Healer’s Garden

This weeks Six Sentence Sunday is a third selection from Healer’s Garden. Click HERE for Brenimyn’s scene and HERE for Jahara’s scene.

Brenimyn looked down at Jahara and watched her transformation in rapt fascination.

Stepping away from him, she stood with her feet planted, pulling herself up tall. She filled her lungs, her bare breasts held high. The dark triangle of her womanhood was visible through the gossamer fabric of her breeches billowing in the breeze. She looked so feminine. Yet, under the lifted chin and unpretentious set of her mouth, he could see the fierce warrior the visionaries had promised.

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Thank you so much for stopping by. And as always, I appreciate your comments. Click HERE to check out other authors participating this week.

Last week for Six Sentence Sunday I shared with you the opening of HEALER’S GARDEN, my futuristic erotic romance which introduced you to the heroine. (You can check it out here.) This week I thought I’d share my hero Brenimyn’s opening scene.

Damn, he’d been treading water a hell of a long time while he waited for destiny to change the course of his life.

Brenimyn didn’t enjoy these monthly exhibitions in front of the new female arrivals any more than he liked copulating with Kylie. Though she’d never admit it, she detested his touch, but he didn’t care. It was less confusing without emotions getting all tangled in their peculiar relationship.

Since arriving at the Garden three years ago, Brenimyn had become accustomed to arrogant women who thought they were the only intelligent creatures walking this earth. Kylie was a prime example of that conceited attitude personified.

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Thank you so much for stopping over. I always appreciate your comments. Click HERE to check out other authors participating this week.

Welcome once again to Six Sentence Sunday where I share with you six sentences from one of my books. This week’s selection is from the opening of Healer’s Garden, a full-length futuristic erotic romance novel.

In the time it had taken to do the retinal scan, Jahara Hriznek’s future had been stolen from her.

As she stood at the tall bank of windows staring at the distant mountains, Jahara knew nothing could change this new course of her life. She felt the hollow reality as obviously as the barren expanse of desert stretching between her and the horizon. There was nothing to breakup the monotony of the landscape. Nothing to take her mind off the inevitability of the days to come. Nothing to bring back the future she’d thought lay before her when she woke this morning.

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Click HERE to check out other authors participating this week.

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday! Click HERE to check out other authors participating this week.

Six years ago this month, my first book was published. Healer’s Garden is a futuristic suspense story available from Ellora’s Cave.

In this scene, Jahara is trying to figure out exactly what makes Brenimyn different from all other men she’s met…

“There’s got to be a logical explanation for what I’m experiencing,” Jahara said.

Brenimyn crossed his arms over his chest, humor sparking in his eyes. “Are you finished speculating? Because I can tell you the facts if you’re interested, or I can just wait here while you try to attempt to put together a puzzle with missing pieces.” He lifted a shoulder. “Either way, I’m good.”

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As always, thank you so much for stopping by. I always enjoy your comments. They mean a lot.
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It seems hard to believe that four years have passed since I began this blog. I remember the nervousness and excitement as I started the blog in anticipation of the publication of my first book. Now I have 10 books available and another that has been published, but which is going through a total re-write.

The learning curve has been steep. I jumped from the world of education into the world of publishing. I remember the joy of waking every day with nothing ahead of me but a blank page. There were no obligations to market. No Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Yahoo Loops begging for my attention. Now, with the world of publishing changing at lightning speed, I often feel like I can’t keep up with all that I think I should do. But I’m working very hard to find that balance between marketing, writing and real life. As a matter of fact, I’ve been kind of having a crisis of identity. But the other day when I was lamenting and questioning my decision to become an author, I was reminded … not everyone can tell a story. That’s a gift.

And that statement made me sit back and really think about what I want to do with that gift. I certainly don’t want to squander it or bury it. Instead of whining that I can’t teach anymore, I need to be grateful that I have found another vocation. I’m working to change my frame of mind to accept what I have instead of pining for what I’ve lost. So in celebration of my new found career path, I thought I’d share one of my first ever posts. I’m working to reconnect with that joy …

I’m a visual person. I love pictures. It’s how I remember things. I don’t have that flat out photographic memory thing going on as I can’t read words off a notebook page of notes in my head. But I can picture the page and know exactly where the information is among my notes. (It’s how I got all those A’s in college!)

That being said, it’s interesting that I don’t do it so much when I’m reading for pleasure. Okay, so that’s not completely true. When I read, I “see” the scene… people moving, action happening. What I don’t see are the details, the copper curl of her hair or his long fingers tucking it behind her ear.

See, right there, I visualize the action, but not the color of her hair or the description of his fingers. Which makes it odd for me to write those details. They seem so unimportant. But one of my critique partners often asks for more description when one of my characters first walks onto the page. And since I don’t write for me, I write for my readers who are clamoring to know who my heroine is and whether her hair is black or blond, I’ve learned to include the details.

This is the heroine of Healer’s Garden, Jahara Hriznek. I hesitate to post this picture even though it’s how I saw her when I was writing. I fear it may not fit your idea of who she is. But that’s her.

As a reader do you look for a detailed description of a character or is it something you gloss over? Do you take your visual cue from the pictures on the cover or do you let your imagination run wild?

Curious authors want to know.

I’ve been thinking a lot about promotion lately. (But really, if you ask most authors, their marketing concerns rank right up there with their looming deadline and the next line edits.) Because, let’s face it, our books might as well just be sitting on our computers if they’re not out their finding readers.

But then again … there is such a thing as TOO much. And I wonder when an author knows when they’ve crossed that line. I mean, I think everyone else knows when a promotion, whether it’s blog/contest announcements or a promotional excerpt that’s blasted everywhere, is driving them insane. Eventually, that cool promo the author was so excited about, becomes the spam that every receiver just deletes with an eyeroll.

And you know, I’ve begun to wonder if I am that author. I know there’s a balance between letting people know my new book is out and becoming a nuisance in the inbox. The fact is, when you hit that point, people no longer see you anyway.

Yet there is that 10 exposure thing before a person consciously recognizes your name. That’s right. We need to see something an average of 10 times before it works its way into our psyche. And of course the same 10 things aren’t going to be seen by the same 10 people so that means a smattering of promo across different avenues to be sure you’ve hit everyone more than once…or does it?

There are so many ways to market that a gal can go crazy trying to keep up with it all. And the old addage, do what you enjoy doesn’t always apply, because quite frankly, I enjoy more than I should. Sometimes to the detriment of my writing. LOL! There are times when I’d be just as happy sitting around chatting on twitter or making a book trailer as writing my next book. Heck, that other stuff is easy, which meant I did it A LOT.

Well no more. I’ve dropped out of Yahoo loops I wasn’t really using. I’ve stopped blog surfing (which is rather ironic since I blog) and I’ve limited my twitter to a couple days a week. You see, I’ve been watching some really successful authors and they don’t market. They write. Now isn’t that a novel idea?

Anyway, I just thought I’d share with you the newest in my “paper” marketing…romance trading cards. They came out beautiful. I’m so pleased. Frauke at Croco Designs took my vision and turned it into these …

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I’ve just started sending them out. (And yes, Zane is noticeably missing from the “Bonded” set … there was a glitch that’s been fixed and he should be arriving soon.) They’ll be making their debut appearance in some goodie bags at RWA National Convention in a couple of weeks.

So what do you think? When does an author’s promotion become an annoying buzzing in your ears. Because you know me … I just gotta know!

I’m having a give away for the WHOLE month of June…a basket FULL of goodies! I can’t take a picture of it because my stuff is still in storage for the next month. (Fingers crossed we’re in a house by July.)

What’s in the basket?
A print copy of Healer’s Garden
Random print books from my conference overflow
Bookmarks, pens and other Nina goodies
A deck of EC playing cards
A $15 Amazon gift card
… probably more random stuff from my prize closet

How do you get your name thrown in the hat?
1) One chance for “LIKING” my Facebook fan page (be sure to leave a comment on the page to tell me you’re new)

2) One chance when someone who has “Liked” my fan page mentions your name as referring them to my FB Fan Page

3) Three chances entered for each review for Blind Love or Love’s Bounty (coming in mid-June) left on Amazon, GoodReads or Barnes and Noble.

