Christmas in July Giveaway and Blog Hop

Christmas-in-July-Giveaway-HopJoin me and my fellow authors in this fabulous giveaway and blog hop for Christmas featured stories, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Laurie Here.

Dates: July 22-July 31, 2014

I’ll be giving away 10 copies of my sweet/clean paranormal romance, A CHRISTMAS FLING.

Parisian Amour by Beth Barany
Parisian Amour by Beth Barany

To enter all you need to do is use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Or click here to enter. Check out all my fellow authors’ giveaways here:

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Grab Your Review Copy of Parisian Amour here!

ParisEbookCoverFinalParisian Amour (A novella in the Magical Tales of Romance & Adventure series)

Sarah Redman, a bank project manager, wants adventure in her life. Trainer extraordinaire, Josh Kleine, needs to pull off a successful presentation at a Paris conference to land more clients and save his company. Together they may hold the key to the strange disasters striking the City of Lights. Can Sarah unravel the secrets of the city and of her heart in time to save them all?

Get your free review copy by clicking here.

For Fans Of

  • Hallmark movies
  • Samantha Chase
  • Pamela Fryer
  • Curtiss Ann Matlock
  • Laurie LeClair

About the Author

Beth Barany, YA Fantasy Author
Beth Barany, YA Fantasy Author

Based in Oakland, California, Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible.

She’s the award-winning author HENRIETTA THE DRAGON SLAYER, a young adult fantasy novel (Book 1 of the Five Kingdom series.)

In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira, traveling, and watching movies with her husband, bestselling author Ezra Barany, and playing with their two cats, Kitty and Leo.

Connect with the Author

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Elemental Storytelling with a focus on HENRIETTA AND THE DRAGON STONE by Beth Barany

Want to know how we writers think of stories? Well, here’s a new way, with the Periodic Table of Storytelling.

I tried my hand at it recently for Henrietta and the Dragon Stone.

Hop over to Melissa Snark’s site to see the results!

While you’re there, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a necklace or bracelet to 2 lucky winners. Use the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaways. Prizes can only be shipped to US addresses.

Enter this giveaway now! Ends July 19th!

Or you can enter here:

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A Kickass Heroine Comes From the Heart by Catherine Cruzan

Elfkind by Catherine Cruzan

Help me welcome author Catherine Cruzan to my blog today as she discusses what lies at the heart of a good kick-ass heroine. You’ll be surprised! Enjoy!


The components of a successful story stem from the heart of the heroine. Her perspective is our access to the storyline. Her attitude and approach shape our opinions. Her spirit propels us into her world, bringing it to life. Without that emotional connection, we may as well be standing in line at the grocery store or sitting in traffic. The entire undertaking falls flat.

But when the heroine’s heart is genuine, when there are real stakes hanging in the balance, we become invested, and quickly find ourselves battling demons with Tessa Gray, navigating English society with Elizabeth Bennet, or taming the African wilderness with Karen Blixen.

I crafted the plot of ELFKIND around our heroine, Lariel, beginning with the question: What is in her heart? What does she want from life, and how would she respond to having it all ripped away? Does she rely more on her brain, her wits, or her compassion? Does she have the strength to face the evil burgeoning around her, plotting to take everything else?  Is she shrewd enough to stay alive, resourceful enough to find the Elves, tenacious enough to keep trying in the midst of everything falling apart?

It is Lariel’s tenacity that makes her so kick-ass, her determination to prevail rather than be deterred, to stack her resources and set them in motion against the pervasive evils in the world.  To succeed, she must tap into all of her strengths—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—with little regard for the size or the nature of the obstacles she confronts head-on every day.

Yet despite her intermediate triumphs along the way, there are the same needling doubts we all suffer. An honest heart has its limitations, its insecurities, its fears.  A real kick-ass heroine makes real mistakes. There is conflict in her makeup, flaws in her foundation, tribulation, pain. She needs to conquer many terrible things in order for her to glean her strength, because strength cannot exist without resistance.

When it comes to kickass heroines, we must be prepared to embark on daring adventures which will lead us down the twists and turns of wayward trails.  There is rarely exploration or discovery without danger. Our heroine may flinch, but she will never wholly shy away from the risks, because she has her eyes fixed on what she wants, or on what needs to be done. That kind of dedication comes with its own perils.

