Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Blogger Hop Take 6

May 31st - June 6th: What is your favorite series that you've finished all the books (more than 3 books) to?

Oh this is a REALLY hard question ... There are so many series that I love. Two stand out in my mind, one I hated to see end because I LOVED the characters and one I was so excited for the final book and then the twist inside the final book made me so mad that I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room. (But I didn't.)

I'll break it down series by series.

Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead was one that I was just heartbroken to see end. Euginie Markum is the lead female and she is a fantastic character. She has major depth and reading her journey is not only exciting, it's a necessity. I remember when I was reading the first book, I was instantly hooked. I quickly went to read the second and then from there I had to wait until book three came out. Ms. Mead writes these stories where you just can't put them down. It's a magical world that takes place on another realm. She's created these fascinating lands that take on the characteristics of their rulers. While the ending isn't what I would have liked, it was a good ending, one that I still am hopeful that there will be another book of later down the line. I haven't read The Vampire Academy by Ms Mead but I have read the Georgina Kincaid series about a succubus. It's equally good. One day I will read her Vampire Academy I just need to be in a place where I can devote a month to doing nothing but reading because I know once I start a novel of hers I won't want to stop.

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, she wrote an ending to the series that I just am still, over a year later, upset about. I never ever ever would have seen the twist coming that she made and I let out a honest to god cry of, "NO!!!!!" when I read it. I remember just staring at my Kindle. I had to put it down, I couldn't continue reading. I was just so upset. It was like, Karen, how could you do this to me!! type moment. There is one character, V'Lane, that Ms Moning created. He was in my top three of my paranormal alphas that I was heavy on following. The way she wrote him pulled me in. At the same token, the lead man in her series, Jerricho Barrons - while he is a VERY strong Alpha - he was NOT for me. I loved to hate him. Where she took these two leading men - well, it blew me away. I have not yet started her spin off about Dani, MacKayla's sister, but I will. I just had to get over the ending - as I have stated it still haunts me.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cruentus: Rise to Power - L.S. Broomfield Virtual Tour

Character Interview

Ashley: Thank you for taking the time to come to my blog. It’s quite an honor to be the first to interview one of Ms. Broomfield’s Characters. I really wanted to learn more about you while reading her book. I almost wish she would have extended the book just a bit more so I could have gotten more from your point of view. Can you tell me, Emiliana, what your final thought was once your story was written? Did it surprise you? Upset you?
Emiliana: Overall, I was very much surprised. I was raised to blend in with others and never be the centre of attention. It appears I was never trained for this. My greatest surprise was learning the great importance I held in a scheme so great. Who would have believed a little peasant from Viterbo, Italy, would go on to be the mother of someone so great. On the other hand, I do not like being used so it certainly angered me as well. I have never been one to believe in the treachery and schemes in my world. Perhaps I was too sheltered.

Ashley: Donato, what was he like? I know we saw glimpses of him wooing you over, but what went on behind the scenes?
Emiliana: When he was not around his father, he was very much the gentle and loving man he never thought he could be. He had quite the funny side to him too. He could make me laugh with the simplest of things. When Arturo was present, the real Donato hid and the Cruentus persona slipped into place, just not as horrid as his father.

Ashley: Have you grown to love your in-laws?
Emiliana: Now that Ashley is a heavily loaded question. *She smiled* Camilla is truly on the road to saint hood being wed to that tyrant. The time has done nothing to improve my feelings for my father in law. If anything, I have grown to have a greater loathing for him.

Ashley: So, now what do you plan to do until the next installment comes out? If you are anything like my characters, they never leave me alone.  Do you insist on book time with Ms. Broomfield?
Emiliana: I will be the mother of Dragos Cruentus. I will be demanding book time. Behind every great man they say is a great woman. What they fail to mention is that the woman is their mother. So yes, I will be in book two.

Ashley: What about your parents? Are you able to spend the time with them that you want? After your kidnapping, I am sure that there is a large part of you that wants to cling to them for safety and stability.
Emiliana: I love my parents deeply, but alas a distance grew because of these events. My pappa could never let go of his guilt. My mamma was always the one placed in the middle when disagreements arose between my pappa and me. I could not sit by and let him speak so vehemently against Donato. I moved forward into a situation that began as less than ideal, that’s true, but life is all about choices. I chose to rise above and find happiness a midst everything and my pappa could not comprehend how I could do so. I remain close to my mamma, but my relationship with my pappa is still strained, though civil.

