“Powered By Love” February Campaign & Giveaway

Campaign & GiveawayFor this week’s “Powered By Love” February 2015 Giveaway, post your memes (pictures with words) about an act of love and kindness that you observed or participated in or were the recipient of.

ENTER: To enter, post on my page here https://www.facebook.com/bethbarany/photos/p.793453147356919/793453147356919/?type=1&theater or post on your page and tag this one. I’ll see it that way too. smile emoticon

PRIZES: You can win any one of my romance novellas or YA fantasy novels, or even nonfiction books. Your choice!

Yes, I’ll ship internationally for the print books. I have ebooks only for some of my books and some of both in print and digital.

Romance: http://author.bethbarany.com/romance/
YA Fantasy: http://author.bethbarany.com/ya-fantasy/
Nonfiction: http://www.bethbarany.com/products/products.htm

I’ll pick two winners at random by Sunday, Feb. 15, 9pm Pacific/12midnight Eastern here.

Thanks, and much love,

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Christmas Cookie Love: Gluten-Free Ginger Cookie and more!

C&K hop I’m participating in a fun Cookies & Kisses blog hop, sponsored by author, Tawny Weber: Dec. 1-12.

You can get the Cookies & Kisses free recipe book here.

My recipe for my favorite kind of cookie, Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies, is there!

I’ve been eating gluten-free for almost four years now and stopped eating cookies because of that choice. Now, there’s lots of great gluten-free cookies out there and flour mixes. If you try my recipe, let me know how it goes!


Special Giveaway

In honor of the blog tour, I’m giving away 1 copy of each of my romance novellas.

Just use this Rafflecopter tool to enter the giveaway. I’ll pick winners after the end of the hop.

Magical Tales of Romance and Adventure novella series by Beth Barany
Enjoy this novella series from Beth Barany

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About each of these romances here.

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Christmas Sweet Romance, Featured Books List

This month I’ll be featuring Christmas Romances for your reading pleasure.

This week it’s 10 Sweet Romances.

Note: By being listed here, the books are not endorsed by me. I haven’t read them all. Also, I’ve linked to Amazon only. For other vendors, check the authors’ sites.

I’ve listed the book titles by alphabetical order.

Enjoy! I’ll list 10 more Christmas romances next week.




blossoms in the snow by paula freda
blossoms in the snow by paula freda

Blossoms in the Snow by Paula Freda

Sweet is pregnant—and down on her luck. When Sam rescues Becca, they discover Christmas hope.

Available here.

dot - amazon
Paula Freda, Author


Homemaker, mother of two sons, grandmother of two grandchildren, former publisher of a family-oriented press, The Pink Chameleon. Paula Freda has been writing for as long as she can remember. More at her site: http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/dpfenterprises.com.



A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance by Joyce DiPastena

A Candlelight Courting by Joyce DiPastena

When Burthred comes courting on Christmas Eve, Meg makes him swear on her box of holy relics that he will not pursue her. But her reliquary box holds a secret, one that will either join their hearts together or tear them apart.

Available here.

Joyce DiPastena, Author


Joyce DiPastena is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. More at http://www.joyce-dipastena.com.




Christmas Hope: An Appalchian Foothills Holiday novella (The Appalachian Foothills series Book 4) by Leslie Lynch
Christmas Hope: An Appalchian Foothills Holiday novella (The Appalachian Foothills series Book 4) by Leslie Lynch

Christmas Hope by Leslie Lynch

Sam Bledsoe’s reclusive existence keeps his badly scarred face away from curious eyes. Free spirit Becca Sweet is pregnant—and down on her luck. When Sam rescues Becca, they discover Christmas hope applies to all, even them. Will hope lead to love, the most precious Christmas gift of all?

Available here.

Business Head Shot full size, Leslie Lynch, Author
Leslie Lynch, Author


Award winning author Leslie Lynch gives voice to characters who struggle to find healing for their brokenness—and discover unconventional solutions to life’s unexpected twists. More at www.leslielynch.com.


christmas journey (life in zutphen #2) by patricia kiyono
Christmas Journey (Life in Zutphen #2) by Patricia Kiyono

Christmas Journey (Life in Zutphen #2) by Patricia Kiyono

Helen DeGroot’s quiet life in Zutphen, Michigan includes her children, grandchildren, and church committee work. Mike Sikkema has a high-powered job at a travel magazine in Chicago. Their lives couldn’t be more different. Can these two help each other navigate the journey to self-discovery and happiness?

Available here.

Patricia Kiyono, Author


Patricia Kiyono is a music professor by day and writer of sweet romances at night. She lives in Michigan with her husband, near their children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter. More at http://patriciakiyono.com.


CPT_Cover_ 500x800_oct18
The Christmas Piano Tree (A Kissing Creek novel) by Jina Bacarr

The Christmas Piano Tree (A Kissing Creek novel) by Jina Bacarr

“The Christmas Piano Tree” is the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano.

Available here.

Jina Bacarr, Author


Jina Bacarr is a contemporary romance and historical author who loves dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking, and rainy days in museums. More at http://www.jinabacarr.com.


Countess Xmas NEWsm
A Countess for Christmas (Regency Short Story) by Anthea Lawson

A Countess for Christmas (Regency Short Story) by Anthea Lawson

Miss Cecilia Fairfax dreads the upcoming holidays. Between caring for her elderly father and managing a household barely out of mourning, she has no time for anything else. Especially not a surprise guest like the Earl of Tarrick.

Of all the blessings of the season, the most unexpected is love…

Available here.

Anthea002 (1)
Anthea Lawson, Author


USA Today bestselling author and RITA nominee, Anthea Lawson has been named “one of new stars of historical romance” by Booklist. Anthea also plays the Irish fiddle and pens award-winning YA Fantasy as Anthea Sharp. More at www.anthealawson.com.


Home for Christmas (A Short Story) by Lia Fairchild

Home for Christmas (A Short Story)  by Lia Fairchild

This year, Ali and Stephen are both just trying to make it through the holidays. Stephen’s instant attraction to Ali spurs him into action. He’ll do whatever it takes to give her the holiday she deserves and pull off a real Christmas miracle. Can these two help each other navigate the journey?

Available here.

Lia Fairchild, Author


Lia Fairchild writes women’s fiction, chick lit, romance, and mystery/thriller. Born and raised in Southern California, Lia holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a multiple-subject teaching credential. More at http://www.liafairchild.com.



old fashioned christmas romance collection
“Miracle on Kismet Hill” in An Old-Fashioned Christmas Romance Collection by Loree Lough

“Miracle on Kismet Hill” in An Old-Fashioned Christmas Romance Collection by Loree Lough

High on Kismet Hill, Brynne Carter’s great-grandfather claimed the land that would be Carter Hollow, Virginia. Now, as Christmas 1865 approaches, Brynne surveys the magnificent vista below and wonders about her future, ravaged by the Civil War: One man she loved could be dead, one man she loved betrayed her, and the third…. She simply can’t risk being wrong again.

Available here.

Loree main photo
Loree Lough, Author


With nearly 5,000,000 4- and 5-star books in circulation, reviewers and readers call best-selling author Loree Lough “a gifted storyteller whose novels touch hearts and change lives.”  More at http://www.loreelough.com.



Christmas Wishes flat 2
Three Christmas Wishes by Eve Paludan

Three Christmas Wishes by Eve Paludan

A mall security guard is going to be alone again on Christmas. When a lost boy and his sweet mom come into Ryan’s life, his painful past rises up. A sweet romance novella with Christian themes.

Available here.

Eve Paludan, Author


Eve Paludan lives in Mesa, Arizona, where she writes fiction and edits for other bestselling authors. She enjoys reading mysteries and romances, and taking scenic photos. More at http://evepaludanbooks.com/.


The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation (Dukes of War Book 0) by Erica Ridley

The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation (Dukes of War Book 0) by Erica Ridley

Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fête of the year because he hasn’t time for silly soirees. He doesn’t need time—he needs her!

Available here.

Erica Ridley, Author


USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. When not writing, Erica Ridley can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest. More at http://www.ericaridley.com.

Hope you all enjoyed this list! A new list will go up next week!