I did not set out to finish ELFKIND the way I did. I wrote all the way up to the climax, intending a different ending, and it struck me to the core when I realized what needed to happen instead—not because circumstance dictated it. Everything would have been fine if I had stuck to the outline, but fine wasn’t good enough. I didn’t want to compromise what Lariel had learned, or what I had learned in telling her story. The alternate ending is a more powerful testament to the breadth of her heart.

Our kickass heroines get knocked down—a lot—and the hits keep coming. Yet they always find a way to persevere. They strive for more, in their highly capable way, no matter how difficult the challenges. Their courage and resilience set them apart. They embody the remarkable people we want to be.

They are all of these things, because a truly kickass heroine comes from the heart.


About the author

Author Catherine Cruzan

Catherine Cruzan grew up in Bloomington, MN, but Southern California has been her home since 1984. After graduating from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, she has worked as a structures engineer for a number of aerospace companies in the Los Angeles area.

Catherine’s interest in books began as a child with a voracious appetite for reading. She fondly recalls piling onto her parent’s bed with her two brothers while her mother read the Chronicles of Narnia, Treasure Island, Little Women, Nancy Drew or Black Beauty. She moved on to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as a teenager, and Fantasy stories remain her favorite to this day.

Her writing career started with poetry and short stories published in the school newspaper. As an adult, she writes character driven Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction.  Her writing education includes Long Beach City College and the UCLA Writers Program. She is currently a member of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society and Orange County Writers.

Some of her many interests include Traveling the world, Steampunk, Victorian London, her Yamaha FZ6R motorcycle, Archery and Tribal Style dance.




Lit Central:

Current Release


Elfkind by Catherine Curzan

Published April 9th 2014 by Hunt Press; Paperback, 300 pages; Author: Catherine Cruzan (Goodreads Author); ISBN: 1625309864 (ISBN13: 9781625309860)

Lariel lived a life of privilege as the daughter of King Tallen and heir to the Tallen throne, until the captain of the king’s guard betrayed the family, murdered her father and claimed the throne for himself.

On the run for her life, alone and afraid, she finds refuge with the elves and discovers in herself a heritage previously undiscovered.  She is Elfkind—not fully human—with all the gifts that come with it, unexpected magic to be harnessed, and skills to be learned.

Newly trained and tested, Lariel is determined to regain her throne and free her people. But will her hard-won talents be enough to defeat the darkness waiting for her?

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Special Contest to Announce Parisian Amour

Here’s the Special Contest: Where is this?!

A Paris Metro Stop. Photo by Beth Barany. All Rights Reserved.
A Paris Metro Stop. Photo by Beth Barany. All Rights Reserved.

Which metro stop is this?

Contest Rules

To enter this contest, type your answer in the comments below.

Correct entries will be entered in a drawing for a free ebook copy of my new paranormal romance novella, Parisian Amour here:

I’ll use to pick a winner on July 14th, Bastille Day, by 7pm PST.

About Parisian Amour: A Magical Tales of Romance & Adventure novella


Sarah Redman, a project manager up to her neck with work, wants some adventure in her life. A career opportunity in Paris seems like a dream come true, but once she gets there nothing goes as planned. The job interview she thought she wanted falls through and her dreams about a crying dragon trouble her. To top it off, she gets lost in the tunnels of Paris with a man who attracts her more than she wants to admit.

Trainer extraordinaire, Josh Kleine, needs to pull off a successful presentation at the Paris Transportation Conference to land more clients and save his company. But strange events in the tunnels under Paris drive him to distraction and into a strange, profound sadness. In search of answers under the city, he gets trapped below ground with a gorgeous woman who he desires like none before. But will the sadness tear him apart before he can convince himself and her that love does not only exist in fairy tales?

Together they may hold the key to the strange disasters striking the City of Lights. Can Sarah unravel the secrets of the city and of her heart in time to save them all?


Barnes & Noble

What Readers Are Saying

“…a good mix of romance and fantasy…”

“…a sweet bite of magic in the City of Love…”

“…This story is incredibly poignant in places and smoldering in others. …I loved how the romantic and paranormal sides came together in this story and everything is neatly tied up at the end. There are no loose ends with this novella. A beautiful story and a perfect book for anytime of night or day.” — Archeolibrarian

Read An Excerpt here

Click here to see what famous man most resembles my hero, Josh Kleine.

