21 October 2015

Happy Release Day! "Firebird" by Jennifer Loring

FIREBIRD by Jennifer Loring

Stephanie Hartwell is a journalist chasing the story of her career...

When superstar hockey player and notorious bad boy Aleksandr Volynsky is traded to the Seattle Earthquakes in a blockbuster deal, Stephanie demands the opportunity to prove herself by scoring an exclusive interview with a man with no love for the media...the same man she once though, as a naive teenager, she'd someday marry.

An Olympian and Stanley Cup Champion, Aleksandr has achieved every goal he's ever set...

Now expected to carry a failing team on his shoulders, Aleksandr's troubles deepen when he encounters Stephanie after a season-opening loss. His lifestyle of drinking and random hookups has been a futile attempt to forget the beautiful tomboy who stole his heart nine years ago. And worse, fame and fortune have made it impossible for him to trust anyone--especially Stephanie, who is engaged to another man.

Romance rekindles, but tragedy reveals Aleksandr's dark side...

Being with Aleksandr in the first place jeopardizes Stephanie's journalistic integrity and threatens her career, and when he spirals out of control, it reawakens fears from her own history, making her unable to commit to a future with him.

When Aleksandr discovers the truth behind his self-destructive behavior, will his newfound self-awareness be enough to convince Stephanie to give him one last chance...

Or will his revelation drive her away for good?

Author Bio:

Jennifer Loring's short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, webzines, and anthologies. In 2013, she won Crystal Lake Publishing's inaugural Tales from the Lake writing competition; in 2014, DarkFuse published her novella Conduits, and in May 2015, Omnium Gatherum released her debut novel, Those of My Kind. She recently signed a deal for a contemporary romance trilogy with Limitless Publishing; the first book, Firebird, is due out on October 20, 2015. Jennifer lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, a turtle, and two basset hounds. She is currently at work on the second book in the Firebird Trilogy as well as a paranormal romance.

One e-book copy of Firebird

LISTEN TO THE BOOK SOUNDTRACK HERE! Firebird (Book One) from JenniferLoring on 8tracks Radio.

19 October 2015

In Loving Memory: Ron Shannon

Author Ron Shannon.
Earlier this week I learned that author Ron Shannon had passed away. Due to my terrible habit of not keeping up with friends (or social media) when my life gets stressfully busy, I missed the original announcements among Seton Hill and Writing Popular Fiction alumni. 

Ron passed away on September 27th. A special mass was held for him in Seton Hill's beautiful chapel on October 12th.

It was through a  photo from the October mass that I learned of his passing, and the news hit me hard. I hadn't cried so heavily since my father and grandfather passed away. I didn't know Ron exceptionally well, but his kindness meant a lot to me. As clich├ęd as it sounds, his presence in my life was like a shooting star: brilliant, and all too brief.

While Ron and I were at SHU, we both attended some modules together at residencies, but because we wrote in very different genres, we didn't have a chance to get to know each other very well. It was after we both graduated from Seton Hill that we really started talking to each other, emailing back and forth. 

It was through one of the open calls I posted in the SHU WPF Facebook group asking for participants in my "Proust Your Protagonist" interview series that Ron and I started emailing. He was one of the first volunteers for the Proust interviews, and while we wrote back and forth over the best way to do his character feature, naturally we started talking about writing, then a little bit about our everyday lives, then plans for the future. It was mostly Ron offering encouragement and support as I yammered on through Gmail to him. It was an unbalanced friendship, to say the least, because Ron was unconditionally giving, while I responded sporadically based on how much free time I had; sometimes, if the emails piled up considerably, I wouldn't respond at all. 