And here’s mine! :)


A Christmas Fling by Beth Barany

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Will her innocent Christmas fling help her or land her in trouble?

Available here.

Beth Barany, Young Adult Fantasy and Sweet Paranormal Romance Author
Beth Barany, Author


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

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What Makes a Kick-ass Heroine Powerful by Tash McAdam

SLAM_final01Please welcome guest author, Tash Mcadam, while she talkes about what makes a kick-ass heroine powerful. Doesn’t she have a great cover?! Be sure to enter her giveaway below!


The first kick-ass heroine I ever read a book about was Alanna of Trebond, in the book, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. I picked that book right up off the shelf and was immediately heard an angelic chorus, was surrounded by a halo of light, and given total, bone deep satisfaction that finally I had proof on a topic I had always known to be true. Women are just as good, and sometimes even better, than men. Yes, it’s true, that physically speaking the average man has certain advantages over the average women. Hell, I’ve lived those! The curse of my life in many ways has always been my height. I’m ‘the average height for a woman’, which would be great, if half the women I know were shorter than me. But they’re not, not many people are. As a martial artist, that’s a huge burden. I often fight people who are six-foot or more, and I also fight men, who can have twice, or three times my muscle mass. One proper blow to the head and I’m seeing tweety-birds, but I once fought a guy I hit full power in the jaw seven times before I won. (In a full contact Karate tournament) Alanna inspired me, and from that day on I sought out books starring powerful women I could relate to. We need more kick-ass heroines in the world, whether they be super-powered, magically juiced up in some way, or just amazing in a more traditional, trained sense.

Because kick ass heroines are very close to my heart, in my series, the Psionics, I explore what that means to me from two different directions. My prequel novella, SLAM, which you can check out here stars Serena, a telekinetic teenager who’s trying to join a rebel army in order to get the training she needs to rescue her baby brother. In the world of the Psionics, I got to make my own laws, and break them. Serena is the best of the best, because she works at it, and she has the basic materials (psionic ability) to work with. Serena is five feet, two inches tall, and for her, that’s not even a problem when she has to reach things on high shelves, her power allows her to compete in every field. She works side by side with other telepaths to try and bring down the destructive agency that continues to hunt them, abduct them, and abuse the powers for their own nefarious purposes. She is a strong, driven, take-no-prisoners sort of girl. The main character in the follow-up novel (August 2015) is also a kick-ass heroine, but in a much subtler way. With no telekinesis, and very little physical strength, Epsilon 17 is one of the slaves the Institute has captured. She uses her telepathic reading abilities and innate intelligence to trick them into thinking she is like the other children, a blank, emotionless slate. It is a lie. The carefully constructed shell she hides behind protects her from their memory wipes. And she lives for the day when she will get a chance to make the Institute pay for what they’ve done.

Approaching the kick-ass heroine character from two, such different angles, has given me real insight into what I think makes someone powerful. I believe mental toughness is just as important to a heroine as physical ability. And I believe that the more kick-ass heroines there are in our media, the more kick-ass heroines we’ll get in real life.

Slam Sneak Peek

Hunkering into the shadow at the edge of the building, she closes her eyes and slips deeply into the centre of her power, imagining the internal light of her Talent filling every cell. Her consciousness has to align completely with her physical body so that she can be both undetectable and ready to act – a perfect zen state of awareness that she’s spent years learning to achieve. She slides into it, her skin tingling with energy that will protect or attack, as she commands it. This is it, this time. No going back. They won’t let her out on the streets unless she succeeds in this, so succeed she must. And this is her last chance.


Rules: Use your Facebook or email to enter the draw. The draw will last for 7 days, I will contact the winners via facebook the day after the draw closes. There are three copies up for grabs, and it is a random selection, so anyone can win no matter how many entires there are!

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About the Author

IMG_4781I’m Tash, I’m an English teacher by day, superhero… I mean fiction writer by night. I spend most of my free time falling in streams, out of trees, juggling, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, doing Karate, playing punk rock on the piano, and of course, writing. I have a degree in being a nerd, a penchant for colouring tiny plastic animals gold, and an insatiable appetite for tea and books. Preferably at the same time.

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Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop for YA Fantasy Readers

Gratitude Giveaway: Nov. 15th to Nov. 30th

It’s that time of year again!

I’m saying thanks to you my readers, new and long-timers, by giving away, ONE signed copy of both books in my young adult series, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer (Book 1) and Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (Book 2). (I’m working on Book 3 now! If you’d like to be notified when this book and others become available, sign up for my newsletter here.)

Yes, I’ll ship ANYWHERE in the world!

Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and Henrietta and the Dragon Stone, Books 1 & 2 in the Five Kingdoms series, by Beth Barany



All you need to do to enter the giveaway is enter the Rafflecopter here.

You only need to do ONE of the actions to enter. Make sure you use your BEST email address, because if you win, I’ll email you to get your mailing address.
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Code for the linky:

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Ember is a Badass Chick with A Chip on Her Shoulder By Kristina Stutts

Amethyst Chronicles: Winter's Kiss by KG Stutts Please welcome back author, Kristina Stutts. Today she talks about her kick ass heroine, Ember, a badass chick with a chip on her shoulder.


On November 21st, I am launching the first book in a new sci-fi romance series dubbed the Amethyst Chronicles. I was talking to a friend of mine recently and described the main character as ‘a badass chick with a chip on her shoulder who loves sex.’ That is Ember Wilson in a nutshell.

But what makes Ember a badass? Is it her jet black hair and purple eyes? No, that’s just a description. Is it the way she can handle a blaster gun, melee weapons, or hand-to-hand combat? Well, it’s part of it. It’s all in attitude.

Ember is the leader of Amethyst, a team of genetically enhanced humans who work for the Intergalactic Security Commission. Their name is derived from a side effect of the Genesis Project which turned their eyes and blood a deep purple. The Genesis Project is the brainchild of Dr. Madison Brooks. Readers of mine will remember Maddie from my Mirror series. Amethyst Chronicles takes place a thousand years after the end of the Mirror trilogy. I actually reference it in the third book which is coming out in January. The Genesis Project enhanced the quartet’s natural abilities as well as improvements. Super strength, speed, endurance, skill, stamina, healing, and intelligence. They could withstand several kill blaster shots before they even felt a twinge to their central nervous system. Their natural talents increased tenfold.

Ember is easily the strongest female I have in any of my books. That’s not something I say lightly. I take pride in all of my female main characters but Ember Wilson blows them all away. She’s a woman who commands respect. Her edges are razor sharp but her strength comes from her core.  She simply is strong, fierce, and deadly. She’s more comfortable leading her team in a fire fight than receiving a hug from her sister. Ember never uses the word love, although she does and fiercely. She does have a soft side, but guards it well. She is a woman looking for acceptance from her father, Earth’s highest ranking general.

She would probably say her specialness came from Genesis, but it’s more than that. It goes beyond physical strength. It’s in her nature. It’s the way she leads her team and protects everyone around her. It’s in her determination to rise above expectations, and the bar is set high. There’s a drive in her to be better than yesterday.

When the idea for the series first came to mind, I wondered if I was a strong enough writer to showcase her. I wanted to do her justice from the image of the woman in my head. But she flowed naturally. Her sarcastic wit made me laugh several times throughout the novella and she never lost her edge. The chip on her shoulder doesn’t define her, but it does drive her to be the best. Writing for her is increasingly more satisfying as I am continuing with the series. I am in the process of writing the second book in the series to launch in April. This is actually my favorite book I’ve written.  I can’t wait for the 21st to get here and share her and the rest of her team with the world. Only then will I know if I’ve truly showcased how awesome and badass Ember really is.

Pre-order Amethyst Chronicles now for $.99! Amazon.com/dp/B00OZN21MS


014K.G. Stutts is the author of the Mirror series, a sci-fi romance trilogy, several standalone romance novels and coming soon, the Amethyst Chronicles, a sci-fi romance novella series. She has a degree in massage therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly at iwassociation.com and on her own blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com and her website at kgstutts.com.

Growing up in Texas and later South Carolina as the youngest in a house full of science-fiction fans, K.G. Stutts had her natural curiosity and imagination nurtured since birth by family movie nights where they would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even timeless Disney favorites.

A prolific writer of sci-fi, romance and mystery, K.G. draws much of her inspiration from those amazing works that gave her an appreciation for telling rich, compelling, character-driven stories for all audiences.

When she’s not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.

Keep up with her on social media!


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Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss By Kristina Stutts


Kristina is one of my YA fantasy author buddies, so when she asked for me to share about her new novella I of course said, Yes! Enjoy!


On November 21st, book one in a highly anticipated sci-fi novella series, Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss launches, brought to you by KG Stutts, the author of the Mirror series. This is actually a spin-off, taking place over a thousand years after the third in Mirror trilogy, Mirror Reformed (out January 16th).


Amethyst is a secret team of genetically enhanced humans which is Earth’s greatest defensive weapon. Leading the team of super soldiers is Ember Wilson, a tough woman with a huge chip on her shoulder. The team gets their name from the after effect of the Genesis Project which turned their eyes and even their blood purple.

For decades, Earth has been ravaged by unpredictable weather which began to cause crops to fail. Most of the planet’s food sources have deteriorated. Dr. Clayton Rudo has proclaimed he has the means to save the soil. He has created a weather machine to regulate and help replenish. But Ember knew the truth. He didn’t want to save the planet. He wanted to control it. Amethyst destroyed the machine, but was placed in stasis. Two years later, Rudo recreated the device and has frozen Washington, DC and the west coast of the United States.

General Tom Blanchard brought Amethyst out of stasis to work with an elite Air Force team, led by Major Liam Ross. Tensions between Ember and Liam rise as they butt heads. Can they work together before Earth is completely under ice?

Enjoy an Excerpt

A lab technician carefully brought Ember Wilson out of stasis. Liam stood back as her team surrounded the final pod. Her violet eyes fluttered open and Liam’s hands began to shake. He couldn’t believe how stunning she was.

“What the hell?” she groaned.

“You’ll feel sick to your stomach for a moment, but it will pass,” Lewis informed her.

“My head,” she muttered, rubbing her temple. “What did that empty-headed, bureaucrat ass kisser Blanchard to do to me? How long have we been out?”

“Two years,” he replied.

“Wilson, take a second to get your bearings,” Morris said.

“You’ll feel back to normal in a moment,” Nova added.

She scanned the lab, coming to a stop the moment her eyes locked on the General. Her foot pressed against the back of the pod, her eyes wild with anger.

“You son of a bitch!” she yelled as she used her foot to launch herself in the air.

Nova and Morris caught her before she could reach Blanchard. She kicked and screamed for freedom but the duo wouldn’t budge. She jerked against the hold they had on her arms, spitting and cursing.

“I know,” Lewis calmly said as he stood in front of her. Her foot was inches from his chin when she kicked. “Hey, it’s okay. I know. But there are more pressing matters at hand than him.”

“Rudo?” she asked through gritted teeth.

“You got it.”

“You moron!” she shouted, looking over Lewis’ shoulder to Blanchard. “You had the chance to stop it before he could act but you were too much of a coward!”

“I’m sorry–”

“Sorry? Sorry?” Her voice was nearly shrieking. “Not yet, but you will be.”

“Wilson, Rudo used the weather machine,” Nova stated, his face contorted as he strained to keep his hold on her.

“Of course he did! And now we’ve got to clean up the mess.”

“Whatever problems you and I have aren’t important right now,” Blanchard said.

“You got that right,” she snapped. “I’m going to finish what I started and kill Rudo and maybe you’ll be lucky not to meet my blaster.”

“There’s no cause for that,” Liam spoke up.

Her purple eyes looked upon the Major for the first time. He instantly regretted interrupting. She stopped struggling against Nova and Morris. A low growl rumbled from deep in her throat as her eyes narrowed. He shifted uncomfortably, fidgeting with the hem of his dress blues. The coldness in her eyes made him shiver.

“Who’s the uniform?” She nodded in his direction.

“This is Major Liam Ross,” Blanchard introduced. “His team will be working with yours on this mission.”

“Absolutely not.” Ember shook her head as Nova and Morris let go of her arms. “We’re all you need.”

“President Packer disagrees.”

