Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Savior's Champion Release Day!

Title: The Savior’s Champion
Author: Jenna Moreci
Release date: 4-24-2018
Genre: Romantic Fantasy Action/Adventure
Category: Adult


Tobias Kaya doesn't care about The Savior. He doesn't care that She's the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn't care that She's of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.

Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting—and killing—for the chance to rule at The Savior's side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness. 

Trigger warnings: this book contains graphic violence, adult language, and sexual situations.

Buy links:
The Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2HiCKHK
Books-A-Million: https://bit.ly/2GVgSDk

Free Excerpt:

Read the first three chapters of The Savior’s Champion: https://www.jennamoreci.com/tsc

Author Bio:

Jenna Moreci is a Silicon Valley native and Youtube sensation, dominating the authortube community with her straightforward and hilarious writing channel. A lifelong storyteller, Jenna specializes in crafting thrilling adventures with heaping doses of bloodshed and romance.
When she’s not writing or ‘tubing, Jenna enjoys angry music, potent wine, and laughing until her face hurts with her goofball fiancĂ©.

Author Links:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 20, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

I'm happy that my short story "Becoming Death's Personal Assistant" is going to appear in the anthology Normal Deviation.  This anthology is filled with weird stories, and all  of them are inspired by the same strange picture.  It's kind of amazing how one bizarre image can inspire such different tales.  A Kickstarter campaign just launched to help this project come to life.  Feel free to check it out if you're interested, and please help spread the word!

My son Lyle's glasses broke this week, which wasn't so great, but he thoroughly enjoyed picking out a new pair.  They should come in sometime within the next week, and he's excited to wear them to school.

There was a snow storm this week, but it looks like the weather may actually turn spring-like in the coming days.  I hope this is true, because I'm seriously ready for this endless winter to be done.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WEP: The Road Less Traveled

It's time for more fun with Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thank you to Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, Olga Godim, and Nilanjana Bose for making this event possible!

The theme for this month is Road Less Traveled.  Let's get to it.

Transcript of Graduation Speech

Robert Frost High School

May 27, 2018

Good afternoon graduates, family, and friends.  When I was invited to be the guest speaker, I didn’t know what to talk about.  I’ve become well-known for being a bit of a rebel.  I got my big break because of a viral YouTube video, which to be honest, showed me in a bit of an unflattering light.  Talking about how to make a name for yourself professionally after being caught performing acrobatic feats in a shopping mall while intoxicated may make for a memorable speech, but it’s hardly appropriate for a high school setting.  It was wicked fun, though.
To help me come up with ideas for an appropriate speech, I looked to your class motto “The Road Less Traveled.”  It makes sense given the name of your soon-to-be alma mater.  I’m betting this theme has been touched upon by numerous classes that came before you and will continue to be used long into the future.  You may even be sick of hearing it after all these years and chose it out of a sense of obligation.  It pays tribute to your school, after all.  It also fits the theme of the day. 
Graduating means choosing a new path to take in life, and this is bound to be the first real decision in that regard most of you have made.  Up until now, you’ve been at the whim of your parents.  That helplessness may have come with a sense of frustration as you yearned to spread your wings and soar, but it also brought with it a sense of security.  You’ve had people to catch you when you fall.  You knew which steps to take next.  You’ve gone from one grade to the next, safe in the knowledge of what you needed to do.  Go to class.  Get good grades.  Choose an extracurricular activity or two.  Find an after-school job.  There were elements of choice sprinkled throughout, of course, but failure didn’t necessarily spell disaster, no matter how much it may have felt that way. 
Gearing up to go into the larger world, though.  That’s when consequences really start to feel real.  When I was your age, I was shaking in my shorts with anxiety, though I played it cool.  The sheer number of options and lack of guarantees seem daunting.  Still, you can look to others and seek advice from the adults in your life.  You’ll hear plenty of people suggesting you attend a certain college and study a certain field that has proven to be lucrative.  Others will suggest studying a trade or following in the footsteps of family members.  Which path should you follow?
People always suggest out-of-the-box thinking, but they usually want you to do it within the confines of a normal, comfortable career.  Maybe you find that path appealing, or maybe it seems too confining for you.  Perhaps you hear the stories of successful entrepreneurs who bucked the system and got mega rich, as I unintentionally did, and feel inspired to go that route.  And why not?  The comfortable, safe careers are still subject to economic downturns and shifts in consumer demographics and moods.  The safe careers can also result in you being kicked to the curb with little warning, which runs counter to the reasons many give for choosing those career paths in the first place.
So yeah, why not get onto the road less traveled and hack your way through the underbrush to create a life for yourself?  I’ll give you one good reason not to do it.  It’s hard.  Really, really hard.
There’s a reason the road less traveled is designated as such.  It’s a desolate place to be.  A dangerous place with even less guarantee of success or safety as the more stable, so-called respectable career paths.  This road less traveled is overgrown with obstacles that can twist your metaphorical ankle and leave you hobbling and at the mercy of vultures who would happily pick the flesh from your bones.
Great imagery, right?
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go that route if you feel you must.  It still might be the right option for you.  Not all of us fit happily into the molds well-worn paths would have us live in.  Some of us royally suck at being normal.  I know I do.  However, if you’re going to take the road less travelled, you need to be prepared for failure. 
Failure is not an abstract concept in the real world.  It’s a legitimate, and even likely, possibility with painful consequences.  Everything costs money, and when you run out of money, needless to say, it can put a crimp in your life.  You need to embrace the possibility of massive failure and everything that comes with it.  You need to be ready to push through terrible circumstances and learn from them so you can stand on your own two feet again.  That failure can be a badge of honor if you’re strong enough to bounce back from it.  Sure, it feels crappy and makes you want to quit, but that’s part of life.
So yeah, do what you think is best for you, and be prepared for life to chew you up and spit you out from time to time.  Does this count as an inspirational speech?  Probably not, but I never aspired to be an inspiring person.  Shi . . . I mean, heck, I used to be the cautionary tale parents used to keep their kids in line.  Look at me now!  Don’t let past screw-ups keep you down.
Bearing that in mind, what do you think the odds are of me being invited back to speak next year?