And that’s it! One name will be drawn from all entries. The giveaway will run from today to JUNE 30 at noon EDT. (Shipping is for residence of the US or Canada only. An international winner would receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate in addition to the $15 card already included in the basket.)

And just because it’s been awhile since I shared some sexy man flesh, here is some drool worthy awesomeness I hope you come across this weekend …

Wow! Thank you again to everyone who took time to post during my Halloween blog tour. You all shared some wonderful memories and it was hard to choose just one. But without much fanfare I’d like to congratulate …

JENN M.
from
Myrtle, MO

for her story about her hubsters decorations that resulted in an impromptu neighborhood barbeque. Congrats Jenn! I’ll be sending you a signed copy of HEALER’S GARDEN

And congratulations to all the winners of the overall Halloween blog tour. I’m pleased to announce that CAROL B. also won a signed copy of “Healer’s Garden”.

The next blog tour will happen at Christmas and I sure hope you’ll all stop over for some fun!

Cue scary music and creeking doors …

Yep, it’s that time of year when people turn down the lights, grab a big bowl of popcorn and sit down to watch their favorite things that go bump in the night in a horror movie marathon. Okay, so NOT me! I have such a vivid imagination I don’t need more images floating in my brain. I’m all about carving pumpkins and eating candy. You know … the quiet, non-scary kind of stuff.

This weekend I know some of you are following our traditional Halloween blog tour. And in the spirit of the season I’ve got some wonderful guys all dolled up for the holiday. Mmmm….

If you’ve stumbled here and would like to know what I’m talking about please start HERE. Jump on the tour bus and follow it through the links to the end … There are all kinds of prizes to be won. Contest runs 7 am EDT Oct 29 through 5 pm EDT OCT 31.

For those of you stopping here to enjoy a little eye candy I’m having my own contest.

My futuristic erotic suspense story “Healer’s Garden” is available in PRINT and has just finalled in the Eppies. w00t! w00t! on both accounts. Leave a comment here sharing with me your favorite Halloween memory. I’ll choose the best story and mail you a signed copy of “Healer’s Garden”. (**NOTE: Shipping to US and Canadian residents only. An international winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.) Comments posted from 7 am EDT Oct 29 through midnight Oct 31 will be eligible.

And to start you off I’ll share my favorite memory …

When I was a kid we lived in the “center” of a country town. The last street light from the four way intersection just up the road was at the foot of our very looooong driveway. We had a telephone pole about half way up the drive. My dad loves Halloween. This particular year he rigged a long length of piping from the front porch to the telephone pole where he’d hung a whispy piece of plastic on a string.

That night, the brave few who ventured up our driveway were scared by the haunting moan (may father’s manical laugh through the pipe) of the “ghost” that mysteriously floated up from the brush on the side of the drive. It was really not a nice trick, but ZOMG … it was hysterical. Needless to say we didn’t give away any candy that year except to our friends (whom we had warned).

It’s a great memory. I think because I was so impressed with my dad’s ingenuity.

And here’s one last halloween costume for you to enjoy before you go on your merry way…

Meditum

I am soooo thrilled. HEALER’S GARDEN is a finalist in the 2011 Eppies in the PARANORMAL EROTIC ROMANCE category. There are so many wonderful authors who have finalled. This is so exciting.

Here’s the blurb from Healer’s Garden

In the female dominated society of the 23rd century, mating with a male, even if it is to save the human race, is a distasteful task and one Healer Jahara Hriznek has successfully avoided—until now.

Brenimyn is a gifted breeding instructor at the Garden of Serenity. Forced to copulate with all females requesting his services, he yearns to find the one woman who responds to his touch. When Jahara arrives with the new class of breeders, Brenimyn’s body immediately aches for her, but convincing the stubborn healer that sex between a man and a woman is more than just an act for procreation proves to be a challenge he refuses to fail.