Good luck with the contest!!!

Posted in Romance | 3 Comments

Summer Crush Party: Get Your Book Boyfriend!

10368203_10152423687287034_7646771249263586904_n 10491986_709030882491060_4026509516830532985_n 10487229_708863629174452_647812480589944806_nJoin me in the Summer Crush Party!

Several of my books are on sale for $0.99 from now through June 22, 2014:

A Christmas Fling

Touchstone of Love

Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (book 2)

PS. My new romance novella, Parisian Amour, is on sale too.

Please spread the word! Thanks!!


Hey friends: Maybe you’re in a book club or know people in a book club. If so, please share this with them!


Beth Barany’s books are awesome. Beth Barany is awesome. Beth Barany loves to hang out with book clubs. If you’re in a book club that would dig spending a little virtual time with an awesome author, you should totally check out Beth Barany.



Please post and retweet these! feel free to grab the images and pin then too!


Franc is a brooding & complicated one! Can’t wait to check him out in Henrietta and the Dragon Stone! ‪#‎SBCboyfriends‬


Julien has OMG a sexy accent {French!}. I can’t wait to check him out in TOUCHSTONE OF LOVE! #SBCboyfriends


Liam is a sweet & sexy boy next door! I can’t wait to check him out in A CHRISTMAS FLING! #SBCboyfriends



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Lucky 7: 7 Lines of my WIP, Green Man #luckyseven

Limestone Green Man Mascaron, Fourteenth Street NW (Washington, DC) by takomabibelot_creative-commons-license_flickr
Limestone Green Man Mascaron, Fourteenth Street NW (Washington, DC) by takomabibelot_creative-commons-license_flickr

Green Man is just a placeholder title. I know. It’s so not sexy.

I was tagged in a Twitter-based writers’ exercise called Lucky Seven, or, rather, because it’s Twitter, #luckyseven (the hashtag.)

If you want to participate, here are the instructions:

- Go to page 7 or 77 in your current work-in-progress (WIP) manuscript.

- Go to line 7.

- Post on your blog the next 7 lines or sentences – as they are!!

- Tag 7 other people to do the same (apparently people do this on Twitter itself).

I’m 25% done with my sweet paranormal romance novella.

Here are the seven sentences, raw, rough, and unedited.

After a few more hours perfecting and checking with her team on last minute details, Lili stood up and stretched.

Everything in her small apartment looked the same but she didn’t feel the same.

Night had fallen.

She’d pushed aside her grandmother’s words for a few hours, buried herself in work, but now it all came crashing back to her.

She couldn’t do what her grandmother asked.

It was too much.

She stepped into her tiny bedroom, cast off her jeans and tank top and shimmed into her little black dress with 20s flapper fringes high on her thighs.

She slipped on spiky heels, dashed on her favorite red xxx Chanel lipstick, and threw her keys and cash into her black thin travel pouch she’d strap against her body while dancing, Lili was going to get her night on the town.

Bonus: What shade of red Chanel lipstick shall Lili wear? She’s a true red-head.

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Can You Stereotype Kick-Ass Heroines? by Author Isabella Modra

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Rouge by Isabella Modra
Help me welcome author, Isabella Modra, all the way from Adelaide, South Australia where she writes about young adult fantasy and kick-ass heroines. Enjoy!


When I think of kick-ass heroines, it’s hard to put a stereotype to the many characters that come to mind. There’s the type of heroine who wears black leather showing WAY too much cleavage with a gun sticking out from her thigh holster and a badass pout on her lips. She kicks ass on a daily basis, has the greatest comebacks, saves the city from evil villains and always gets the hero.

Then there’s the quiet heroines who don’t portray the fact that they kick-ass. Take Nancy Drew, for instance. Do you see her sneaking around in lycra suits with a magnifying glass in her hand? And yet she always manages to catch the bad guys.

These days, heroines are beginning to change their faces. You hear of Katniss from The Hunger Games – an unintentional heroine who fought back for justice when she had no other option.

Most YA books these days feature a heroine of this kind of personality (Tris from Divergent, Hermione from the Harry Potter series, and Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments series to name a few). These heroines are innocent, brave by default and are often thrown into situations where they are forced to choose – to be selfish or to be the heroine?

