Saturday, December 20, 2014

Enchanted Orb with Dani Kristoff


Our Enchanted Orb post today is with Dani Kristoff, reader and writer of paranormal romance and who is sharing the magic of inspiration behind her writing.

Dani Kristoff: The magic of inspiration

There are elements to inspiration that are not easy to corral when you want them. 

There is an idea, the spark of something that can evolve into a story (or an artwork, poem, designer cake, hat, dress…you name it).

Then there is the time and the energy and the skill. Magically these all have to work together to make inspiration work, to give an idea form.

The best part of the magic of inspiration is when all these come together. There’s an idea, there’s the time, energy and skill and you hum along and get a buzz.

It’s not only with writing do I get this inspirational feeling. I make hats, or try to. And it creates a high, I think, when it comes together as you imagine it.

I’ve dabbled in cake decorating too. I really needed to have an idea, some inspiration to create a design. I find that comes from the same place as story ideas, or maybe it’s the time factor. I really haven’t had much inspiration to decorate cakes lately. Not since I’ve been published. I do have the inspiration to eat them though. (the evidence is hard to disguise!)

I believe my problem with cakes though is skill. I want to take more classes and haven’t been able to because the teacher I want to teach me has been ill. So stay tuned on the cake front.

Sometimes inspiration comes is waves and there’s too much write. It can be distracting to have too many ideas and not enough time. Perhaps this is a type of hyperactivity I need to take medication for. Mmmm. Anyway, this is where note taking can work very well. Gone are the days when I remembered everything and carried it around in my head for years! Now I’m diving to a notebook or my iPhone to jot that thought down before it skitters away into the darkness. It’s scary how quickly those fab ideas disappear- like seconds. Fleeting inspiration perhaps.

But when all the elements come together there is something magical in that. I’m currently drafting a novel and it’s very much a discovery for me. I sort of know in my head how the story goes, but it’s the act of writing, the act of discovery that’s awe inspiring. I seem to be writing so I know what happens next, so I can see and feel how my characters react. It’s like the process is external to me.

Ah that it! It’s the magic of writing inspires me.

Dani's latest release is: The Sorcerer's Spell.


A sexy, body-switching urban fantasy. Annwyn goes to bed dreaming of making love with her dead husband and wakes up in the body of another woman, a woman who is having hot sex with Dane, a powerful sorcerer. Her body has been stolen by Nira, a sorceress, who feeds her magical power through sex, the kinkier the better. The curse she laid on Dane turns him into a werewolf every full moon. To complicate matters Dane's werewolf friend Rolf, succumbs to Nira when she temporarily repossess her body, causing jealously and confusion. Time is running out, as soon Dane will be a werewolf forever unless he can break the curse. Rafael from the Collegium of Sorcerers is the only one Dane trusts to help them, but when a wider conspiracy is revealed, it's up to Annwyn and her developing magical powers to save Dane before it's too late. But can she seduce an unwilling werewolf to lure the sorceress into a final confrontation?
Buy Links for The Sorcerer's Spell:

Amazon AU | iBookstore | Nook
Where to connect with Dani:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Magic Thursday with Delwyn Jenkins - The Watchtower Chronicles

I’m really excited to be sharing Magic Thursday with you. Thanks so much for having me on board. My second book Claimed By Earth comes out today, and to celebrate my first book Called By Fire is going to be free for a limited time. Woohoo.

This series is about four modern women who also happen to be witches. Each one has a facility with an element – fire, earth, water and air – and their personalities match the source of their magic. Mostly.

It got me thinking about my own temperament and those of my friends and family. 
I have friends who are honest, down to earth, reliable and eminently practical – those would be the folks who lean more towards Earth. 
I have another friend who is ditsy, funny, and sharp as a whip – and who’s inner child is never far from the surface. Air.
We all know people who claim Fire for their element. Passionate, energetic, sometimes quick tempered, but always exciting to be around.And the compassionate, caring, nurturing souls are all about Water.

Consider your friends and where they might sit on the elemental scale. Some, like me, might straddle two elements (earth and fire, if you were wondering) but others will very obviously be strong in a single element. Try it out and see how you go, you might be surprised what you find out.


Mycah Dunleavy has two goals in life: to protect her friends and to defend the World Below. In order to take her fight to the enemy she must become the most powerful witch she can be. But that power comes at a price.
In fulfilling her first goal, she committed the cardinal sin of using her magic to harm others. And to attain the second, she must combine in a ritual with a Watchtower Knight … despite the fact she can't bear to be touched.
Despite Mycah’s defensive armor, Sebastian wants to claim her as his own and he intends to woo her long and slow. Then Mycah comes up with a crazy plan to gain more power and he becomes nothing more than a means to an end—a role he has no intention of accepting without a fight.
But there are bigger threats to deal with in the World Between. Mycah's life is threatened, four Witches are kidnapped, and once again the enemy is knocking at the door. Time is running out, and if Sebastian and Mycah don't find a way to work together, both of their worlds could be lost.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Magic Thursday with Nicole Hurley-Moore ~ Dark & Twisty Magic & Myths