Jahara doesn’t want to enjoy the sinful rapture only Brenimyn brings to her body. Brenimyn has no intention of dousing the flames of desire licking at them until Jahara is completely his—body, mind, and heart. But when the government finds their loving relationship a threat to the natural order, there may be more than their stubborn wills at stake.

And a Brand New Excerpt:
Slumping against the seat of the open-air vehicle transporting her back to her residence, Jahara inhaled the aroma of the flowers filling the spaces between the buildings. Her day had begun so badly and though she hadn’t thought it possible after the incidents at Gabriella’s office, it had actually slipped downhill from there.

Gabriella abandoned her shortly into their tour of the facility to perform emergency surgery on a woman who was losing her fetus a mere ten weeks into her pregnancy. Jahara had been turned over to Mykilai Solodon, an apprentice healer. The woman had nothing but praise for Gabriella Bresilee, who apparently, in this woman’s eyes, could do everything but walk on water.

Everywhere the apprentice healer had taken her had been filled with women who knew of Jahara. She wanted to believe it had more to do with her Dame being the administrator of the territory than her own healing talents. Whatever the cause, the accolades had been so overwhelming she’d ditched her tour guide and found a quiet spot in a secluded courtyard to simply meditate in peace. But even that respite had been short-lived.

Gabriella had found Jahara and taken her to the quick care clinic, another section of the hospital where no males were allowed. Jahara spent her day healing women with broken bones and repairing torn skin from accidents that happened, for the most part, out in the agricultural section of the Garden. Not only were the tasks time-consuming, they required a great deal of her healing energy. Normally, no one was asked to work several hours in a clinic like that alone.

As her light had poured forth, so had the venerations until the whole clinic seemed to have filled with Garden employees who wanted nothing more than to see Jahara work. She had never experienced anything so draining in all her life.

Now all Jahara wanted was to return to her temporary home, shower off the feeling of all those people, call Merenith and tumble into a deep slumber. Unfortunately, that wasn’t all that would be expected of her. There was still the issue of her breeding guide and her first copulation. None of the day’s chaos had erased that thought.

Jahara slogged up the walkway to her living abode. Her hand missed the pad several times before she connected and saw the light of the fingerprint scanner illuminate her palm. The tumblers clicked, the door slid open and the spicy scent of cooking food assaulted her nose.

Someone had been in her house—again.

As she peered into the oven, she wondered why they bothered with any type of security measures. No one had mentioned the cooking service, but then again, it seemed there were many secrets the Garden kept to itself. Jahara sighed. At least she didn’t have to fuss with preparing an evening meal before her unwanted guests arrived. She pulled the tunic over her head, turning blindly toward her bedroom and the warmth of a water shower. It was an unlimited commodity here at the Garden.

“I hope you don’t mind that we cooked the evening meal.”

Screaming, Jahara covered her body with the clothing she’d just removed.

The petite woman standing in the living room doorway did not hide her amusement. “My apologies, most honorable Jahara,” she said. Her disproportionately large breasts bounced in the deep V of her dress as she bowed. “I am Ishawny, your breeding guide. They told us you were expecting us.”

“I was…I mean, I am.” The realization of what was to come slammed into Jahara, forcing the air from her lungs. She needed some time to prepare. “I’d like to freshen up if I could?”

“If it would please you, we could join you in a bath?” Ishawny stepped forward, the caramel ringlets of her hair shimmering in the soft light.

Why did the woman keep referring to herself in the plural?

“No, thank you. I’m quite hungry.” Actually, she’d lost her appetite.

Disappointment deflated the breeding guide. “As you wish. We will serve you the evening supper then complete the ritual if that would please you.” Ishawny bowed again. “Before you freshen up, I’d like to introduce my breeding partner this evening.” She stepped to the side and invited an unseen man into view. “My usual breeding partner has taken ill, but a most skilled breeder has agreed to take his place.”

Jahara gulped for air as a man stepped next to Ishawny. If it were possible, Brenimyn looked more gallant than the day before.

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