Summer Reading Kick-Off by Stacy Hoff

Memorial Day, 2016, is exactly one week away. I wonder how many of you are doing what I’m doing—preparing a summer reading list? For me, making up a “short list” of books to read is like being a kid in a candy shop. The temptations are so many, how can anyone  choose? I find myself almost motionless, struct dumb by indecision.


Should I try a new author? An author I know and love? The next installment of a great series? A suggestion from one of my book buddies? Where to begin????


I’m concocting an eclectic mix of all of the above. I’ll also be reading some drafts from critique partners. I’m growing my pile and getting excited about it! It’s almost time to unwrap the first of my sweets!

chocolate bar

What are you planning to read?











AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set with Stacy Hoff):

Hot Seduction cover

AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):

SOL cartoon  Sol cover new


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Happy Book Birthday to Me! By Heather Novak

It’s here! It’s here!

My book is out! Just in time for RWA’s Chicago Spring Fling Conference! I will be stalking Christina Lauren SHAMELESSLY, and if I don’t get arrested for said stalking, I will be signing on Saturday. If you’re in there, make sure to stop and say hello!

This means, while you’re reading this blog post, I am frantically packing the car and about to set off on a five hour drive. So where does that leave you? It leaves you with a sample of my new book, Hunting Witch Hazel.

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Hunting Witch Hazel
By Heather Novak


The Bridge Enchantment Spell

    Only my twin would want a happiness enchantment placed on Hayvenwood University’s scariest bridge for her birthday. I set the vials down on the stone wall of the Pont d’Amour and turned toward my sister, Romi. “I can’t believe that this is what you want. You sure you’re okay with getting your present two months early?”
   Between the possibility of destroying the bridge and overly nosy neighbors returning from summer vacation, it was just too risky to do the spell once school started. Luckily, classes didn’t begin until next week and this place was practically a ghost town. Romi swung her legs over the edge of the bridge and stared at the completely black sky.
    Magic during a full moon was too dangerous, despite the stories. I preferred to use a new moon. Especially for spells I barely had enough power to cast.
    “Definitely. Don’t you think it’s romantic to make the legend true? ‘Que les âmes perdues contemplant ce pont fassent leur vœu, à ce moment là seulement le chemin vers l’amour véritable s’ouvrira à eux.’ All of the feels!”
    I raised my eyebrow at her. “Romi. Do I look like I speak French? I barely speak Spanish after taking it all four years of high school.”
    She huffed on an exaggerated eye roll. “‘When lost souls look upon the bridge and make a wish, they will find their true path to love.’”
   I made a gagging sound. “Barf. That’s so gross.”
    “How do you not know the legend?”
    “How do you think I’m a romantic person?”
    “Live a little, Zee! I can’t do magic anymore. It’s fun to watch you! All I’ve got left is haunting French classes.” She waved her hand at me and sighed. She was remarkably solid tonight for being a ghost. “Vicarious living and all that.”
    I set my battery powered lantern on the cobblestone wall and pulled a copper bowl from my bag. It took all my effort not to roll my eyes.
    The chances of this spell working at all were the same as me winning a car on The Price is Right, but I was happy to go through the motions for my sister. After all, it was our twenty-first birthday this year; and tragically, she couldn’t drink. “Well, happy early birthday,” I smiled.
    Her smile practically split her face in half as she kicked her feet. “Stop stalling, Zee!”
    “You’re sure?” I triple checked as I opened my journal to the spell.
    “Hazel Evanora. When have I ever been unsure about what I want? What else can you possibly give me? While I’d love jewelry…” she shrugged one shoulder, “can’t really wear it.”
    My breath caught as I remembered what we both tried to forget. She was more solid than usual tonight, and I was comforted by that thought. We still weren’t sure what made her more solid some nights than others. I’m sure it was just something simple like weather or the moon cycle. But whenever she was too translucent, I panicked she’d just disappear and never come back. I blew out my sadness and proceeded to pour the elixirs into the bowl, combining them in the correct order.
    “Here where darkness lies, let there be light. Bring to all hearts joy instead of fright. Let two lonely souls join as one. Let love reign, warm as the summer sun.” I swirled the ingredients together in the bowl and set it down. Then I picked up my purple candle and waved my hand to light the wick. I touched the flame to the liquid, which instantly burst into green and blue fire.
    “Eliminate pain. Bring peace and love instead of shame. Fates, I make this request out of love, for love. In honor of Rosemary Evanora’s twenty-first birthday.”
    I tilted the candle to the side and allowed the wax to drip down, then held the candle in the pile of wax until it cooled enough to hold itself upright. With practiced hands, I dipped the feather of an adult raven into the now smoking bowl and began sprinkling the mixture up and down the bridge.
    Once I finished the methodical process, I poured the remaining liquid along both entranceways. With a bow, I raised the bowl and feather above my head. “Fates, we thank you for bestowing your attention upon us.”
    I looked over at Romi, who was clapping her hands and giggling. “Thank you, favorite sister in the whole wide world!”
    I laughed. “Only sister.” I picked up my bag and put the bowl and feather inside, then nodded toward the candle. “Make a wish.”
    She flashed me a smile and turned her body so she was cross-legged before the candle. “Together, on the count of three. One…two…three.”
    We blew the candle out. The spell was set.


Make sure to pick up your copy of Hunting Witch Hazel for kindle or in paperback (more devices to come)! Stayed tuned next week for a full report on Spring Fling!


On this day in 1926 – Thomas Edison spoke on the radio for the first time.

Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Instagram: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak

Hunting Witch Hazel: Now available
Threat of Raine: Summer 2016
Rosemary for Remembrance: Late Summer 2016




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Preparation Has Its Benefits

A few weeks ago, the very talented Prince (I’m referring to the singer, actor, artist, etc) passed away. It could be the fact that I’m in the midst of study for my day job, but what I seem to notice and hear about most since his death is his lack of a will. This is because he was touted as being such an organized person that many wouldn’t have expected this lack of preparation for the unexpected.

Still, as I study estates and wills and planning, I can’t help but reflect on all the preparation that goes into every aspect of our lives. As a writer, I definitely identified with being a panster early on (think in the moment, not a planner). I’ve said that in every other aspect of my life, I seem to be an absolute planner. But truth be told is that when I get the chance to go back to writing more frequently, I probably will change my stance and do a bit more planning before I start writing. I still think both work depending on the individual author, but as I look back at my published (and unpublished) works, I can’t help but pick them apart and dig into all the areas I would add more depth. A lot of this depth comes from simply knowing more about your characters and plot, but as a writer writing day in and day out, it is easy to get too close. So close that you can’t really pull the unique characters apart of see the holes in your plots (this is where having a critique partner or readers also helps). Tactful planning allows you to be strategic with how you lay out your characters’ history and the world they live in.

Lesson I’ve learned? Preparation definitely has its benefits and I will most certainly try more planning going forward. Good luck and happy writing this week.


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Deadlines Coming Up by Mandy Rosko

So, as it happens, I need to learn how to better manage my time. I’m a little behind on the books I’m supposed to hand in for Siren, and I definitely need to get my book for the Skeleton Key series handed in to the editor so she can have some time to actually edit the thing in time for release.

Yeah, the release on that bad boy is going to happen on June 15th, so I’m cutting it a little close :S

I never learn my lesson, lol, but I do love the cover for this one.



With Alpha Bear coming out on May 31st, and this book coming out only two weeks later, I figure at this point I need to give myself a rest, so I’ll be waiting a couple of weeks before I start work on Alpha Dragon and the sequel to Arrangement with a Billionaire. Hopefully by then I’ll be able to take a nice breather, and readers won’t kick my ass too much for making them wait❤

Don’t kick my ass please!:) lol,


For a free paranormal starter library, join the reader group at

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Words That Make You Go Ewww! by Jenna Jaxon

scrabble board

I love words. We as authors are wordsmiths. Words are our livelihood. I love language and even though its rules sometimes makes me crazy, I really do enjoy putting words together in the best way to create stories from my heart.

However, all words are not created equal.

