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Write what you know–J.C. McKenzie with a great read and a chance to win!

First, I’d like to thank Lyndi Alexander for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today. I plan to discuss the setting of my debut novel, Shift Happens, which is now available exclusively on Amazon. At the end of the post, you can enter ShiftHappens_w8140_300for a chance to win one of five kindle ebooks of Shift Happens.

Shift Happens takes place in Vancouver, Canada. In this case, I took Mark Twain’s “write what you know” quote literally (although I personally feel he referred to emotions). I’ve lived in Vancouver for many years and definitely know it. Born and raised on the West Coast, I feel at home in the rain, with the ocean breeze, and the picturesque views of snow-capped mountains and dense evergreen forests.

My not-so-secret plan is to spotlight a beautiful city in a beautiful country. With writing Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I add “supernatural” elements to the location to make it my own, but I keep a lot of the landmarks, street names and areas the same, hopefully preserving the ”feel” of the city. I like mixing the known with the unknown. Isn’t that what Urban Fantasy is all about?

Does that mean every book I write will be set in Vancouver? No. In fact, I’m currently working on a short story set in Maine. Writing a piece with an unfamiliar area takes a lot of research. It’s definitely not the easy way out. What types of birds do they have? Flowers? Trees? What kind of slang do people from the area use? It’s exhausting. As much as I love research, the need for accuracy (total A-type here) means I’ll never do something like Historical Romance. Not only do historical writers have to get the area and landmarks right, they also have to get the time period aspect correct as well—when did they stop wearing pantaloons, when did indoor plumbing come about, when did men wear knee-high boots, etc, etc. Exhausting!

So did I “cop out” by placing my series in Vancouver? I don’t think so. Vancouver fits with the dark, gloomy and rainy image I’m going for with Shift Happens. I needed a city that could be beautiful and bright, and at the same time be seedy and grimy; and all surrounded by the brilliance of pristine nature, namely forests and mountains. In other words, Vancouver! My imagination took me on a journey; one that specifically took place in a city I love.

 What’s your take on setting?

Does it matter to you if you read a book set in Vancouver, versus New York or LA?

Do you like it if you read a book set in a place you know really well, or do you find it distracting, even insulting (if they describe a place you like negatively)?

Do you prefer to read about a place you’ve never been to? Escapism at its best?

 Thanks for taking a moment to join me. Happy writing and reading!

·         HER PAST DESTROYED HER HEART, CAN SHE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER IN TIME?

Story:
Andrea McNelly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

 Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

Excerpt:

A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.

Alpha.

My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.

Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.

When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.

 Buy Links:

Available exclusively in Kindle electronic format on March 27th, 2014

Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014

View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2About the Author:

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Contact Information:

Website: www.jcmckenzie.ca

Blog: www.jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author

Facebook Account Name: JC McKenzie

Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie

Twitter Account: @JC_McKenzie

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/JCMcKenzie

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Snowed in? Come win a ghost story by Kelly Moran to curl up with!

Please welcome as our guest author today, award-winning author Kelly Moran. I’ve followed her for several years on Facebook, and she always makes me laugh–but her new book,  THE DRAKE HOUSE, brings with it a strong set of chills, not giggles. One commenter will win a free ebook, so leave your information!

TheDrakeHouse - tiltedBIO:

Kelly’s been known to say that she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her, and that there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself.

She began her writing career in the Indie market, becoming the recipient of an Editor’s Choice Award, a Finalist in the 2008 Best Book Awards, and a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Excellence Awards before moving into traditional publishing. Her books not only have honors from the top review sites, but from NY Times bestsellers too. She is a respected reviewer and a Romance Writers of America member.

Kelly’s interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, Darren, three sons, Logan, Evan, & Ethan, and her black lab, Willow. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.

 

BLURB:

In her dreams, a ghost demands to be heard…

Once plagued by mysterious nightmares, Trisha Eaton always chalked them up to childish nuisances–until they return with a vengeance. Something about the Drake house next door haunts her, and now her night terrors and sleepwalking seem to be luring her to something dark. After a series of strange events, Trisha turns to Nick Mackey. As the new deputy in town, Nick wants to forget his traumatic past. His undeniable attraction for Trisha has him wondering if a shot at a normal life is possible. But Trisha has somehow struck a nerve in their small, superstitious town, and a long-buried secret threatens to surface again. A secret that someone will kill to keep veiled. Answers only lead to more questions in a case where nothing makes sense, but one chilling fact remains…some nightmares are all too real.

 

EXCERPT:

Her voice was inviting when she wasn’t mad at him. Like hot cocoa on a frigid day.

“You should smile more often,” he claimed quietly, glancing ahead at the orchard approaching.

She halted abruptly and tilted her head as if contemplating how to respond. “I smile all the time,” she said. No hint of irritation now.

Clearing his throat, he said, “I meant at me. You should smile like that more often at me.”

He couldn’t believe he said it. There was a very long awkward silence as she studied him, brown eyes widened. Talk about feeling like an idiot. Finally, she let out a laugh, smooth and rich from someone so small. She wove her arm through his affectionately like he’d seen her do with others and kept walking.

“Give me a reason to smile and I just might.”

“I’ll take it into consideration,” he mumbled. He already had. From the first moment he walked into her house tonight, he’d been considering her. Before, really, but why argue semantics.

 

PURCHASE AT:

Amazon or B&N

FIND KELLY AT:

Web: www.authorkellymoran.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkellymoran

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorkmoran

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