Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Mistletoe Miracles (+ Awesome Contest)

Autumn may have just begun in some parts of the world, but it’s never too early to be curled up with a good Christmas-themed book. That’s why I’m delighted to welcome author Jodi Thomas back to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her latest release, MISTLETOE MIRACLES, the seventh addition in her Ransom Canyon series.

In addition, Jodi is running a contest for a vacation in her New Mexico condo where she does a lot of her writing. She would love for her readers to experience Red River, an enchanted place that is very personal to her. So please be sure to enter the contest at Mistletoe Miracles 3 Day Vacation at Jodi Thomas' Red River Condo

More about the contest in a moment, but first here’s a brief synopsis of this heartwarming new story.

A small-town Texas Christmas story, where hearts are lost, love is found and family always brings you back home

Griffin Holloway is desperate: the Maverick Ranch has been in his family for generations, but lately, it’s a money pit. He’d sooner marry one of his horses than sell the ranch. Marriage, though, could be a solution. If he can woo a wealthy bride, he might save the ranch—just in time for Christmas.
          Jaxon O’Grady likes his solitude just fine, thank you very much. But when a car accident brings the unexpected to his door, he realizes just how much one person can need another.
          Crossroads is the perfect place for Jamie Johnson: avoiding nosy questions about why she’s single, she’s happy to keep to her lakeside home. So she’s baffled when she gets the strangest Christmas present of all, in the form of a Mr. Johnson, asleep on her sofa. Who is he, and why does everyone think he’s her husband?

Now please join me in welcoming Jodi to Thoughts. Welcome, Jodi.

MISTLETOE MIRACLES is a book I decided to write about how people pretend.  Maybe we all pretend as some point.  Not lie exactly, just don’t show the whole truth.

I like to do this on planes. When I start talking to someone I tell them I’m a writer.  They usually want to tell me their story.  I know when I’m listening to them that even the villains in stories think that they are the hero.  I also find that talking to me, knowing they’ll never see me again, gives them a kind of freedom.

So in my new book, MISTLETOE MIRACLES, I had fun giving my characters reasons why they have to pretend. Great fun.  Wait until you meet the Johnsons.  He’s a soldier for two weeks with no home to go to.  She’s a drama teacher who has told the school board she’s married.  She has good reasons for lying.  

When he falls asleep and wrecks his rental car, the sheriff in the small town of Crossroads takes him home----to the only Johnson house in town.  The sheriff thinks he has to be the teacher’s husband, after all, she said he was in the army.

This story moves through the book as the Johnsons pretend their way into falling in love. Hope you enjoy the Johnsons and the rest of the characters.

I'm very excited about our new contest for a three-day vacation at Red River, New Mexico--either a weekend or during the week. You'll be stepping into an enchanted place that is very personal to me. 

Years ago, my sons were wanting to learn to ski and every time we would go to a little town in New Mexico, it seemed to cost us a fortune. I saw some condos up there and I thought, you know, if we bought a little condo that would solve the problem. Turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Many times a year I go up there whenever I'm reading through a book I've just written or if I'm trying to think of an idea. There's something about sitting out on my patio and watching a branch of the Red River go passing by. 

The town of Red River has always been a special place for me. It's in the enchanted circle in northern New Mexico. Now we have a little bitty place up there, a little bitty hideaway where I go up to write. And It's always fun. My favorite thing to do in the fall is to curl up in a blanket out on the balcony and watch the Red River go by as I begin a book. Red River, New Mexico is an enchanted place I hope you will enjoy as much as I do. 


Jodi not only does your new book sound fascinating, but this contest sounds like so much fun. Thanks for stopping by today and sharing this with us.

Here’s a bit of background on Jodi for those who aren’t familiar with her.

Author Jodi Thomas
A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.  

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full-time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons. 

For more information, please visit Jodi’s website at www.jodithomas.com

Thanks everyone for dropping by today and visiting with us. Are you already reading Christmas-themed books or just have your stack ready to begin? What do you think about the three-day vacation giveaway, amazing right?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Magic Harvest (+ Giveaway)

Magic Harvest
Mary Karlik
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Young fae girls are disappearing.
     Layla has never belonged to the fairy realm – at least, half of her hasn’t. She’s never known anyone with human blood, not even her father. When she was three, the dragon Fauth attacked the fairy festival, murdering her fae mum & stepfather. Frankly, some fairies think she should’ve been eaten too.
     As she grew, despite being called names like “fuman” for being a half-blood, she’s discovered that being half-human isn’t terrible. She may lack magic, but she is immune to iron sickness, and she can wield a sword with elven skill.
Magic in the human world is disastrous.
     Sixteen years later, when Layla’s half-sister is kidnapped and taken through a portal to the forbidden human realm, Layla rushes to the rescue. She’s older and stronger, and she’s not about to let her last living family member be taken from her without a fight.
Only someone who belongs to both worlds can find the truth.
     The portal spits her out in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but neither her sister or the kidnapper are anywhere to be found. Stuck in a world she only knows from school books, Layla forges unlikely alliances to find her sister. As she becomes tangled in the dark world of fairy trafficking, magic harvesting, and murder, Layla will have to find the strength within if she is to survive and save her sister.
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

An excerpt for your reading pleasure.
          He picked up his cap and twirled it on his finger. “What do I know about you so far? Let’s see. You can change from human size to wee in the blink of an eye, and change back just as fast. So why not change and break out of the cage?” He winked and smiled. “Unless the cage would change with you. That’s it, isn’t it?” He dropped the cap on the table and leaned forward. “Why haven’t you used your magic?”
          If he figured out she didn’t have magic, then her only bluff was up. She might not have been as afraid of him as she had been at first, but she didn’t trust him either. And her fey-sized weapons would be almost useless if she had to fight him.
          If she could get out of the cage and human-size, then her weapons would come in very handy. She wouldn’t hurt him, just make him return her to the street where he’d found her so she could continue her search for Esme.
          She took a breath and stepped forward.
          His eyes widened. “Are you ready to speak?”
          She nodded.
          His eyes practically sparked with excitement. “Let’s start easy. What’s your name and what are you?”
          She wasn’t in a position to bargain, but she had to try. “I’ll answer your questions if you answer mine.”
          A slow smile spread across his face. “Fair enough. You start.”
          “My name is Layla and I’m a fairy—we are also called fey.”
          “Layla.” He sat back and folded his arms across his chest. “And you’re a fairy. A fairy like a fairytale fairy?”
          “Aye, a fairy. Don’t know about the fairytale part.” She leaned against the bars. “And you are?”
          He pulled a small case from his pocket and flipped it open to reveal an identification card. “Specialist Crime Division Officer Ian Cameron.”
          She grabbed the bars and shoved her face close. No use in mucking around. “Well, Specialist Officer Ian Cameron, what have you done with my sister?”


Author Mary Karlik
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”
She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.


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Thanks for stopping by. Have you every dreamed of magic and fairies?