Everyone has favorite words. Some of mine are unique, onomatopoeia, wicked, and integral. I have dozens more, and my editor will tell you they also include that, nodded, turned, smiled, and just.:)

And just as we all have favorite words, we all have words we simply hate with a passion. This is called word aversion. Nico Lang’s article, “Moist And 28 Other Gross-Sounding English Words That Everyone Hates” states that our aversion to words is linked both to phonetics and to meaning. “The linguistic formula for a disgusting word is to make sure it contains phonetically abrasive letters like “b,” “g,” “m,” “u” and “o,” which you’ll find to be common among the most hated, but “bogus” doesn’t elicit the same response as “bulbous,” the sound of which makes you instantly queasy.” He goes on to say that “to truly offend and revolt, [the word] has to play on our deep-seated semiotic associations with meaning. It’s not just the word, but what it represents to us.”

When the Huffington Post asked their Facebook Fans what their favorite “squirm” words were, the list that began with “ointment,” also contained “ooze,” “mucous,” “pus,” and “conversate.” (The latter always makes my skin crawl.)

After consulting several sources (and having had many people tell me this) the number 1 hated word seems to be “moist.” In the Slate article, “Why Do We Hate Certain Words?,” Matthew JX Malady says, “If pop cultural references, Internet blog posts, and social media are any indication, moist reigns supreme in its capacity to disgust a great many of us… VH1 declared that using the word moist is enough to make a man ‘undateable.’” Even more startling, “Readers of The New Yorker flocked to Facebook and Twitter to choose moist as the one word they would most like to be eliminated from the English language. In a survey of 75 Mississippi State University students from 2009, moist placed second only to vomit as the ugliest word in the English language.”

So now it’s your turn. Which words to you absolutely love? And which do you hate?

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What Do Romance Readers Love Collecting from Authors?

From going to conventions I know that they love books.  Free books.  Not so free books.  But what else?

I was talking to a fan of Young Adult Romance Novels, and she collects the following:

  1. Stickers – usually has a quote from their book
  2. Temporary Metallic Tattoos
  3. Bookmarks that match the book – Signed
  4. Tote bags
  5. A favorite from one author was a crocheted ghost with a signed book mark
  6. Button or Pins – some with a quote from their book
  7. Some authors who are artistically included have sent out signed art prints of their character
  8. Signed book plates.

I love bookmarks but some readers don’t enjoy them. I have a little compact mirror I love that’s embossed with the symbol from a book. I also collect pens.

What favorite things do you like receiving from romance authors?


Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 available in Kindle and Print and  Nook and Print
Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available in Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch (mythology romance) available in Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) available in Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas,Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available in Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love , Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
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vampchrist20copy1The Stormy Love Life of Laura CordelaisWhenLoveSurvives_LgWeb-version_smash2

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Epilogues – Do Readers Want One? By Stacy Hoff

book_ question mark

I am trying to wrap up my newest manuscript. But I wonder about how I’ll finally write “the end.” To me, a story isn’t finished when the “happily ever after” finally happens. I always find myself needing to craft an epilogue.


I know epilogues aren’t too common. Especially in romance. Romance novels have a very strict structure. Depending on the romance publisher, the prescribed format can be even stricter. The general rule is that once the hero and heroine say they love each other, their story is done. Nothing more need be said. Nothing more can be written about them. (Unless they play secondary characters in a sequel—a technique I’ve used myself in my “Desire” series.)

For me, letting go of the hero and heroine abruptly is painful for me. Not only as a reader but as a writer. I have picked up many a romance novel only to have the story concluded immediately after the declaration of love. The next page will be an ad for more books, and then the author’s bio page.

Wait, what? You mean I never get to see the characters actually enjoy their happiness together? To find them in a place of rest, so I can feel at rest, too? Seeing people happy is cathartic for me, even if those people aren’t even real. Having invested a couple of hours with them, I still want to know that they truly will be all right.

Even the ancient Greeks understood the need for audience catharsis. Oedipus Rex may be a bit of a downer but at least I get to know where the king emotionally stands for the rest of his life.

When I initially started writing, I didn’t start out with the idea I’d complete a novel and get published. I wrote because it was a need I felt to create people and put them in a better place then where they started. Doing so was uplifting for not only them, but me. I write epilogues because I get to breathe a sigh of relief when I know that everything for them really will be okay.

Epilogues. I need to write them. I want to read them.

What’s your opinion on epilogues?












AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set with Stacy Hoff):

Hot Seduction cover

AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):

SOL cartoon

Posted in publishing, romance, romance novels, Stacy Hoff, Writer's life, Writing Craft | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments