Friday Snippet #?

I can’t remember when it was last time I posted a snippet, so I’ll leave the question mark instead of the number. I’ll come back later to add it. I’ll also come back to add an image as well.

Marie’s Journey’s promo ended with a solid 450 copies downloaded all around the world, and for a book with no reviews it is a great result. It stayed for three days at number 2 of its category, Teen Romance Dystopian, and that gave it a certain visibility. Now, I can only wait for the readers to pick it up, and hopefully like it and leave a review on Amazon.

I am writing again! After brief, but intense, consideration, I decided to change the way I work, and mapped a whole story, chapter by chapter. So far, I have been able to put down a solid 2k words per day. For a slow writer like me, it’s a serious achievement. Also, I am incorporating my research on the Romans in the story, which is an added bonus. Happy Chinese New Year, y’all.

The Lost Centurion:

Marcus whistled, two fingers in his mouth as his father had taught him, and the two men—no more than boys—raised their faces toward him. “Get it over with and leave.” He didn’t move from where he was sitting, his hand caressing the growth on his jaw back and forth until it rested under his chin.

Two heads peeped out of the passengers’ windows of both cars at the same time, Marcus heard young, feminine voices calling the boys’ names, and a minute later the two cars had left the scene. He had barely raised his voice to carry his words to the two hotheads. It worked every time. His voice was a gift. He had been told countless times how with a voice like his he was destined to become a centurion. “You have a commanding voice, but you never command me,” Aurelia had used to say to him, purred more than said, that brilliant light of hers shining only for him when she was in his arms. Fighting the sadness that usually accompanied those memories, Marcus decided a night out would be what he needed.

Friday Snippet #?

Marie’s Journey Promo Update

Almost Podium for Marie pic

I know I am biased, but doesn’t Marie look nice up there? There being the top 100 Free in the Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction & Dystopian Romance eBooks section of the ‘Zon. I am pleased to report that so far Marie has been downloaded in the following countries: USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and Brazil.

Marie’s Journey Promo Update

Marie’s Journey: Free Promo


Starting today, Marie’s Journey will be free until Wednesday, January 29th. Marie’s Journey is my latest release and in need of reviews, so I decided to use the free-days option KDP offers. At the moment, my first YA novel is sitting at:

Marie's Free Promo-Beginning

If anything exciting happens, I’ll share with the blogosphere.

Marie’s Journey: Free Promo

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour: J. L. Mbewe

Broken Promises tour_banner_v2

The Broken Bargain Tour has officially started, and I am happy to announce that one lucky reader, Michelle Li, has won a copy of Marie’s Journey!

J. L. Mbewe, Secrets Kept’s author, is my guest today, and her book could be yours by entering a Rafflecopter giveaway

In her words:

Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete.

She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things.

While living life balanced between reality and dreams, she is creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.

For more information about her journey as a writer mama and all things creative please visit her blog.

MBewe Cover

Secrets Kept

“With a curse, she will build an army.
With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice.
But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper.
Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father’s death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people’s bizarre behavior.
Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother’s disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.”

My 8 Questions for Jennette:

1. What was your favorite book when you were a teenager?

I devoured books when I was a teen, but a few that stood out were: The Sword of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and Christy by Catherine Marshall

2. What was your favorite movie?

It’s hard to remember when I watched what back then, but some of my favorite movies were ones that carried over from my childhood such as Labyrinth, Willow, and The Neverending Story. I also LOVED The Three Musketeers.

3. Did you have an actor-crush?

Not really.

4. Did you already know you wanted to be an author?

When I was eight, I knew I wanted to be an author, but it didn’t take long for that dream to be swept under a rug and forgotten. I still did a lot of writing as a teen such as journaling, poems, a few attempts on novels.

5. What is your favorite genre to read?

Fantasy. Especially young adult.

6. Do you write in that genre?


7. What do you like the most about writing YA?

I love the coming of age aspect and the characters’ figuring out their identity and dreams, and discovering true love along the way.

8. What are you working on?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Hidden Dagger Trilogy as well as a few short stories that will be released throughout the year, leading up to the second book’s release. No date set on that one yet.

Thanks for having me!

Thank you, Jennette! By the way, Secrets Kept’s cover looks amazing.

Finally, don’t forget, to win a signed copy of J. L. Mbewe’s Secrets Kept enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour: J. L. Mbewe

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour

Broken Promises tour_banner_v2

In less than two weeks, on January, Friday 31st, Clare Davidson’s latest title, Broken Bargain, will be officially released. Today, the pre-release tour is starting on Clare’s blog.  Now, let’s hear from Clare her idea for a successful and unique book tour:

I’ve invited several other young adult authors to join me in celebrating. So you won’t just get to find out about me and my book, you’ll also get to find out about a host of other authors. Better yet, each author has offered up a prize. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next read?
You can already add Broken Bargain (Hidden #2) to your
Goodread’s to be read shelf. There’s also a Goodread’s giveaway starting next weekend. But you don’t need to wait until then to win a prize. Come today for the official start of the tour. I have Monica La Porta on my blog and the giveaway will also kick off. Today’s prize is an ebook copy of Monica’s latest novel, Marie’s Journey (Ginecean Chronicles).”

Pretty neat, ah?

imageClare’s books’ covers are always beautiful, but I am partial to Broken Bargain’s and I can’t wait for the book to come out.

Broken Bargain (Hidden #2)

“When you know magic is real, complacency is not an option.
It’s a new school year and ten months since Kim’s sister died. She wants to forget about magic, rebuild her life and start fresh. But it’s not easy when she has to lie to everyone: her family, best friend, Sophie, and secretive new guy, AJ.
But when Sophie’s grandmother falls ill, Kim can’t help but notice the parallels to Charley’s death. Convinced she’s the only one who can help, Kim sets out to discover what’s really wrong with Sophie’s grandmother.”


Here’s the tour schedule:

21st January – the tour starts here (Don’t miss my interview!)
22nd January – Monica La Porta’s blog (I’ll be interviewing author J. L. Mbewe)
23rd January – J.L. Mbewe’s blog
24th January – Sharon Sant’s blog
25th January – Deb E Howell’s blog
26th January – J Keller Ford’s blog
27th January – Allison Agius’ blog
28th January – Elisa Nuckle’s blog
29th January – Jason Graves’ blog
30th January – Angela Roquet’s blog
31st January – Release day! Head over to the blogs of Kat Ellis, Angela Roquet and Ruth Ellen Parlour.

Finally, today, don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Marie’s Journey! Cover-GINECEAN-960x1280 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour

Omnibus Cover #2

My husband came to my rescue and recreated for the omnibus cover the exact same look of the books in the Ginecean series. I merely played with the final product.

Roberto’s masterpiece in all its splendor:

Ginecean Chronicles (Roberto)

My only contribution was to slightly change the effects on the two chosen images:

Ginecean Chronicles (Monica)

I think we have a winner.

Omnibus Cover #2

Omnibus Cover for The Ginecean Chronicles #1

Outside is foggy and grayer than usual. I’ve been waiting for a few sites to answer me back so I can plan my next book promotion, and so I had a few hours of idle time and started working on a possible cover for an omnibus. This is the first attempt.

The Ginecean Chronicles

Omnibus Cover for The Ginecean Chronicles #1

Gnocchi with Shrimps in Pesto Sauce and Black Beans

Gnocchi With Shrimp Pesto and Black BeansThis recipe is one of my favorite gnocchi dishes. It is a variant of a gnocchi and beans soup my mother in laws prepared for us a few summers ago to which I added the shrimps in pesto sauce.


2 Packages of Gnocchi (I used the small ones for this recipe)

3 cups of small Shrimps

Half cup  fresh Pesto (homemade would be best, but if you are in a hurry one or two tablespoons of the pesto paste will work)

2 cans of black beans

2/3 Garlic cloves

hot pepper (if you like)

Extra virgin olive oil (don’t ask how much I used—you don’t want to know)

How to prepare this gnocchi delight:

Sauté one garlic cloves with some evoo, add the hot pepper, then the shrimps. Salt them and let them cook for a minute—or until needed. Remove the shrimps from the heat, keep the sauce they generated, and season them with the pesto. Then sauté the remaining garlic cloves with some evoo, pour the drained beans in the pan, check the salt, and cook them for several minutes. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi as instructed. When they are ready, keep at least 2 cups of the cooking water, and pour the gnocchi and the cooking water in the pan where you cooked the beans. Add the shrimps as well and carefully stir them until the starch from the gnocchi transforms the liquids into a cream. Depending on your tastes, you can add more or less liquid to make the gnocchi more or less soupy. Buon appetito!

Gnocchi with Shrimps in Pesto Sauce and Black Beans

Of Summers Past…

I am still trying to scratch the surface of the behemoth that is Expression Design 4, but one day at a time I am getting closer to it. Today, inspired by one of the paintings I created with Artrage a few years ago, I invented a title, added several textures to match the mood of the title, then worked with 8 layers to manage text and image. A professional would have found an easier way to achieve the same result, without drowning under a sea of layers. Because of the typeface I used, this cover doesn’t work well when scaled to thumbnail size, but I like its overall feeling. The  image conveys a sense of playfulness with just a hint of dark memories lurking under the title. At least, that is what I wished to achieve with this project. And now, I want to write this story.

Of Summers Past

Of Summers Past…