“I don’t give a flying monkey’s butt what Packer says.”

“This is bigger than your raid on Rudo. You need the man power.”

“No one else could’ve broken into the compound! We don’t need or want the help.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Ember fumed. “In case you’ve forgotten, we don’t work well with others.”

“I know. The leader of the Luteus team still isn’t one hundred percent after the skirmish your two teams had.”

“It was a training exercise. Besides, if Mark is still healing after all this time, he should spend time in a therapy tank. That’s not my problem.”

“Regardless of how you feel, this is the situation. Or you can be put back into the stasis chamber.”

“Not on your life.” Ember’s lips twitched.

“Glad we’ve reached an accord.” Blanchard nodded.

Wilson turned to Ross again, sizing him up. He was tall and, judging by the way his Air Force blues molded to him, was very muscular. His brown hair framed his handsome face but didn’t touch the collar of his impeccably clean uniform. Soft brown eyes were watching her intensely.

“Can your pretty boy even hold a blaster?” She questioned Blanchard, nodding toward Liam.

“Direct your inquiries toward me.” Liam stood up straighter.

Ember raised an eyebrow, looking slightly amused. “Oh, yeah?”

“I’ll have you know that I’m the number one ranking sharpshooter in the world,” he told her.

“It’s cute you think like that. Rankings don’t mean shit,” she said. “Scores on a piece of paper are useless in the field.”

“I assure you, Major Ross and his five squad members are more than capable of the task,” the General said.

“Five?” The members of Amethyst began to laugh.

“You need a squad of five?” Ember chuckled. “Rookie.”

“You only need three on your team?” Liam incredulously asked.

“I only need two, but Nova grew on me.”

“Aw, thanks, Wilson.” Nova grinned. “That may be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

Ember’s eyes burned into the Major’s as she continued to assess him.

“All right, pretty boy. Let’s see what you and your boys can do,” she said. “Collect your squad and meet us in the training center.”


On Pre-Order now!

Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss launches on November 21st, but you can pre-order now for $.99. Head over to the author’s website at kgstutts.com to find the links for Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Join us at Kristina’s Facebook launch party Friday, November 21at 3:00pm – 9:00pm (CST): https://www.facebook.com/events/723334017702270/

About the Author

014Growing up in Texas and later South Carolina as the youngest in a house full of science-fiction fans, K.G. Stutts had her natural curiosity and imagination nurtured since birth by family movie nights where they would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even timeless Disney favorites.

A prolific writer of sci-fi, romance and mystery, K.G. draws much of her inspiration from those amazing works that gave her an appreciation for telling rich, compelling, character-driven stories for all audiences. She is also a contributor to http://iwassociation.com and http://thewritingnetwork.com and is a proud member of the http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/

She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brad and works for a customer service call center full time. She’s a lover of Star Wars, Star Trek (original, TNG, and Voyager), Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Muppets, Garfield, Disney, Indiana Jones and is a big football, wrestling, and hockey fan.

Social Media:





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Trina the Kick Ass Explorer by Michelle Murrain

Friends With Wings

Enjoy this kick-ass heroine post by progressive science fiction author, Michelle Murrain.


You get a taste of Trina DeWing, the protagonist of my newest novel, Friends with Wings early in the novel, when you find out that she misses climbing trees, but will happily climb tall fire-escapes in the city. She’s young, whip-smart, strong, and resourceful.

She has a lot of trials from the very beginning, but the real test comes when the colony she is a part of is destroyed, and she’s left as the sole survivor on another planet. She’s the only human left, and more aren’t coming for 10 years. As you can imagine, that is a lot to deal with. She’s living on a strange planet, with strange beings, and nothing really that looks like home.

Trina is amazing for a number of reasons. First, she manages to survive the colony destruction by climbing a tall tree. Then, she befriends a group of intelligent winged beings on the planet (the “friends with wings,”) she figures out how to fix a bunch of broken electronic equipment, she learns to make her own furniture, and all sorts of other things. She has challenges aplenty, and deftly manages to meet them.

I don’t often write male protagonists (all of them are in my books with ensemble casts.) When I write female protagonists, they almost always go against the cultural grain in some way – they are always smart, strong and self-possessed, they are often women of color, queer, do very non-traditional kinds of things, and, in general, are pretty kick ass.

Face Your Giants Church Flyer and CD TemplateAnother of my favorite kick ass heroines is Daneli, from my book Becoming Queen. She’s kick ass in a very different way. She is physically strong, although like Trina, that’s not her primary kick ass quality. She inherits a throne, and is a natural-born leader. She’s really good at balancing different priorities and interests. She’s respectful, but when it’s needed, she lays down the gauntlet. She’s also smart and resourceful, but unlike Trina, she lives in a setting where she’s surrounded by people who care about her, and care about their country.

The ExpeditionAnd then there are the two kick ass heroines of my historical science fiction novel, The Expedition. This novel is set in the 19th century, and two of the three main characters are definitely kick ass (the third is a man, kick ass hero on his own.) Lena is a widow from Oregon, who has to survive on her own in the west, without a lot of support. And even when Jam’elo (the guy, who is sort of an alien) comes along, her kick ass-ness doesn’t stop! She’s in love, but she’s independent, strong, smart and amazing. The other heroine in this story is Emma – born a slave, escapes, but then is captured again. I won’t spoil the story, but she’s kick ass in her own way.

I have gotten some backlash for writing such non-traditional heroines, especially since I write hard science fiction. It’s not everyday that the main character in a hard science fiction novel about space is a kick ass heroine, let alone a queer kick ass heroine of color. But it’s fun writing those characters.

Friends with WingsAmazon

Becoming QueenAmazon

The Expedition – Amazon


Author, Michelle Murrain
Author, Michelle Murrain

Michelle has been writing science fiction since 2006, and has been an avid reader and fan of science fiction since she started to read. Because she has been both a scientist and a technologist by trade, she went to seminary, and she’s a polymath, her interests span a wide range of topics, including science, technology, religion and spirituality, philosophy, history, culture, politics, race, gender, and sexuality. She brings all of these to bear in her science fiction writing. She specializes in stories of culture clash and/or first contact, and her work has numerous strong female protagonists and characters, as well as a lot of diverse characters. She lives in Sonoma County, California with her spouse and 2 cats. Gift for you! Get a one of Michelle’s science fiction novels as a gift to you here: http://author.murrain.net/category/writing-life/.

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$50 Gift Card Giveaway & Cover Reveal for a Collection of Ten Sweet Romance Short Stories

Available today: AUTUMN’S KISS

Cover reveal for the collection of ten sweet romance short stories

I am so excited to announce this collection, available today, exclusively on Amazon. I have a short story in this collection featuring Rose and Julien and is the continuation of their time-travel love story that began in Touchstone of Love. It was so fun to write this short story, especially because I had no idea I could write so short.

A bit about my story: Sexy Medieval stonemason Julien relies on his fiancée Rose to adapt to 21st century life and struggles to find his place in modern times. Holding down two jobs to support her and Julien in expensive San Francisco, software expert Rose has no time for romance. A weekend getaway may provide just the spark these time-crossed lovers need.

New love is wonderful! But not the only kind of love story there is. Why did I write about reigniting the spark? I am now in my 15th year of marriage, and I think it’s super important to keep the spark alive. So does my sweet hubby. We go on weekend getaways or even day trips at least monthly, and have been doing that for years. I think such trips are the secret to a good love story.

Now about Autumn’s Kiss. Read all the way to the bottom for a special giveaway.


Autumn’s Kiss: Ten Contemporary & Historical Sweet Romances

Ten sweet stories of love. Ten great authors. Ten ways to celebrate Autumn.

Falling in love is timeless. From a sexy medieval stonemason to a small town shopkeeper – Regency England to Napa Vineyards, this selection of Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal and Time-Travel short romance stories is sure to capture your heart.

AUTUMN VOWS. Patricia Kiyono. Contemporary

For 30 years, busy wife and mother Yolanda Murray pushed aside her career for family. With the kids grown now, it’s her turn. But her husband Craig needs surgery, and his worries extend far beyond his health issues. Will this couple survive the changes in the autumn of their lives?

CAROUSEL MAGIC. LaVerne St. George. Contemporary.