The main character of my book series Rouge is, in some ways, similar to these heroines. Hunter Harrison was always ordinary until she discovered she had the ability to manipulate and wield fire. This power is often uncontrollable and reacts to her emotions. Give this to a teenage girl with a scientist for a guardian and a new love interest and you can expect her to have some mood swings.

Embers & Ice by Isabella Modra

What’s different about Hunter in comparison to the other heroines in the YA books we read is this; she is not a hero until she learns what it is to be a hero. She is an imperfect, compulsive, angry, whining and ungrateful teenage girl. Part of that is thanks to the fire that eats away at her soul, and she does well in my opinion to stop from ruining every relationship she has. And she’s lucky to have such patient people in her life (i.e her boyfriend, Eli).

I truly believe that in order to become a hero you have to go through hardships and struggles. You don’t wake up one morning with superpowers and suddenly you’re world-famous with a Twitter fanbase of 10 million followers. Yes, every hero goes through hardships. But they’re allowed to make mistakes in order to grow.

That’s exactly what my characters does. She grows. Tormented by her past and the suffering she endures eventually softens her heart. She becomes aware of what and who she took for granted. She figures out that heroines save even those who wrong them, because that’s the right thing to do. She learns to control the fire (I won’t give away how, you’ll have to read it), and she becomes a true heroine.

Perfect people make boring characters. The reader will want to throw up. After all, you’re creating someone as realistic as possible for people to idolize. It’s the same portrayal the media gives young girls about their image: telling them they have to be perfect will only crush their faith in themselves.

A true, kick-ass heroine is someone to look up to, someone to relate to and someone to dream of being. It’s as simple as that.



060214Isabella Modra
Author, Isabella Modra

Isabella Modra was born in Adelaide, South Australia, where she graduated in 2011 and began working full-time. In 2012 she traveled Europe, backpacking from Ireland to Egypt to Sweden and many other countries. She recently spent 7 months working at a ski resort in Alberta, Canada. She is currently living in Adelaide, South Australia.

Isabella began her writing career at the age of thirteen, after having loved reading books all her life. She wrote a mystery series of 9 books (unpublished) by the time she was fifteen, and decided to become a self-published author. ROUGE is her first published novel, and EMBERS & ICE – the second in the series – is soon to be released.

On a more casual note, she enjoys cups of tea, acoustic guitar, dreaming of travelling and meeting people with incredible life stories.

Amazon link for Rouge (first book):
Amazon link for Embers & Ice (2nd book):

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Henrietta and The Dragon Stone June Blog Tour & Party

Henrietta and the Dragon Stone by Beth Barany (Book 2, Five Kingdoms series)

Henrietta and the Dragon Stone June Blog Tour & Party

Thank you to all these bloggers who are hosting me on this special birthday-time blog tour!

Blog Tour Spots

June 1: Colorimetry: Excerpt and Giveaway!
June 2: BookLoversParadise: blog tour and GIVEAWAY
June 4: Archaeolibrarian: Spotlight & Giveaway
June 5: Pretty In Fiction: Guest Post on Empowering Young Women & Special Giveaways!
June 6: Author site: Morgen Rich: Beth Barany Spotlight & Giveaway: Here There Be Dragons!
June 7: Blog of Author, Ripley Patton: The Inspiration Behind Henrietta & Giveaway
June 8: My Creative Desk of Author, K.G. Stutts: Book Spotlight: Beth Barany
June 9: Blog of Author, Michelle Bellon: Interview & Giveaway with Beth Barany
June 10: Fearless Fastpaced Fiction with Suz deMello: Guest Post & Giveaway
June 12: Kelley Heckart’s Blog: Realm of Writing: Spotlight on Henrietta and the Dragon Stone
June 13: Author and Editor, Jennifer Willis: Guest post: World Building with Beth Barany (plus a giveaway!)
June 13: Blog of Author, Janie Franz: Spotlight: Beth Barany Releases Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
June 14: My Cup of Poison with Author, Casey Wittchen: Spotlight and Giveaway
June 15: Blog of Angela Myron, Middle-Grade, Neo-Fantasy Author: Guest post on

June 16: The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia: Spotlight & Review of Henrietta and the Dragon Stone
June 17: Larkin’s Book Bloggers: Spotlight on Henrietta and the Dragon Stone

Special Giveaway: June 18: Meet Author Beth Barany & Enter to Win an eBook! on Catherine Cruzan’s blog


Grand Prize

I’ll be giving away 1 signed copy of Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (Book 2 of the Five Kingdoms series) and 1 signed copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer (Book 1 of the Five Kingdoms series).

I’ll mail you a copy anywhere in the world.

I’ll also give away ebook copies of the book at each blog tour stop.

Enter below for the Grand Prize Giveaway. Giveaway ends: June 17th, 12midnight, Pacific.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Online Party!

I’ll be hosting a Facebook Celebration on June 17th. Join us!

Celebrating Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (Book 2) by Beth Barany on June 17th 2-6pm Pacific
Celebrating Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (Book 2) by Beth Barany on June 17th 2-6pm Pacific

You can join us here!

Join me and my fellow YA fantasy authors for a day of celebrating both my birthday and the release of my book, Henrietta and the Dragon Stone.

Prizes! Goodies and more!

Update: Thanks to everyone who joined in the party! Party favors and giveaways are open until midnight, Pacific time.  Enjoy and thanks!!!!

Thank you!

Thank you to these bloggers who shared about Henrietta and The Dragon Stone earlier in the year.

Belle of the Library: Q&A with author, Beth BaranyI’d So Rather Be Reading: Book Spotlight The Muse Charmer: Book Spotlight on Henrietta and the Dragon Stone Bookworm BagsJester Harley’s Manuscript PageProud Book Nerd: a reviewMy Book Addiction and More: book spotlight.

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Why I Write Kick-Ass Heroines by Kelley Heckart

052414CatsCurseBookI welcome author, Kelley Heckart, writer of historical romances with fantasy and paranormal elements. Today Kelley discusses why she writes kick-ass heroines into her stories.


I never understood the helpless woman dependent on a man for everything. From an early age, I did the opposite of what was expected of a female. I played sports just as good as any boy and played bass guitar in a hard rock band when it wasn’t as common to see females in hard rock bands.

I got a job and supported myself. But while I liked to compete with the boys, I was not offended if a boy held a door open for me or offered to change my tire. I realized that being a strong woman didn’t mean I had to be like a man or a man hater. With my husband, I know when to assert myself and when to back down and give in.

My experience as an independent female naturally influences the heroines I create.

Since I write romance, the relationship between the hero and heroine is important. Unlike relationships where one is powerful while the other one is weak, I think a healthy relationship should be a partnership, not a competition to see who can be the strongest. Sometimes you need to back off and let the other person lead. It’s all about balance and mutual respect for each other.

This is what I try to do with my strong female characters and their significant others. I can’t stand romances with Alpha males and helpless females waiting to be rescued, but there’s nothing wrong with being rescued.

I just think that on occasion the heroine should be able to rescue the hero. That’s why I was so excited when romance novels changed—the helpless heroine waiting for her prince to come rescue her became passé, and the kick-ass heroines emerged. And they are stronger than ever now in books and on television.

Sometimes my kick-ass heroines unintentionally put their relationships in danger because of their strong beliefs.

In my Dark Goddess trilogy (Cat’s Curse, Beltaine’s Song, Winter’s Requiem), my heroine is Domelch. She has a dark past. As Cardea, follower of the Great Goddess, she is cursed by Levite priests to live an eternity as a Lamia. Later in 564 AD, through magic, her destiny is changed and she becomes Domelch, a Pict warrior princess. She agrees to accept Christianity to help the man she loves, but this is a difficult promise for her to keep and her ambiguity causes much conflict between her and her husband, the king of a Christian land.

Like most people, she isn’t perfect, and her choices cause trouble, but she never gives up on her husband who she loves, even if it means she might have to leave him in order to protect him and his kingship. She also puts her life at risk to do what needs to be done.

To me, a kick-ass heroine is one who makes the right choices, no matter how difficult, despite the consequences—on and off the battlefield. This is why I write kick-ass heroines—to me there isn’t any other kind of heroine.


About The Author

Kelley052414Kelley Heckart writes historical romances with fantasy/paranormal elements. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. She can be found online at

Cat’s Curse buy links:
Mundania Press:


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