Word Count: 960

Friday, April 13, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 13, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

It was a nice day yesterday, so I took my kids to play in the park after school.  It was a rare thing considering how the weather has been here lately.  I think spring got lost on its way here.  Or maybe it forgot to set its alarm.  Either way, it's supposed to snow over the weekend.  Ugh.  Rather than focus on that, I'll try to focus instead on the fact that it's bound to stop feeling like winter here eventually.  Right?

WRiTE CLUB has its first bout on Monday, so be sure to stop by, read some good pieces, and vote for your favorite!

I'd also like to take the time to say Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  Be careful out there, especially if you know anyone who has a hockey mask.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-April 6, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

Today is my son Jude's 9th birthday!  I don't know how he's gotten so big.  It doesn't seem possible.  He's bringing cupcakes to school to share with his classmates, and he's excited about that.  Meanwhile my other kids are hoping there are leftovers to bring home so they can have some too.

I just signed a publishing contract for a short story that was accepted for an anthology earlier in the year.  I also got paid for that sale this week, which was nice.  We need to buy a new tire for one of our cars, so part of the money will go toward that.  We must have run something over while on our way to celebrate Easter, because there was a big hole in our newly-flattened tire.  Oh well.  It happens.

I have a few other exciting things going on in the world of writing, but I'll share the relevant details in the near future.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: April 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has rounded up another wonderful group of co-hosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

I'm happy to report that I met my writing goal for the month of March, though just barely.  My goal was to hit 80K in my WIP.  I surpassed that by about 300 words.  Going into the month, I was well ahead of the curve, but I got derailed for a little while.  Luckily I was able to get back on track before the month was out.

Now it's time to answer the question of the month.

When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Given the struggles I had with my writing last month, this is a timely question.  There are a lot of factors that can lead to a lack of writing progress.  Lack of inspiration, stress, issues in our every day lives, and a lack of self-confidence can all take their toll.  The way I try to pull myself out of a slump depends on the cause that lies behind it.

When lack of inspiration is to blame, I try to listen to music or look art.  Sometimes taking a walk and seeing some new sights can help.  If you're not feeling inspired, try to do something that you find invigorating.

I find that setting small daily goals can help when life is hectic or my self-confidence is lagging.  Accomplishing a small goal may not seem impressive to others, but it can be just the boost you need to get back into the swing of things.

How do you keep writing when all seems gloomy?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 30, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate the holiday!  I'm taking my kids to an Easter egg hunt tomorrow morning, and they're all excited about that.  Zoe is getting big enough to start participating in such things, so we'll see how she does.

My son Jude turns 9 next Friday, which doesn't seem at all possible.  He asked for an inflatable boat and a fishing pole for his birthday.  That boy is already looking forward to summer.

The healthy eating has been going well, though it's so hard to say no to things sometimes.  So far my husband and I have resisted the temptation of junk food, but it's going to be extra hard this weekend with Easter candy in the house.

The WRiTE CLUB submission period ends on April 1st, so if you're thinking of submitting, it's time to get that done!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 23, 2018

It's Friday! Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain.  I am her co-host.

Sorry I'm posting a bit late in the day.  I forgot to write this post ahead of time, and I had a lot of errands to run today.  So the first thing I'd like to celebrate is having a productive morning and getting the grocery shopping done!  Zoe kept trying to snag things off the shelves the whole time, but we got through it without breaking anything.  I'll consider that a win any day!

The next thing I'd like to celebrate is eating healthy.  My husband and I have decided to eat a healthier diet, and I'd like to get more exercise when I can.  Nothing crazy, but I need to get into better shape.  It's a good thing I love eating salad!

I also have a guest post up on the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish blog for anyone who would like to check it out!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 16, 2018

It's Friday, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things.  Our thoughts are with our wonderful host Lexa Cain as she endures some heartbreaking personal struggles.

I'm celebrating a chance to do something fun with my kids.  The elementary my boys attend are having a carnival and family movie night this evening.  They're so excited about it, and I'm sure it will be a good time.

I'm also celebrating good weather.  It's been lovely here the past couple of days, and I hope that means spring is truly around the corner.

WRiTE CLUB's submission period is open, and if you want to take part, the deadline is April 1st!  If you've ever thought of submitting, now is your chance!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things: March 9, 2018

I don't have a normal post this week.  Instead, I would like to focus on our wonderful host Lexa Cain.

Many members of our blogging community recently learned via Facebook that her husband passed away.  I cannot imagine the pain she is dealing with right now.  That kind of loss has to be absolutely overwhelming, so I would like to ask everyone who can to stop by her blog and wish her the best.

Life is short, and the world tends to remind us of this fact in one way or another.  People may leave us far sooner than we ever imagined, but we are far better off for having had them in our lives.

Time is precious.  We should celebrate that, and when tragedy strikes, we need to support one another.  

We're all thinking of you, Lexa.  Your husband sounded like a wonderful man, and the world is surely better for having had him in it.  Our thoughts are with you, and we all hope you have people around you to guide you through this difficult time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: March 2018

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has collected a wonderful entourage of co-hosts for this month: Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website!

Progress on my novel WIP has slowed some due to a busy week, but now I'm ready to get back on track!  I've also had some good fortune with shorter pieces I've written, and I'm letting the resulting optimism carry me through on days when the words don't flow as well as I'd like.

Now for this month's question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

Well, I start by doing a happy dance.  I am not going to share details regarding how the dance goes, nor am I going to furnish anyone with a video of said dance.  That would be humiliating, as my coordination and style are sorely lacking when it comes to such things.

Then I follow that up with a bottle of wine in the evening.  There's something nice about sipping some wine with my husband while basking in the glow of accomplishment.  While there's always more writing or editing in the future, I like taking some time to feel proud of what I've done.  It helps keep me happy and motivated.

How do you celebrate when you achieve your writing goals or finish a story?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-March 2, 2018

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

It's been a pretty good week for me.  On Saturday, we took our kids to Jurassic Quest since it was in Des Moines for the weekend.  The kids got to see life size animatronic dinosaurs, and there were rides and all kinds of activities.  By the end of the day, my husband and I were more worn out than the kids, but it was worth it.

Also this week, I found out that my flash fiction piece "Contemptible Cupid" was selected as the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish winner for the February challenge In Too Deep.  I'm so happy that people enjoyed my story.  I certainly had fun writing it.  I received a $10 Amazon gift card, which I promptly spent on the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I saw the film last year, and I think it's a part of history everyone should know about.  These women dealt with so much prejudice, and they made tremendous contributions to our space program.  I can't wait to dive in and read it!