I'm ashamed to say that our last email conversation happened in April. I want to share with you some of what he wrote to me in it, so you can understand what type of person Ron was--how effortlessly kind and supportive he was. In this email I had mentioned some of the troubles I was having with earning a living as a teacher, and that I was looking into teaching English abroad to escape the poverty that I'm currently in. His response:
"I know you'll do great and I think it will give you time to recover from some of things that cascade down on you at times. You must, however, stay in touch, whether on Facebook, emails, or whatever. I will miss your art and talent if you don't. That, by the way, will make you successful. You will take your talent with you, you won't be able to hide it, and it will bring you respect. I know you have butterflies, but that's normal. It means you'll be good at what you plan to do and it will make you happy. Hang in there until then."
Ron Shannon. One of the kindest men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and yes, a very talented writer. He has two books out now, and more scheduled to be released posthumously. I will post when his new work comes out, but in the meantime, please celebrate the contributions he's already made:
  • Gabriel's Wing - Novel. It’s April 1969 and many of the flower children who left home to escape the old morality face disillusionment, extreme poverty, and death. They give up on their dreams and do whatever it takes to survive even if it means submitting to unconscionable evil. Stanton Clayburn, a young private investigator, has been hired to find a nineteen year-old lost flower child. He is determined to bring the boy home safely, but the journey takes him back to the world that nearly destroyed him. Tillie Thornwhistle, the daughter of a white father and a black mother, knows the meaning of hardship and living as an outcast. Adversity makes her strong and gives her the determination to let nothing get in the way of her success. Then a series of misguided ventures changes everything. The trail to redemption includes a psychopath, an unexpected trip, and the mysterious Stanton Clayburn. Stanton and Tillie meet under extraordinary circumstances. Fate and necessity pull them together. What follows is an adventure that could easily cost them their lives.
  • Proust Your Protagonist with Author Ron Shannon  Interview. Ron answers the Proust Questionnaire in character as Tillie Thornwhistle.
  • The Hedgerows of June - Novel. It’s late June 1944. The allies have invaded Normandy and Chris Weymouth, an allied spy, has been living in a French village at the edge of the Bocage playing piano in a local cabaret at night while passing bad intelligence to the Germans. He has been expecting orders to leave at any time but is taken aback when they are delivered by a young Catholic nun named Sister Mary. Sister Mary however, is much more than her habit and wimple, she has her own secrets too. She informs Chris that he’s been ordered to help her transport four young children across the dangerous French farmland known as the hedgerows to St. Lo. Espionage, passion, intrigue, and danger surround them on all sides as they head directly into one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, the battle of the hedgerows!
  • Proust Your Protagonist with Ron Shannon - Interview. Ron answers the Proust Questionnaire in character as Christopher Weymouth. One of my all-time most popular posts on this website.
  • "In My 'Write Mind' at In Your Write Mind" - Article. Written for Pennsylvania Bridges.
  • Blackberries - Short Fiction. Written for Clever Magazine. 
  • "Remembering Ron Shannon" - Article. Reprint of Ron's February article, "Anticipating the 2015 In Your Write Mind Conference" with a farewell message.
  • Ron E. Shannon - Author Website. Will be maintained and updated with Ron's new publications. Ron kindly made a spot for me on his website under "My Favorite Links." 
  • Ron's Amazon Page - Amazon.com Where you can find Ron's books.
  • Ron Shannon - In Memoriam Goodreads.com Author Heidi Ruby Miller's post for Ron.
  • Ron's Goodreads Page - Goodreads.com Where you can find Ron's books, reviews, reading list, and more. Ron's advice to writers in his Q & A: The most important thing to remember is don't give up. Keep writing and keep trying. Don't let anyone discourage you.

10 October 2015

Proust Your Protagonist with author Jennifer Loring

Meet Aleksandr, one of the lead characters in
Jennifer Loring's Firebird, the first in a trilogy of
romances from Limitless Publishing.



My name is Aleksandr Volynsky. I played left wing in the NHL for seven years, won a Cup, captained Team Russia in the Olympics… Don’t you know all this already? 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I lost my career and my girlfriend at the same time. And then things got even worse. Bog, that sounds like a movie tagline or something. 

Where would you like to live?
I’m happy where I am right now, but I wouldn’t mind going back to Saint Petersburg someday. Russia, da? Not Florida.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Being with Stephanie. She is my earthly happiness.

The quality you most admire in a man?
I wouldn’t have said this a few years ago, but now it would be the ability to ask for help when you need it.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
Strength. Most people think I’d want a pushover, but the thing I love most about Stephanie is that she doesn’t take my shit.

Your favorite virtue?
Diligence, because it sure as hell isn’t chastity. Or temperance. Or humility. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories.

Your favorite occupation?
Is this a serious question? And people wonder why I hate the media.

Your most marked characteristic?
Pick one. I’m six-foot-five. I have a deep scar on my right cheek where I was hit with a puck. I walk with a limp now.

What do you most value in your friends?
I’ve never had many friends. Most people just want something from me. Jacob is a good friend, though. He’s loyal. 

What is your principle defect?
My temper, I suppose. It tends to be a bit…unpredictable.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
I don’t think I could survive losing Stephanie. Not permanently. We’ve had our ups and downs, to put it mildly.

What would you like to be?
Believe it or not, a husband and father.

Who are your heroes in real life?
The guys who are speaking out about mental illness in the NHL. We’ve lost too many to suicide, and I have some…personal investment in the subject.

Who are your favorite heroines?
That’s easy. Stephanie. You have no idea what she’s been through, but somehow she never falls apart. Not like me.

What is it you most dislike?
For a long time, it was myself. I didn’t realize it until it was almost too late.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I have more than my fair share, not to sound like an arrogant asshole. My looks, my hockey talent, I can—could—dance, and I sing and play piano… 

How would you like to die?
I’d really rather not answer that question, since I almost did. Twice. I have a lot to live for. I don’t want to think about death.

What is your present state of mind?
I’ve learned to accept things, for the most part. I can’t change what has happened. I can only try to be a better man going forward.

What is your motto? 
“In control, confident, caring.” I learned that from the team psychologist. Sometimes it even works.


(c) Jennifer Loring
Jennifer Loring's short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, webzines, and anthologies. In 2013, she won Crystal Lake Publishing's inaugural Tales from the Lake writing competition; in 2014, DarkFuse published her novella Conduits, and in May 2015, Omnium Gatherum released her debut novel, Those of My Kind. She recently signed a deal for a contemporary romance trilogy with Limitless Publishing; the first book, Firebird, is due out on October 20, 2015. 

Jennifer lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, a turtle, and two basset hounds. She is currently at work on the second book in the Firebird Trilogy, as well as a paranormal romance.

For more on Jennifer Loring, you can find her on her author website; check her out on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and Google Plus; and keep track of her publications and reading list on Goodreads.