Friday, April 30, 2010

Beltane Eve!

The Hawthorn trees are in bloom and the Fair Folk ride at midnight! For it is Beltane Eve and, on this night, the walls between the worlds thin and, in places, vanish...
In Faerie mythology, Beltane is known as one of the "Days of the Open Doors" -- one of the four points on the Celtic calendar when the realm of Faerie comes closest to our own. This is a time for celebration -- for lighting bonfires and drinking to the health of your friends and the Good Neighbors. It is a time of high magick!
So, naturally, it is entirely appropriate that this week is the launch of Tracy's A BREATH OF MAGIC. And, as the resident Faerie writer among the Girls, it seems only right and proper that this, the Eve of Beltane, is my day to post! (And -- look everybody! -- I'm actually posting on my day! What sorcery is this??)
I want to wish all good luck and great fortune to Tracy and my fellow Girls and all you marvelous TNG Readers! I think you're all pretty magickal! But be careful!... Sparkly things like you lot tend to attract the eye of the Fair Folk. So don't be at all surprised if you feel the brush of wings on your cheek after sundown tonight, or hear the far-off baying of spectral hunting hounds and laughter on the wind.
Just be careful on the way home. Stick to the paths and don't get caught out in the open near the Faerie Mounds or they may decide that, in honor of the holiday, you should come in under the Hill for a drink and a dance... and that's probably the last we'll see of you for the next few decades...

And then you'd miss out on all the contesty goodness happening over at Tracy's blog to celebrate A BREATH OF MAGIC! You don't want that to happen!! OR, for that matter, you don't want to miss the contesty goodness happening right here! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to WIN A COPY OF A BREATH OF MAGIC!! Now that's something to celebrate!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tarot Cards

Congrats to Tracy on the release of her third book, A BREATH OF MAGIC, this week! I’m so excited to get a moment to curl up and read it!! If you comment on this post or any of the others this week you can be entered to win your own signed copy of the book (and there are even more exciting contest goodies at Tracy’s personal blog!).

So now onto my take on paranormal week! As soon as Tracy told us the topic I knew exactly what I wanted to write about: tarot card readings. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat of a believer in things like that, tarot cards, psychics, etc. Okay, I’m not a total believer – but I think it’s kind of fun to give them a little bit of weight. I do think there are a lot of things we can’t explain in the universe, so there’s the possibility that there’s some truth there, at least on some small level.

Back in February, on the release day for THE LIFE OF GLASS, I went to lunch with two author friends to celebrate. One of my fabulous author friends also reads tarot cards, and she brought her cards along to lunch. For fun, she did a tarot reading of our publishing careers’ past, present, and futures. Her reading of both my past and present were dead on, so when she pulled a card that she said meant spiritual and personal wealth and success for the future, I was completely ready to believe!

A week later, I was at Barnes and Noble doing a signing, and the signing table they had set up for me was none other than in front of the tarot card reading books. I noticed them and had a little chuckle, especially when a few minutes later, an elderly gentleman walked by, and stopped to talk to me. He’d noticed the sign that said “book signing” and the section of books about tarot card readings and he thought those were the books I’d written. He actually started yelling at me about writing books that were “the work of the devil,” and became quite confused when I tried to explain that I was not the author of the tarot card books!

I had the urge to tell him about my fabulous tarot card reading the week before, and how, according to the cards my writing career was going to attain me great personal and spiritual wealth, but I didn’t quite think he’d appreciate it the way I did.

I choose to believe in my reading, because why not? Publishing is such a crazy and bumpy ride that sometimes you need every little thing you can to hold on tight and keep forging ahead.

What about you, how do you feel about tarot card readings?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dear Tracy,

I can't believe it's Wednesday already. But what I really can't believe is that in a little over a year, you're releasing your THIRD BOOK! Congratulations to you, congratulations to you, congratulations you book-machine you, congrats to you!!! I wish you all the rich blessings and happiness with this book that you so richly deserve. (TNG Readers - Tracy is lovely and kind and above all a dedicated mother and wife.) It's obvious you work your tush off!! I am looking so forward to curling up on the couch with A BREATH OF MAGIC!

Did you know that I work at an old historic museum which is said to be alive with ghosts? My home town of Franklin, Tennessee is the sight of a historic Civil War battle where nearly four thousand men lost their lives. Four of the six Confederate generals who were killed in the Battle of Franklin were laid out in state on the back porch of Carnton Plantation. No wonder it's said to be full of ghosts. And let me assure you, there are plenty of folks hanging around Carnton who communicate with those ghosts! I know one person who claims to be having "a relationship" with one of the generals. Maybe Franklin should be scheduled for a research stop for your next book. You can stay with me. How bout it, huh??

I am genuinely thrilled and happy to know you and celebrate with you. I'll direct folks to your personal website so they can get a better glimpse of how wonderful and prolific you are!! I'm hoping our NG Followers will comment every day this week to be entered to win their very own signed copy of A BREATH OF MAGIC!

Oh and by the way, July is coming up! I wonder how many of our NG followers will be in Nashville for the Romance Writers of America conference?? I know you'll be here and I'm hoping we can all get together. Until then, we'll all keep hanging out in cyberspace!

Looking forward to seeing you in July! And hopefully Maureen, Jill and Lesley, too!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Happy Tuesday everyone! Thankfully, this morning is going a bit smoother than the past few weeks, thanks in large part to a healthy dose of Elmo blaring on the television. And good thing, since I'm so excited to talk about Tracy's latest book: A BREATH OF MAGIC!

I absolutely loved the fun combination of romance, magic and plot twists in her first two books, so I'm betting that I'll eat up her latest. It's hard to believe that in the short time we've all been blogging together, some of us have two books out already, and now...a third! It seems that publishing truly is a roller coaster--it might take a long time to get up the hill, but once the ride starts, it just keeps going!

For her release week, Tracy has chosen the topic of all things paranormal/mystical/spiritual. This is perfect since I'm in the middle of writing a proposal for a spooky ghost story set on my college alma mater's campus. I've always loved scary movies, and routinely creep myself out by watching all the ghost documentaries and shows on television like A Haunting, Paranormal State, Haunted History and Ghost Hunters. Of course, I usually end up screwing my eyes shut at night and trying not to think about any suspicious noises! In fact, when I told my husband about this book, he gave me a quick side-eye and asked if I'd have to start sleeping with the lights on after all my research!

And Chicago is the perfect place to enjoy ghost stories. There is so much haunted lore and reported paranormal sightings each year, this writer has inspiration all around her! In fact, last year, some friends and I went on a ghost tour of the city. We rode around in a school bus and stopped at a few locations while actual paranormal investigators talked about the history of each locale. At one spot--Jane Addams Hull House--the stories were so creepy, my friend refused to get off the bus. I, of course, loved it!

My enjoyment of all things spooky was present even as a child. My birthday is the week before Halloween, and every year I'd have a slumber party with my friends. We'd go to a Haunted House and then watch scary movies until dawn, creeping each other out when we heard tree branches scraping against the window panes or a floorboard creak in my parents' 100 year old house.

So, fellow readers, what creeps you out?

Make sure you comment this week, to be entered to win a signed copy of A BREATH OF MAGIC! Also make sure you pop over to Tracy's website for more contest goodness, including Borders gift cards and a reading with a Clairvoyant! Pretty cool, huh? And for more fun, be sure to check out Tracy's interview with the Examiner here!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Third Release!

The third book in my Magic series from Dorchester Publishing releases tomorrow--April 27--and I am giddy with excitement! A Breath of Magic is an extraordinarily special book to me. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love every book within this series, but Chloe's journey and her story dug in a little deeper than the others. I hope, hope, hope that readers will find the same magic in reading A Breath of Magic that I found in writing it.

As the devoted readers of this blog know, we celebrate each and every TNG release with something a little special. For this release, I've asked the other Novel Girls to dip into the world of the paranormal/mystical/spiritual in any way they'd like. See, Chloe, the heroine in A Breath of Magic, owns a New Age store called the Mystic Corner. She is a huge believer in anything and everything mystical, so I figured this topic was the perfect topic for my release week.

I'm going to use this topic to talk about Chloe and the struggles she's facing as the story opens. Chloe, as we discovered in A Stroke of Magic, has Gypsy magic running in her bloodline--something she didn't know for most of her life. So now, a year or so has passed, and she's been waiting...waiting...breathlessly waiting for her magic to come alive. Only it hasn't.

Because Chloe's parents died when Chloe was young, she's never truly experienced what it's like to be a part of a family. Sure, she has her sister, but Sheridan lives across the country in Seattle and they barely talk. So discovering that Alice, Elizabeth, and Grandma Verda are really Chloe's family, and not just a substitute family, should be terrific news. And it was. But with the no-show of her magic, and Alice's busy life as a new wife and mother, Chloe is feeling left out and like she doesn't belong.

In fact, the only person who has really been there for her is her boyfriend Kyle. Maybe they don't set off fireworks for each other, but who cares about that? Chloe is happy enough planning a safe, comfortable future with Kyle, only he shies away whenever she broaches a happily-ever-after, something she desperately wants. What's a girl to do?

Use magic, of course. Chloe convinces Elizabeth to use her magic to bake a very special cake that will push Kyle toward saying "Yes" to the marriage proposal she plans on delivering. Elizabeth relunctantly agrees, and everything is set to go. Except...maybe not.

Chloe is beyond shocked to learn that Alice has a magical drawing of Chloe's future wedding day, and that the groom is definitely not Kyle. This scares her, though, so she goes ahead with her plans and Kyle says yes. Finally, her happily-ever-after is just around the corner.

But then, a man named Ben Malone walks into her store and the world changes in a blink. She has to discover if this is the man in her wedding drawing.

Here's an excerpt of what happens when she finally takes a peek:


One fold to go. I sucked in another mouthful of air, let it back out and opened the page fully. My eyes were scratchy, almost irritated, so I couldn’t see anything of merit immediately. Just a bunch of lines blurring together. Tears fell, but I couldn’t stop them. I didn’t even want to. But they blurred my vision, so I wiped them away.

The trembles grew stronger and I shivered. I blinked rapidly, and for a brief, glowing second, the drawing came into perfect focus. My eyes rested on the image of me, and then, out of nowhere, a burst of bright light turned the room upside down and sent it spinning in dizzying circles. As cold as I’d been earlier, my body now surged with heat.

The fire continued to climb upward and then outward. My throat grew parched. I reached out, hoping to find the table, grasping for some type of stability. Nothing met my fingertips. The weight of my legs, arms, my entire body disappeared. Fear pummeled through me fast and furious.

Had I lost my mind, my grip on reality? Or was I in the process of dying from some freak accident? A heart attack, maybe, or a plane crashing into Alice’s house. Or hell, maybe an earthquake. All of these seemed like reasonable and perfectly possible, if ridiculously unusual, explanations.

Again I tried to find stability, something to center me, by clutching blindly for the table. The heat suddenly vanished, the swirling ceased, and limb by limb, the weight of my body returned to me. I blinked again, opened my mouth to ask Alice what the heck had just happened, except she wasn’t there. Neither was her kitchen.

I now stood outside, and an arm rested on my waist while the sun warmed my shoulders. Some type of soft fabric—silk?—cascaded along my skin. Instead of the drawing in my left hand, I held a bouquet of flowers: vanda orchids, a glorious combination of purple and white, surrounded by a sea of lush greenery I couldn’t identify.

“Chloe! Smile for goodness sake. This is your wedding day,” an unknown male voice called out from in front of me. “Stand a little closer to your handsome groom.”

As if on autopilot, my body obeyed the commands. I tightened the gap between me and the unknown masculine form next to me. My lips stretched into a smile. I heard the whir of a camera.

“Good! Perfect!” the same man shouted.

What the stranger initially said finally penetrated through the thick smog that coated my brain. My groom? My wedding day? Had I somehow become a part of the drawing? I’d seen enough strange occurrences in my life to accept that as a reasonable explanation.

But wow. A rush of lightheadedness hit. My legs grew weak. I leaned further to the right, using the solid, firm form of the man standing beside me to stay upright. His arm tightened around my waist, adding support, shoring me up. The camera made more whirring noises, and while I tried to tilt my head to look at my groom, I couldn’t. An unexplainable force held me still, and I could do nothing but stare straight ahead. Not a pleasurable feeling.

“We’re set for now. We’ll get some more shots at the reception,” the photographer said. “I think you’ll both be really pleased!”

Whatever vise had seized me suddenly evaporated, so I slowly tipped my head, intent on learning who stood beside me. Excitement, anticipation, fear, worry and a host of other emotions I didn’t bother trying to name swarmed my senses. I saw a black tux, a white shirt, a strong physique. Slanting my vision up another degree, a chiseled chin came into view, and then… Oh, God.

Ben Malone.

All the blood-pumping desire I’d experienced earlier came back in a flash. No surprise there. But when he angled his body toward me, dipped his chin so our eyes could meet… Well, that was when the real bombshell hit. This Chloe, the one in the drawing, loved this man with an intensity I’d never before felt. Bright. Strong. Everlasting. And that same love reflected back to me in the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. This Chloe—the girl who wasn’t yet me, but whom, if I played my cards right, I could potentially become—was loved. Truly, to the depths of her soul, loved.

“Kiss me,” I whispered.

He smiled, bent over and pulled me against him. I closed my eyes, ready to finally experience the kiss I’d waited my entire life for. Would his lips be hard or soft? Would his mouth ravage mine, or would his kiss be slow and intoxicating? I wanted to know, and I wanted to know right that instant.

“Kiss me,” I said again.

“Chloe. Wake up, honey.” Alice’s voice seeped into my awareness first. Her hand, lightly slapping my cheek, came next. “Snap out of it.”


Whoa, right? Poor Chloe! Engaged to one man when the man who might be her soul mate enters her life. Of course, everything goes crazy from here. Chloe's magic begins, the family ghost is less-than-helpful, and a strange, sad girl keeps showing up, asking for Chloe's assistance.

As I said, this story holds a very special place in my heart. I hope you'll give it a read and love it as much as I do!

To celebrate this release, I am giving away one signed copy of A Breath of Magic! Entering to win is easy! Simply comment throughout the week here at TNG (though, only one comment per person per post/day will be counted), and I'll use to announce the winner next Monday!

I also want to mention the month of mega contests I'm having at my blog beginning today. Between now and May 31, you can win a ton of great prizes, including a 30-minute free reading with a Clairvoyant, signed books, Borders gift cards, and much, much more. Get all the details at my web site: HERE, and remember to visit my blog for weekly details, including a calendar of events, specific prizes, and more.