I adore myths, legends, fairytales and magic. I suppose it all started when I was a child and I read every fairy tale I could get my hands on. I especially liked the dark and twisty ones. From there I graduated onto myths, legends and fabulous books such as The Wizard of Earth by Ursula Le Guin and The Owl Service by Alan Garner. Added to that I watched ever cheesy sword and sorcery movie I could find. Hands up if anyone can cast their minds back into inky blackness to these long forgotten little offerings from the 1980’s? Gems like, Conan, Hearts & Armour, the Sword & the Sorcerer or the tragic (script & acting) Beastmaster.
As the half naked, breathy heroine says as she confronts the equally half naked hero...

“I am Kiri, slave to the priests of the temple of Ar – what would you have me do?”

That’s as mouthy as she gets and he spends the rest of the movie rescuing her. Ah, they don’t make them like that anymore... and there’s a good reason for that. :-)

Bad movies aside, I guess I grew up with my head spinning with quests of valour, romance and of course magic. 

I love writing historical and contemporary romance but there’s something inside that keeps me circling back to fantasy. So far, I’ve written three magically inspired stories.

 Until the Stars Burn Cold is a time slip story beginning in ancient Persia and ending up in rural Australia. It’s what happens when you fall for the wrong girl and get cursed into a ring for centuries. 

 Rain is a fantasy set against a medieval backdrop. Nuri falls in love with an elemental being who follows the storms. She believes Maras is an angel but when the Church brands him a demon she must choose between her love or her life. 

Black is the Colour is my latest fantasy which again is inspired by the medieval period. Ciana’s lover has been cursed into the form of a raven and she’ll do anything to get him back. Black is the Colour is the first book in the Tales from the Hearthfire series. 

Fairy tales and myths are a part of me and I love delving into and being inspired by the old stories which were filled with superstition, enchantment, heroic deeds and terrifying monsters. To be able to journey to dark forests, hidden paths or lofty castles and to watch good triumph over evil as true love prevails.
I suppose, even after all these years I still believe that if you wish hard enough, magic can happen. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gods Misbehaving on Magic Thursday with Peta Crake

A little while ago some friends and I were discussing who could be a god in disguise. The answers were not surprising – Joe Manganiello, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Henry Cavill, Tom Hiddleston, Jennifer Aniston, Helen Mirren, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, anyone whose surname is Hemsworth. Most of the suggestions, well all of them really, are actors who are easy on the eye but are also quite human with their own quirks and problems. They can be both distant and approachable at the same time.

It got me thinking about ancient gods and the stories told about them. I think one of the reasons mythology still resounds in today’s society is that the gods they talk about had very human traits. They weren't perfect. In fact, their problems took on epic proportions and made ours look inconsequential in comparison. They could be great at one thing but shocking at others. They were basically an over exaggerated version of us.  

The gods in the Ophelia Lind series haven’t changed much since the myths immortalising them were written. They still fight, hold grudges, make mistakes, and misinterpret things. They have learnt from some of their mistakes but can often resort to bad habits when stressed. They are just like us, except when they throw a tantrum they can destroy a whole town.

In Sacrifice, Phi has to walk the line between humanity and the gods, unfortunately, with the gods behaving like spoilt conniving children it can be easy for her to forget just how powerful they are. Or how powerful she has the potential to be.

Ophelia Lind has never been your average girl, but since becoming the Harbinger, her life has become even more complicated. Still a messenger for the Olympic gods, Ophelia is desperately trying to balance her new position with her complicated family. The only thing that's been going well is her deepening relationship with demigod Aden.

When a message delivery goes awry, a dangerous artefact is stolen, and a woman beloved of the gods goes missing, Ophelia falls under suspicion and she realises that once again she's become caught up in a sinister plot. And if that weren't enough, someone is stirring up trouble between her and Aden. As the threats begin to escalate, Ophelia must try to clear her name before the gods take action. But will she be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect what she loves most…

To find more information about the Ophelia Lind books visit Peta Crake at:
Twitter: @PetaCrake

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Good New Day

Welcome to this week's good news....

coming to you this week by Nicole Murphy


Nicole Murphy (aka me!) has unveiled the cover for Winning the King, Book 2 of the Jorda series from Escape Publishing. Winning the King will be released January 22.

You can buy Book 1, Loving the Prince, now! Buy links available here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Enchanted Orb with Peta Crake

Peta Crake writes urban fantasy and paranormal romances. Today she is sharing the inspiration behind her latest release, Sacrifice.


Inspiration for new characters and stories can often come on the lyrics of a song or a random comment by a stranger. But what about series? Is inspiration the same when you are writing the second or third book in a series that features the same main character?

The inspiration for my latest book, Sacrifice, the second Ophelia Lind novel, was totally different from that of my previous two novels, Harbinger and Revelry. While they were mostly inspired by music, this time I was predominantly inspired by locations.

Places I had been to or seen photographs of sent story ideas rumbling through my brain. The Valley of the Giants, which features in both Harbinger and Sacrifice, is near where I grew up. As a kid it always seemed a magical place – peaceful and mysterious. There was always an eeriness too, probably due to the warnings by parents not to wander off or we’d never find our way back. It was the perfect home for a tall green dryad.

Last year I went to Las Vegas and from the moment I walked into our hotel I knew Phi would go there. I didn’t know why, but at the time I presumed it would be to deliver a message. It wasn’t that I thought “hey this would be a cool place to send Phi” it was more that I could actually see her there. I could see her striding down the long shop-lined corridors linking hotels and casinos, I could see her staring at the arid landscape and breathing the hot, dry air. The d├ęcor of the hotel, the entertainment in one of its restaurants and a day trip to go horse riding all contributed as inspiration for a number of scenes.

Of one thing I’m glad, there was no real life inspiration for the first setting in Sacrifice...Tartarus. The closest I could probably get to that would be a lava flow or maybe the inside of an active volcano. Hmmm, maybe I should have gone to Hawaii for added inspiration.

What about you? Have you ever been anywhere or seen a place on television or in a movie and been inspired? Have you ever seen a photo of a place and your first reaction was a feeling more than a thought?

Blurb for Sacrifice:

Ophelia Lind has never been your average girl, but since becoming the Harbinger, her life has become even more complicated. Still a messenger for the Olympic gods, Ophelia is desperately trying to balance her new position with her complicated family. The only thing that's been going well is her deepening relationship with demigod Aden.

When a message delivery goes awry, a dangerous artefact is stolen, and a woman beloved of the gods goes missing, Ophelia falls under suspicion and she realises that once again she's become caught up in a sinister plot. And if that weren't enough, someone is stirring up trouble between her and Aden. As the threats begin to escalate, Ophelia must try to clear her name before the gods take action. But will she be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect what she loves most…

Buy Links for Sacrifice: Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Google | Penguin

Other books: Harbinger | Revelry

About the author:

Peta Crake grew up in a small town on the south coast of Western Australia, where the idea of fairies and monsters residing in the thick forests was perfectly believable. After spending nearly a decade living in Japan and revelling in its culture, she turned her hand to writing.

Now living back in Australia with a husband, two kids, a cuddle-addicted cat, and a thoroughly confused dog, she writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance full of strong sassy heroines, surprising heroes and disturbed side-kicks.

Peta is the author of the Ophelia Lind novels Harbinger and Sacrifice and the stand-alone novel Revelry.

Where to connect with Peta:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blurb for

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Magic Thursday with Anna Hackett: Writing Rip-Roaring Space Opera

On a Rogue Planet, the third installment of my science fiction romance series, The Phoenix Adventures, is out this week (cue happy dance!) This series is set far into the future where Earth as we know it no longer exists and treasure hunters and astro-archeologists vie for valuable old Earth artifacts. There's action, adventure, treasure hunts and the dashing, treasure-hunting Phoenix brothers: Dathan, Zayn and Niklas.

The Phoenix Adventures are also space opera. Space opera is a play on the term ‘soap opera’ – these stories are larger than life, emphasize the romantic, are filled with adventure, all in a space setting. They tend to be a little bit lighter on the technology and science aspects of science fiction, and more focused on the characters and the adventure.

I thought I’d share a few of my tips for writing action-packed space opera but still keep it accessible to your readers:

1)      Make your characters larger than life (but give them some weaknesses!)

2)      Introduce some fun, sci-fi gadgets (but don’t overdo it, have some ‘normal’ stuff as well)

3)      Use some fun, sci-fi names (but don’t give everyone unpronounceable names!)

4)      Keep the pace moving fast (but give your characters a few tiny breathers)

5)      Have fun! Starship battles…go for it. Evil aliens…sure thing. Space monsters…why not? 

Unlucky-in-love salvage mechanic, Malin Phoenix, didn’t intend to get caught up in a coup and kidnapped by a sexy cyborg. But she finds herself swept into an adventure to help the deadly, emotionless CenSec, Xander Saros, retrieve an ancient Terran artifact and save his planet. 

Soon she’s racing across uncharted space and is magnetically drawn to the cyborg whose strong arms and muscled body ignite a desire that burns brighter than a supernova. But Mal can never let herself forget that she can’t fall in love with a cyborg who can never love her back.

The crowning glory of the Centax Security program, Xander is heavily enhanced, his emotions dampened to nothing to allow him to be the most efficient, lethal killer in the galaxy. As he and Malin hunt for the remnant of the galaxy’s first computer, the Antikythera Mechanism, their quest leads them into the lair of a dangerous technomancer. But Xander can’t identify his greatest threat—the enemy or the fascinating woman who’s making him feel.

For more info on the book >> Read More


I’m Anna Hackett and I’m passionate about action romance. I love stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. You can find me at all the usual places: Website | Blog | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads