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Archive for May, 2011

Cover Friday – Rebecca Ryals Russell

Welcome  to Cover Friday!  It’s been so great showing and introducing all these wonderful covers to everyone.  I love it!  Today I bring you ODESSA by Rebecca Ryals Russell. 

Myrna Ashlin Watts graduated from High School in Jacksonville, Fl just in time to find herself transported to a bizarre and primal planet corrupted by demon-dragons. And they want her DEAD. Her problem is she has been recruited to kill them, too.

18-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from a rape two years earlier, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets Michael, who becomes her guide and explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island.

Reluctantly, and knowing it is her only way to get back home, she agrees to lead, battling dragons and monsters while crossing swamps and mountains, forests and seas. She wrangles with the old inner demons when three very different men join her quest—a seasoned demon/dragon-slayer who irritates but beguiles her, a tender and sweet mentor in whom she trusts completely and a roguishly handsome Scientist who sets her senses aflame. How is she expected to lead the others and keep everyone safe with so much inner turmoil?

Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?

1.  What was your first impression of your cover when it arrived in the email? Did you pet the screen for a while? Or did you rush to frame it?  I loved it immediately. I had made one myself to display on my website until my official cover came out and Delilah took the exact element I wanted displayed, Myrna’s eyes, and came up with the perfect cover. We added the sword to the name of the book, Odessa, which will carry through the series. The next day I sent it to Vista Print to make posters and wall calendar. The day they arrived they went on my office wall and I look at it daily. 

 2.  What does your book cover say about your book? What special feature does it point to that tells the reader to snatch this up right away to read?   I’m hoping, and have been told, my cover demonstrates how bad-ass my heroine is. She’s a demon-slayer, so she should be tough. The feature you see first is her eyes, which are her best feature in the story, as well.

3.  So tell me a little about your cover artist?  Do you know if he or she has a webpage? If so, do you have the link?  The cover artist is Delilah K. Stephans. She works for MuseItUp Publishing, writes and is going to school to enhance her skills. We call her our Cover Goddess because she always picks out just the right element to enhance about the story. Her website is: 

4.  What feedback have you gotten back from readers? Everyone LOVES the cover. One YA reviewer emailed me about how bad-ass the heroine looks and she is so excited to read the book in April, when it’s available. So the cover obviously met my goal.

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Guest blogger: JE Taylor – It’s time for a Rant

Hello everyone!  I hope you’ll take a moment to welcome J. E. Taylor to the blog.  She’s got this really awesome cover, don’t you think?  But J.E wants to talk about something else going on in the writing world, and I think she did a better job of it than I had planned to do, so I’m going to let her take it away.

Blog Tour Rant…

Hi folks, welcome to another stop on my blog tour. Today I’m going to deviate from talking about Hunting Season or my writing process or my cover designs and discuss something that has been festering a bit since I heard about it.  

In central Pennsylvania, a high school teacher is being persecuted for being a writer. 

You see, she writes erotic romance under the pseudonym Judy Mays and someone in town found out and made a stink about it.  Like it is such a horrible thing to have a high school English teacher writing on her own time.  

My first reaction was WTF?  Why are people upset about this?  And why the hell is this on the news?

Her ability as a teacher is not compromised by the subject matter of her books.  If anything, being a published author brings more solid credentials to the teaching platform.

Then again, she writes about SEX.  Yeah, I said it.  SEX.   

Well people, so do I.  I’ve got some extremely juicy stories on the shelf too.  You don’t see my employer handing me walking papers because I choose to write steamy erotica on my own time.  Besides, writing is NOT a felony.   It is freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom – period.  

We live in a free country where our time away from the office, or in this case, school, is our own and as long as we operate within the confines of the law, our employers have no right to dictate what we can and cannot do on our own dime.  We live in America folks. 

As someone who’s roots came from the television news trenches, the thing that burns me is the biased, slanted report on the news station.  That is the worst violation of public trust and objective reporting.  It’s one of those cases where they decided to make news instead of just reporting the facts – which is one of the reasons I abhor the media.  I’m sure they will stand on the freedom of speech pulpit – but they may very well had a hand in destroying a distinguished career because of a couple prudish parents.   A witch-hunt is right and that television station is standing right beside those nutcases. 

If I were Judy Mays, I would file a defamation of character suit against the television station.  This was not an un-biased reporting of the news.  It was an attack designed to influence the town board of education to impose sanctions on Judy and her side career. 

While the parents in the town do have the right to their opinion, they need to think before they speak.  Pushing their own puritan agenda on the entire town is akin with the crusades pushing religion on the poor subjects that crossed their path – or the zealots that banned the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.  

Reminds me of the town that banned Water For Elephants from the High School Curriculum.

Thanks for letting me rant a bit here. 

On the topic of my Blog Tour – Hunting Season is out and available on Amazon and Smashwords and a few other places.  Here’s the book’s description as well as a couple blurbs for the book:

When Kyle Winslow escapes from custody and targets everyone Special Agent Steve Williams cares about, a turn of fate brings Steve face to face with Ty Aris – a criminal mastermind topping the FBI’s most wanted list. Torn between justice and vengeance, Steve must make a decision. Join alliances with Ty, or arrest him and lose his best chance to catch the bastard who destroyed his family.

“Unstoppable, breath stealing, and terrifying all at once.” – Cat Connor, author of killerbyte, terrorbyte, and exacerbyte.

“Hunting Season goes where few venture, mixing a compelling crime thriller with supernatural forces. The action and drama is thick and fast and I guarantee you will not be able to put this book down.” – Poppet, author of Seithe and Darkroom.

Don’t forget to comment and be eligible for my Hunting Season Tour Giveaway!  Details found here:

To find out more about me and my books, please visit me at

Have a great day!

JET (J.E. Taylor)

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