 3, Spirit of Spring (God of Ostara) will be out on Valentine's Day! I did a cover reveal in yesterday's snippet post. In case you missed it, here's the cover again!
Use THIS LINK for more info on Spirit of Spring.

Here's the release schedule for the series:


  • Season of Light (God of Yule): Nov 2015
  • Awakening of Brighid (God of Imbolc): Jan 2016
  • Spirit of Spring (God of Ostara): Feb 2016
  • Fire of Beltane (God of Beltane): April 2016
  • Magic of Midsummer (God of Litha): May 2016
  • God of the Harvest (God of Lammas): Jul 2016
  • Sabbat of Freedom (God of Mabon): Aug 2016
  • Power of the Incubus (God of Samhain): Sep 2016

Secrets
Speaking of the Sons of Herne series, I've just finished a secret preview trailer that is hidden on the internet right now...but I'm dying to share it with you guys! I'll be doing a special launch for the trailer later this week, so stay tuned! 


~*~*~*~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.