For Thomas Martin, feelings don’t get in the way of business. As the new owner of an amusement park, he’s determined to replace the old carousel with video games. Mayor Ginger Fairchild is equally determined to save the vintage carousel. Can the carousel’s magic touch two more hearts?

THE FALL APPLES AND MR. CRAIGSON. Kathy Bosman. Contemporary

Trina knows most men are out for her money, so a fantasy rich husband acts as her shield. She hires attractive Seth Craigson to cut down unwanted trees, certain he won’t discover her secret. As Trina’s heart leans toward Seth, he sees past her lie. Does he accept her for herself or see only her wealth?

FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN. Beth Barany. Paranormal/Time Travel

Sexy Medieval stonemason Julien relies on his fiancée Rose to adapt to 21st century life and struggles to find his place in modern times. Holding down two jobs to support her and Julien in expensive San Francisco, software expert Rose has no time for romance. A weekend getaway may provide just the spark these time-crossed lovers need.

A HARVEST OF HOPE. Debby Lee. Historical

After putting away a crooked bootlegger, Meggie and Luke Preston set out for California, hoping for a second chance at life. When their past catches up with them, Meggie must find the courage to face the issues that have driven a wedge into her marriage… or she may lose everything.

THE LONELY SHOPKEEPER. Cindy Flores Martinez. Contemporary

Lately, Judy has been too busy for love. Running a small business in her hometown occupies all of her time. When she meets Graham, a visitor from Scotland, it’s chemistry at first sight–and impossible. He’s not here to stay. She’s not willing to move. What will happen when they fall in love?

RUNAWAY LOVE. Nicole Zoltack. Historical

After harvesting his crops, the last thing Corin Jannings expects is rescuing a woman tossed from a runaway horse. A woman who can’t remember who she is. She’s highborn, obviously, so it’s only a matter of time before someone comes for her. And since she’s a lady, Corin cannot dare risk falling for her.

SOFT BURGUNDY NIGHTS. Ruth Roberts. Contemporary

For the first time since she was abandoned, Jessica Rayne has a real home and her dream job as manager of Marchetti Vineyard. After ten years, Rafaele Marchetti has returned from New York, still bitter over his father’s mistakes. Rafaele may take away everything Jessica’s worked for… or make her dreams of love come true.

VIKING FOR HIRE. Jo Grafford. Historical

Branwyn O’Tyre is convinced her estranged brother plans to arrest her for witchcraft, so she drinks a protection potion before he arrives. A Viking sea captain, living under a curse, witnesses her magic and offers her an escape if only she will help him. The hitch? If she fails, Branwyn’s heart will be his forever.

THE WITCHING WELL. Kristy Tate. Time Travel

Celia Quinn holds Jason West responsible for the demise of her grandmother’s dress shop, so when she takes a sip of water from the witching well and is transported back to Regency England, Jason West is the last person she wants to see–or kiss.

TRIVIA: Special Giveaway for a $50 gift card

To enter in this special giveaway, you must enter this form. Enter the name of my hero and heroine for my story in this collection. Good luck!


Available now! Tell your friends. Thanks!

Add to Goodreads.

Other authors in this hop! Stop by each one for more chances to win!

Screenshot 2014-10-24 21.59.01

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Coming soon: Cover Reveal for Autumn’s Kiss: Ten Contemporary & Historical Sweet Romances

This is for the cover reveal sign up for this collection of 10 sweet romance short stories, releasing October 25th. Heat rating is sweet so no advisory is needed. All necessary materials will be sent out one week before the reveal. If you sign up, I will send an email reminder 48 hours before the post is supposed to go live. Do not post the reveal before October 25th. On pre-order here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O5D6LEM.

Ten sweet stories of love. Ten great authors. Ten ways to celebrate Autumn.
Falling in love is timeless. From a sexy medieval stonemason to a small town shopkeeper – Regency England to Napa Vineyards, this selection of Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal and Time-Travel short romance stories is sure to capture your heart.

Full book description here: http://author.bethbarany.com/2014/10/07/ten-sweet-stories-of-love-ten-great-authors-ten-ways-to-celebrate-autumn/

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