Lastly, I received some good news about a short story I submitted near the end of 2017.  I'm not going to go into detail just yet, but I did do a little happy dance when I got the email.  Zoe, who was eating lunch in her high chair at the time, giggled and started dancing along with me.  She must have thought I looked funny.

What would you like to celebrate?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Souper Blog Hop

Today Chrys Fey is hosting the Souper Blog Hop on behalf of her mom Elaine Kaye.  Elaine is releasing a children's book, and it looks souper fun!

To help celebrate, I'm going to share a soup recipe I love, and then I'll tell you a little more about the book.

The recipe is for cheesy chicken enchilada soup, and it tastes amazing.  I found the recipe here on the blog Center Cut Cook.  It is absolutely delicious and easy to make.  I will note, though, while the recipe uses a specific brand of shredded cheese, I used what I had on hand, and it all turned out just fine.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large purple onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 10 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese, additional for garnish
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, reserve some for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped, reserve some for garnish


  • Chopped green onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced red onion
  • Crushed Tortilla chips
  • Diced avocado
  • Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican or Cheddar Cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour scream


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot/dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Add in chopped purple onion and red bell peppers and cook until peppers are softened and onions translucent.
  3. Pour in 4 cups chicken broth, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and enchilada sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add in diced tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro and shredded cooked chicken. Stir and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add in cubed cream cheese and Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese. Stir to combine and continue to stir while the cheese melts and incorporates.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with chopped green onions, additional Horizon Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese, etc.
Servings: 6-8

BLURB: Gregory Green loves his mom’s pea soup, but when he eats it at school, all of his friends make fun of how it looks. He doesn’t think it looks like bugs, and it tastes good! Then at recess, his friends run from him, screaming, “He’s a monster!” Gregory doesn’t know why his friends are being mean until he sees his skin is green. The teasing gets worse until an unlikely friend comes to the rescue—his teddy bear, Sammy. Sammy usually only comes to life for Gregory and his family, but Sammy has an important lesson to teach Gregory and his classmates.

Available in Print:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Kaye got the idea for Pea Soup Disaster from her son who loved to eat her homemade pea soup. Pea Soup Disaster is the first of many fun stories featuring Gregory Green and his teddy bear, Sammy, as part of the Gregory Green Adventure series.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

Find Elaine:
Website / Instagram / Litsy - @ElaineKaye

Be sure to visit the other participants to see their favorite soups and recipes!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Celebrate the Small Things-February 23, 1028

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  I am her co-host.

I'm celebrating getting a new laptop!  My old one has its fair share of issues, including missing keys.  This new one has a touchscreen, which my kids absolutely love.  It also works wonderfully so far, and I'm pretty excited about that.

I also reached 70k in my novel this week.  It's crazy that I've made it that far considering my only time to get good writing done is after the kids go to bed.  I'm typing this post ahead of time, so Zoe is currently climbing all over me.  I could never write an entire novel like that.

The latest Write . . . Edit . . . Publish event happened earlier this week.  If you'd like to read some great pieces centered around the theme In Too Deep, then check them out!  You can find the list of entries here!

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

WEP: In Too Deep

It's time once again for Write . . . Edit . . . Publish!  Thank you to all the wonderful people who make it possible: Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

This time around, the theme is In Too Deep.  This is a wonderful theme with countless possibilities, and I deeply enjoyed writing this piece!  (Please excuse my terrible pun.  I couldn't resist.)