Ashley: Do you have any regrets? You were whisked away into marriage, to a man you didn’t know. Was there anyone before him that held your heart that you didn’t get to say goodbye too?
Emiliana: The only thing I regret is not being courted properly. Arturo could have been much more calculative and civilized and had Donato court me properly. Though my father in law greatly disagrees. I just believe he was afraid another gentleman caller would have provided competition. One regret in a sea of possible others, isn’t bad. I do not regret my life with Donato. It is something that no matter how unconventional it came about I would never change. He is mine, I am his.

Ashley: If you could change one thing in the story, what would it be and why?
Emiliana: I would have liked to have had Mahilios kill my father in law. *She laughed* A lady can dream Ashley.

Ashley: Final thought – in one word answer the following questions
Day or Night? Night
White meat or Dark meat? Dark meat
1800’s or 2000’s? 1800’s
Favorite Book? Robert Munsch – I love you forever.
Boys or Girls? Boys
Dresses or Pants? Pants
Horse & Buggy or Car? Horse and buggy
Warlock or Demon? Demon
Hair up or down? Down


A prophecy of old continued to burn in the embers of time; long left dormant until the Cruentus family rose above all others as darkness ascended the lands. Greed and deception were the name of the game, and Arturo Cruentus would stop at nothing as he concocted the ultimate scheme to get everything he wanted. No price was too high. The scene was set, the pieces strategically placed. The Gallo family could not come against him, and in the end Guido and Palmiria Gallo would come out the biggest losers, watching their only daughter, Emiliana, be taken away to render a debt settled. Young Emiliana Gallo, a victim of circumstance, was thrust into a world she did not understand and forced to marry a man she did not know. But what no one expected, not even Arturo, was that Emiliana and his son, Donato, would fall in love against all odds. For Arturo, love made one weak, but for his son, it was love at first sight. Donato became an opportunist in his father’s dirty schemes and did everything in his power to ensure the woman he admired for so long not only took his name in marriage, but also fell in love with him. Donato wanted it all, his gamble paid off richly, and he achieved both marriage and love. However, on the day they said ‘I do’ and the Cruentus and Gallo families were joined, Emiliana was ripped from their home like a thief in the night. An unknown force too unsettled to let the vision spill and strengthen the Cruentus family decided to do the unthinkable—double-cross the Cruentus family. Rage and disdain fuelled Donato and Arturo. Though their reasons were very different-their goal unified them. They squared off with the leader of the Russian Coven to take back Emiliana, and in the end the Russian coven paid the highest price as the leader's blood was spilled in retribution for his crime at the hands of Arturo. News spread quickly to the Magia Council, and before long Arturo was called before them to answer for his crime of murder unjustly. The Ancients of the roundtable at Mount Blanc, the mountain range bordering Italy and France, was now enacted as they listened to the tale that had unfolded. Little did they know that they were a part of the grand scheme Arturo Cruentus shrewdly planned for the ultimate betrayal.


Wordless Wednesday Take 6

I love fire - it's one of my favorite things to write about. I love watching the flames dance on the wicks and seeing how much brightness it fills a dark and lonely room.
Fire is my friend - it keeps me warm and safe at night
Fire is my light - it keeps the monsters at bay
Fire is my soul - because like me, it will burn until it's dying day

Photos taken by Ashley Nemer Copyright 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

ComicPalooza 2013

It's that time of year again - and this year I ventured out in a bit of a different way. I was able to participate in the festivities as one of the Artists, instead of a guest, perusing the stars and enjoying the entertainment. This is my weekend to geek out and have fun, this is, ComicPalooza...

Friday May 24th, 2013 started out early, waking up, picking out the perfect outfit and packing the car up. Books, bookmarks and flyers in hand we head out to Downtown Houston on a quest of adventure and excitement. Day one consisted of two panels, selling, selling and more selling. I was a nervous wreck when I woke up, it wasn't so much the public speaking that had my stomach in knots but meeting other writers, other NYTimes Best Selling authors, that had me in nerves.

It took me a minute to gain my footing but after-all, we all start somewhere so I might as well start now, right? My best friend and sister, Laura, came with me for this panel, thank God there was a friendly face in the audience. I haven't had any public speaking since College, so what, 8 years, and suddenly I started analyzing each and every word I said, worrying if what I wanted to convey was coming out coherently. If Laura's reassurance hadn't convinced me of this, the numerous people who came up to me later that evening would have. It was quite an amazing experience to have random people I didn't know come tell me that something I told them about myself and my habits of writing helped them. That moment alone made me feel that this was a successful weekend, regardless of what the remaining days would present.

Three pm hit on day one and panel number two was now up. My other besties slash sister, Stacy came with me to this panel and things seemed to move much smoother. There were only three authors speaking, as opposed to six, a lot more was able to be conveyed with more time devoted to each of us. Again, after this panel, a few more strangers came up to me and asked more specific questions and told me again, something I suggested helped them. Okay...I think I'm getting the hang of this, ya know. Nerves are definitely lessening and public speaking as an author doesn't seem so bad.

Saturday, May 25th, 2013 - Again another early morning. This time I had a better idea of how to set up my table, I brushed up my sales pitch of my book plots and I've established a target audience all in day one. Now it was time to really push push push. After all, the point of this was to get my name out there right?

Panel number three was by far the most fun. There was a lot of laughing and great questions from the audience. It was free flowing, rotating with each of the authors and a lot of audience interaction. Again - six women deep, you would think it would have been hard to get a word in but we seemed to mix very well. The best part of this panel was afterwards. Six people walked up to me as I was leaving and stopped me to discuss my books. One even wanted to walk with me back to my table in Artist Alley. That was quite a surreal moment, and really made me feel like yes, I am doing the right thing, writing and speaking.

The weekend overall was a major success. This exciting event gave me the opportunity to network with authors and readers I never would have had the pleasure of meeting and my books were widely accepted by a great deal of people.

Now onto the fan girl moments......

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! That's right you heard me, I totally fan girl geeked out over Billy and Zach, the blue and black rangers of the 90's kid hit television show. They were so nice and very gracious when speaking to them. Of course, it wouldn't be a ComicPalooza event with out me making random and goofy comments, causing total embarrassment when I think back on it. But all in all, these two super nice guys didn't seen to mind my goofy nature. On a side note, the Pink, Red, Yellow and Green/White rangers, will be in Houston in August and you can mark it down that I will too be visiting that venue.

Last, but not least, Sam Huntington, from Being Human. I think I shook his hands twelve times. I couldn't stop smiling. He had to be the nicest guy (After Jason Dohring of course) that I have met at these events. Alas, I don't have a picture of me meeting him, I was alone when that happened. But the memory will remain forever.

So this was how I spent my memorial/birthday weekend. Loads of fun, exciting times and a barrel of laughs.

My hubby and besties made it memorable and next year I look forward to returning and having a blast once again.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The First Thirty Years

Hi, my name is Ashley and I am a writer. I write for me, not because I want to but because I have to. I have spent thirty years building up to this moment, the moment of truth. This will be the pivotal moment of my life because I am turning a corner, working to making myself stronger, better and a conqueror. 

So now I sit here and reflect on what I’ve done for three decades, what I’ve become and what I’ve accomplished. I remember my childhood, so vividly it’s like I can relive it in a blink of an eye. When you think back on your childhood, what stands out to you? For me, there are a few things that shaped my world. 

It’s 1991, my mom was picking my brother and I up at the airport from visiting my father in Texas. It’s the first year of their divorce and here I am, eight years old and my life’s purpose hits me like a ton of bricks. Looking at the television monitor I see him. The President of the United States. I had no idea who he was; just that he had captured my attention while standing in front of the countries seal. I knew what I wanted to become, the first female President. I declared it that very day to my mom’s friend who was explaining to me that it was President Bush speaking to the nation.

From that moment I had one vision, the White House. 

In 1993 my dad enrolled me in my first class of taekwondo. I was this shy little girl, who had no idea how much this sport would come to shape my existence.

In 1997, high school. We had one elective in ninth grade that could be anything we wanted. My mom and I looked over the options and there was only one that was for me. Debate.

How little I realized that all these things would turn me into an outspoken, strong, creative and unique individual. Looking back I clearly see how each item turned me into this person writing here before you.

I spent the 90’s in training, either with my debate team or with my taekwondo family. Forty hours a week combined there was no wild and crazy social life for me as a teenager. But there was fun. Debate taught me how to think on my own, write ideas down on the spot, research and invent speeches that would captivate my audience. Taekwondo taught me discipline, perseverance, loyalty and patience. Both roads were not easy, both had challenges and accomplishments. I would watch my friends succeed where I failed, I would have to force myself to keep plunging on. Failure was not an option. Nemer’s didn’t quit, and we certainly didn’t let others dictate our fate. We took each obstacle as a challenge to prove who and what we were. 

August 2001, Sam Houston State University was calling my name, a small fish in a sea of unknown creatures. Business major, Political Science minor. I was still convinced I was going into politics, where I could make a difference in the world. Until Fall, 2002. I had one college professor who hooked me, he changed my whole outlook on my future and I saw my new calling, Economics. I fell in-love with this area of study. Everything about it kept me begging for more; up to the point where it was all I wanted to do day and night. Political Science and Economics kept my mind filled with knowledge and ideas. I was learning more than I could ever imagine. Sociology and philosophy proved to be the most thought provoking of my classes and that’s when my writing really became a part of my being. I started writing poetry and actually had a few poems published. Where that book is at, I have no idea, a box somewhere, but the experience laid the ground work for what I had in store almost a decade later.

Flash forward eight years, graduating college, finding a job (not in the sector I of course planned) and starting a life with my husband I found myself missing something. An intangible something that I couldn’t put to words. And then I found a writing group and finally, I felt complete. It’s here that I met my writing partners, the ones who pushed me to be a better writer. A community of women and men full of encouragement and cheering.

A year later my first novel birthed and the Algula were born. Zayn, Nikole and Haydar had taken over my mind and fingers, pushing out my first novel, Blood Purple. Is it a masterpiece? To me, yes. It is
about Arabic Vampires, specifically, Lebanese. I am half Lebanese and I have always had a desire to seek out my heritage and find out WHO I am. This really is a book about my path of discovering myself. I grow with each word I type, each scene I create and with the close of each book I get closer and closer to the final discovery of what I was meant to be.

My characters are strong and powerful in their own rite, but they are also weak, they crumble and hit rock bottom, and are forced to fight their way back to the top. I weep with each of my characters when they stumble, I rejoice when they succeed and here at this moment in time I am not even halfway through the final book of this story line (Blood Green) and I have no idea how it is going to end. I discover just like the reader, with each page that passes by. 

Nikole, the heroine, and Leigh, the antagonist, are two sides of the same coin. And I’m that coin. Those that know me can see the similarities, in their personalities. Even an undertone of the story line is based on how I have felt at different stages of my life. The Blood Series is Ashley. Of course, it’s amped up for dramatic effect and excitement of reading but when you stop and analyze different parts you will find me, raw and exposed. 

But it doesn’t stop here; next you will find my mystery series, Maverick Touch. I decided to participate in the NaNo writing of 2012 and I had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it, but I birthed one of the best things I could imagine. Nadia Maverick, a quirky news reporter that was inspired by April O’Neal of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She uncovers some deadly crimes which she believes are being conducted by Carlisle Ali, a Dexter type character.

Authors tend to write what they know, and in The Blood Series I wrote what I knew, myself. But in Maverick Touch: The Cat I was bound and determined to let this flow free of ‘Ashley’ influence. Oh boy how did I fail. 

When I read my book for the first time cover to cover I sat on my couch in astonishment. There I did it again, me. I’m in these pages. But not just me, people I love and care about. I see my best friends, my brother, and my husband in the different pages. That’s when I finally accepted that as a writer I am going to put bits and pieces of me into everything I write. 

Now, May 22, 2013, a new decade is starting. An Era of Success – that’s what I am going to call it. Because that’s what is going to happen. Did I achieve any of the goals I started out having in my youth? No. But I did achieve one thing; I’ve left my mark on the world. As a child I thought politics was how I was going to be remembered. As a college student I thought I would become an Economics professor and help shape leaders of the future. But now, as I sit here in my true calling, I see I am going to leave my mark in fiction. I’m going to provide the relief and inspiration to others with words. 

So in my next thirty years here is what I will accomplish. I will write not one best seller but many. I will touch a mass audience of people and show them who I am and what I am capable of. I will live my life in a way that happiness isn’t just out of my reach but in my grasp day in and day out. And when it is all said and done, May 22, 2043 I will look back and smile because I know I will have done what I was meant to do. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Memories at SHSU

My last day in my twenty’s. Oh how exciting can this get. It feels like only yesterday that I stepped across that threshold moving out of my teens and into my ‘adult’ years. It was a hot May day in Huntsville Texas – the day I turned twenty. There was no love in the air or big party plans – just an average birthday. Looking back I think MAYBE I should have done more but alas, it was simply number twenty. In a small college town there is really only so much you can do.

It was the following year that the birthday fun began. Twenty-One for most people in my generation inside America is the moment they are waiting for. We have the buildup and suspense of FINALLY being able to go out and enjoy a night at the club, or a party in your back yard.

Yes, turning twenty-one in Huntsville, Texas was good.

We celebrated first with dinner and then off to The Jolly Fox. The club right next to our apartments. Quarter Night, Tuesdays, went in with ten bucks came home with two. Pool tables, dancing, and good music. That’s what a birthday should be made up with. That, and friends, the best friends I could have.

I miss my days at Sam Houston State. My friends and I had a blast, there is nothing like the companionship of a group of people from across different cultures to join together and become a family.  To get you through the hard times and easy times of college. Often I will think back to those four years and long for what used to be. A tight nit group of ten (give or take a few) who would spend the weekends together laughing, drinking and sharing. Everything from summers poolside with music, winters huddled together to stay warm while outside, or even the tornado parties we had a few times. Wiffleball on the lawn or rolley chair along the sidewalk, it was never a dull moment at UPA Apt 269.

Now we’ve all scattered and I’m only still in touch with a few on a somewhat regular basis. I miss the roommates I had, the neighbors I met and the friendships that formed. I remember someone telling me the friendships you make in college will be your friends for life. Thanks to Facebook people are able to stay in touch and communicate easier. But it’s not the same.

One of my roommates introduced me to my husband. My life today would not be complete without that simple act. He was there for my twenty-first birthday even though my date for that night was someone else. I was fortunate to have him along side me while these great memories were being laid out.

I’m pleased I became a Bearkat, proud I conquered the small college town, and excited that it opened so many doors for the next decade.

A decade that is now coming to a close.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring – and what adventures will unfold, and how it will all play out – in this crazy game called life.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tanerk Raka- Blood Myth - A Character Interivew

 Happy Birthday to my bestie and sister, Stacy Moran. If any of you have followed my previous blogs about her book, Blood Myth you will know that I absolutely love her character Tanerk Raka. Almost more than my own evil characters. Stacy gave me a little treat by letting me sit down with Tanerk (My Pumpkin as we tease) and interview him. I hope you enjoy what he has to say ... If you want more of this book check out the 'Featured Book of the Week' and I'll have some more details posted there.

Ashley - Thank you for taking the time to sit with me, Tanerk. I won't take up too much of your time but I am curious on a few things. First - I'd love to know your reaction to the end of the book, specifically the last page. Do you know who the father is, or are you going to be surprised like the rest of us?

Tanerk“Anything, for a beautiful lady. See not so bad, am I. My reaction to the book, Stacy has a skill for writing me as close to as possible to my true self but it was not completely how I would have relayed, the turn of events. Of course I know who the father is, the thing is will what everyone finds out be the truth or not.

Ashley - What is it about the Ruzicka sisters that make you crave them? I mean, I know what's in the books but is there something else driving you? Wouldn't just one do you enough?

Tanerk – “One would never be enough and yes there is something else driving me but it is too soon to share exactly what and why the Dakhla women are so important to me.”

Ashley - Are you proud of Zakah? I realize he isn't exactly doing his father's work but if you could look at his life from an objective point of view, are you proud?

Tanerk “That actually is something I have never thought about before, maybe more accurate answer would be I respect him. A male Raka has natural urges and the ability to control them as Zakah has takes great strength.”

Ashley - Have you ever loved someone and, do you want to be in love?

Tanerk “Yes, I have loved someone before, many years ago… Do I want love now, no I don’t.”

Ashley - Why do you think that you are so popular with the readers? You would think with all of the evil that you have done in your lifetime people would be scared and disgusted by you.

Tanerk “Scared, disgusted? Are you disgusted by me? Look at me? I am the dark secret every being craves but is afraid to admit their desires.

Ashley - How do you feel about being a pawn in a game of the gods?

Tanerk “ Did you think that question would throw me off? Who’s to say, the gods are not my pawn? Akhekh sits on his throne and watches what his creations do because of his boredom but we are the ones doing… The gods live in their own sense of delusional security but it is us the mortals, the Saka, and the Raka who have the true power.”

Ashley - Are you excited about book two?

Tanerk – “Excited? I think my story is not a one book story so, yes I am excited but it will not be the end of me.”

Ashley - If you could change one thing about the book what would it be and why?

Tanerk “There was more of me and my past with the Dakhla and of course me and my time with Sorina.”

Ashley - I am sure you know that I am like your biggest fan, and it's quite an honor to be able to sit here with you and pick your brain. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Do you have anything you would like to add to this interview before we get to the final round?

Tanerk “Pumpernickel, you are the only one beside Stacy, I would sit here this long with. I have enjoyed our time and will enjoy more time off the record with you. Something to add, not everything is as it seems and there are plenty more surprises in store for everyone, including Stacy.”

Ashley - Alright now it's time for the lightening round ... Pick one word for each answer.

White meat or Dark meat? No meat
Day or Night? Day, morning to be exact
Boxers or Briefs? Neither
Knives or Swords? Myself
Magick or Demon? Both
Whips or Chains? Hands on kind of guy
Daughters or Sons? Depends
Virgins or No? Again depends
Power and Control or Submission? Complete and utter domination

Check out more info on Stacy A. Moran Here