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Contemptible Cupid

Don’t piss off Cupid.  He’s a vindictive twerp.  We’ve worked together for countless years, so I should know.
Dispense with all your mental images of Cupid.  The little cherub in a diaper you see on Valentine’s Day cards is adorable, but that’s not a practical work uniform.  Instead, he wears tight jeans and a button-down black shirt that he leaves open to show off his washboard abs.  With a quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder and rings of golden hair falling into stunning blue eyes, it’s a wonder half the population doesn’t fall into lust at first sight.  Maybe they do for the brief second they see him before his arrow redirects their amorous interests.
The work is straightforward.  He shoots people, ensuring their budding love.  I have the glamorous job of fetching those arrows and cleaning them so they can be reused.  What?  Did you think the arrow supply was limitless?  Nope.  It would be too cost ineffective not to reuse them.
Cupid likes to brag about the skill it takes to send the arrows sailing painlessly into the correct target.  And yeah, I must admit, it’s not an easy task.  I’ve tried my hand at target practice, so I appreciate the fact that the dude is good.  He’s just insufferable when he’s been going on about how magnificent he is over his third beer of the evening. 
Judging by the faces of bar patrons from all over the world, I’m not the only one he’s irritated.  People simply don’t say anything, because his muscles and weaponry make him intimidating.  Which is fortunate, because he has the power to mess up their love lives.  That’s dangerous stuff.
One time we were chilling after work in a London pub, and Cupid started in with his usual antics.  I watched from my seat, nursing my pint of ale and bowl of salted peanuts while he droned on about his prowess.  A guy named Richie, who was three sheets to the wind, told Cupid to stop being such a wanker.  I sputtered, beer pouring out of my nose.  Even as pain flared in my nostrils, my main concern was for the poor fool who’d unwittingly stepped into the biggest metaphorical pile of crap he’d ever stumbled upon.
Cupid’s pale cheeks darkened, fury igniting his eyes.  The sight of a grown man with actual flames licking at his pale irises made Richie stumble back in fear.  Cupid waved his hand at me.  “Come on.  Let’s get out of here,” he barked.
Maybe the guy felt relieved that we left instead of starting a fist fight, but he would have been better off were that the case.  Instead, we went to the Richie’s house and, by the time we were done, his boyfriend was head over heels in love with their neighbor.
I should have known better, but that didn’t stop me from screwing up.
On the night of my epic mistake, I’d had a few beers.  We were at a bar in New Jersey, and closing time was fast approaching.  Cupid’s captive audience had dwindled, leaving only me to suffer.  He was in the middle of a top ten list of his best matchmaking strikes when something inside me snapped.
I slammed my mug on the bar.  A wave of beer slopped out over the rim, drenching my hand.  “Can you please shut up for once?” I demanded.  “You’re so damn full of yourself.  Yes, your job is hard, but you’ve been doing it for millennia.  It’s kind of reasonable to expect you’d be good at it by now.  And my job isn’t as easy as you might think.  Sure, you send your arrows in painlessly, but pulling them out painlessly is harder.  Have you seen the way they’re shaped?  I’m good at what I do, too, but you don’t see me prattling on about it to people who don’t care!”
The moment the words were out, I regretted them. Flames erupted in Cupid’s eyes.  I tried to make a beeline from the bar, but he caught up with me on the sidewalk outside.  The arrow he struck me with carried with it a special kind of curse.  “May your love always bring you torment.”  It hurt like hellfire going in.  When I tore it from my body, it left a gaping hole.
I stared at Cupid, arrow in hand while blood gushed from my wound.  I trembled, but it wasn’t with fury at what he’d done.  I looked in his eyes as the fire receded, cooled by icy blue, and my knees went weak with longing.
Realizing what that meant, resentment bubbled in my chest, but it was nowhere near powerful enough to dampen the surging love.
I’m in deep.  I love him, and I loathe that I love him, but the love keeps growing despite my wishes against it.
I look at Cupid’s strong arms, the way his sinewy form tenses as he’s about to release an arrow.  When he lets it fly, I feel once again the anguish of that fateful arrow he struck me with.  The ache settles deep into my bones, consuming me.  I watch those full lips quirk into a cocky grin after the arrow burrows deep into its unwitting target, and I wonder if the touch of those lips to mine would ease the pain or literally set me ablaze.  Not that such a thing would ever happen.  He feels no such need for my touch.  He designed his spell that way.
I am immortal.  So is Cupid.  We are stuck together for eternity.  There is no escape.  I’ve accepted my fate, but I despise it as I’ve come to detest love.
Have you ever fallen in love and felt that painful twinge of realization?  That’s me not caring whether it hurts you as I retrieve the arrow from your tender human flesh.  Why should I concern myself with your fleeting pain when I’m stuck with eternal agony?
Let it burn.

Word Count: 997