Please welcome debut author Niki Daninger...

Please join me in welcoming my long time friend Niki Daninger. Her debut anthology Bewitching Desires was released October 1 and is available now at Barnes & Noble, amazon.com and iTunes.

            iTunes                       Amazon.com                       Barnes & Noble

Welcome Niki. First of all, congratulations on your debut book, I’m so happy for you, you’ve earned it.  Tell us a little bit about the anthology.

Thank you so much!
The anthology revolves around a coven in Savannah GA. Each story works as a stand-alone but every writer has a character that is a member of the coven and we must reference the Halloween meeting. From there, our stories can twist, turn, overlap or not. That was left totally up to us and I must say, it was great fun fitting my story in with the others.

How did these two characters come to you?

Well, originally, I turned down the offer to be a part of this project. I’d never written a short before and I did not think I could write anything in such a short amount of time. That night however, an idea struck me, and as I lay in bed, the whole story of Micah came to me. By morning, I had names, a plot and a timeline.

Micah seems like a handful. I’ve heard some authors say that it can be hard to uh, keep their characters “in line” so to speak. Did you run into that with him?

Actually no, he might be a selfish character but he was a breeze to write. I’ll be honest though, I do soooo much preparation before I write that I rarely get back-talk ;)

I am a huge paranormal fan, what drew you to this genre?

I grew up reading fantasy and some Sci-Fi. I think it was a natural progression to move to Paranormal. It’s like fantasy but in more ‘realistic’ settings. I can still write about magical beings and situations but I don’t need to create entirely new worlds.

Are there any authors in particular that have influenced you or your writing style?

I can’t say anyone has influenced my style (at least not consciously). I can’t think of a single author that made me say, ‘I want to write like they do’, but I have certainly been influenced to write in general. I could list a few but I’m going to give you my #1… Melanie Rawn. Her Dragon Prince series is the first set of books that made me want to live in another person’s world. I wanted to be one of her characters or meet them. Her world was alive and colorful and I wanted to create something that made others feel that way.

Any advice that you have for aspiring authors?

Yes, avoid procrastination – at all costs! Seriously, if you have something you need to do, get it done, don’t let it hang over you, needling its way into your thoughts. Do the laundry or clean the bathroom or check those emails. Then, give yourself some writing time and don’t let anything distract you.

Thanks so much for joining us. Bewitching Desires is available now for only $0.99 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, you can also read the first chapter on Watt pad. Just click here. 


This is rough and by rough I mean, I wrote it and I left it. Be kind.

20 years ago…
She had no idea how long they had been making out on his bedroom floor, but she could see light filtering through the blinds so it must be morning. He pulled away and began alternating licking and biting his way down her neck adding to her growing collection of hickies. She inhaled sharply as he touched on a particularly sensitive area and she plunged her fingers into his long curling hair to guide him where she wanted him next. She wrapped her legs around his jean clad ass and pushed his erection into to her panties making them both groan.
She knew that he was the one she would give her virginity to. She also knew that she wouldn’t be the first girl to do so, but she didn’t care. She loved him; she would love him forever; even though he had no idea.
The bedroom door opened and they turned their hooded eyes to the door breathing heavy. “Sorry.” Their friend Bobbi said and closed the door.
He turned his face back to her and stared into her eyes. His eyes were ice blue except for a small dot near the bottom part of the iris that appeared to be black. Extraordinary, unique, unforgettable. He adjusted his hips and she closed her eyes on a groan. When she opened her eyes again he was still staring at her, so she ran her index finger along the swollen edge of his bottom lip. He quickly pulled her finger into his mouth and gently held it between his teeth, using his tongue to play with the tip of it.
He released her finger and said, “I’m glad we haven’t had sex yet, that way when we do it’ll mean something. It’ll be special.”
She knew in her heart it was true and pulled him down to kiss him again.

17 years ago…
They sat together in her car while the 2nd movie of the double feature played at the drive-in. They spent more time talking and eating popcorn than they had actually watching the movies, but she didn’t care, she was just happy to be spending time with him again.  She couldn’t even remember why they had stopped seeing each other; it seemed as if they just drifted away from each other. Not that they had ever been in a “committed” relationship. He had never officially been her boyfriend, but he had been in her heart. Sitting here with him now she realized that she had never stopped loving him. She wasn’t surprised though, they had never stopped being friends and just looking at him still made her heart thump in her chest.
Their lives had gone in separate directions. They had grown up and apart. She was getting ready to move out of state, to the other side of the country and apparently he was getting ready to find his future wife. This was probably the last time she would ever see him. She drank in every detail. His curly nutmeg colored hair, it had grown out a little bit and was now a several inches below his shoulders, his tall wiry frame, and those devastating eyes. She still saw him staring at her with those remarkable eyes in her dreams.
“I think I’m just ready to settle down and start a family.” He was saying
“Don’t you think you’re a little young for that?” she asked with a smile.
“Maybe, but it’s what I want.”
“Do you have someone in mind?”
“No, not yet.” He looked at her with a lopsided grin. It made her knees go weak. Thank goodness she was sitting down.
“Marry me.” She said. She didn’t even know where it had come from. Did she mean it? Yes, she realized. She did.
He laughed, “Don’t joke.”
“Who’s joking?”
“Stop it. You’re just humoring me.” He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
She just smiled at him and focused on the movie. Not sure if he was letting her down gently or if he really believed she was joking.

9 years ago…
She sat at the bar as she watched her friend pull a couple of beers for customers. “Bobbi, he auditioned for my husband’s band! Do you know how bad that would be?” she wailed and she put her head in her hands. Every time she closed her eyes she saw those ice blue eyes.
“You’re sure it’s him?” Bobbi asked as she wiped down the counter.
“Yes, I’m sure. When Eddie asked him if he knew me do you know what he told him?” Bobbi shook her head as she poured her another shot of tequila. “He said, ‘Dude, I never slept with her’.” Bobbi threw her head back and laughed. “This is NOT funny!”
“I’m sorry, but it is. Did he think Eddie was going to beat him up? You guys haven’t been together in years.” she laughed even harder, wiping tears away from her eyes with the bar towel.
“You’re not helping.” She said and shot the tequila back in a quick efficient motion.
Bobbi sobered. “I’m sorry I just don’t know what to say. Everyone has a first love, yours just seems to keep coming back to haunt you. Besides, isn’t he married to that Karen chick? Or was it Sharon? Shannon?”
“Apparently divorced.” She shook her head and laid it back down on the counter. “What am I going to do?”
“Pray he doesn’t join the band. Your marriage will never survive it.”

3 years ago…
What am I doing here? She thought to herself sitting in the back of the dark heavy metal bar drinking a beer. Why do I still come to these shows? She sighed as she watched Eddie on stage making the teenie boppers go crazy, all ages shows were the worst. She knew he was cheating on her, knew he thought he was being slick about it even though she could see the skank from her table. She wasn’t even sure she cared anymore. This is what her life had come to, a joke of a marriage with a joke of a man. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Marriage was supposed to be fun and romantic and full of give and take and love. There seemed to be plenty of give in her marriage, it was just all one sided. She didn’t expect perfection, she knew better than that, but there had to be something better than this.
She watched as Eddie fell to his knees on stage and got right in the face of the skank, so close that she wrapped her arms around his neck and gyrated to the beat with him. That’s it, I’m out of here she thought and stood to head home. That’s when she saw him, standing at the bar with his arm around some girl’s shoulders ordering drinks. She froze in place and her stomach fell to her feet. She felt her skin get hot and her face start to tingle. She was NOT going to have a panic attack. Was she? Could this night get any worse? He turned to face his “date” and she watched as his thumb caressed her cheekbone and his eyes twinkled with mischief before he bent his head to kiss her. Memories that she had tucked away in a dark corner came flooding back to her. The feel of his hands touching her face as he pressed delicate kissed her eyelids, her forehead, and her cheeks before he took her mouth. Apparently it could get worse. She had to get out of here. There was no way she could sit here and watch her husband flirt with the skank and the love of her life appear blissfully happy with someone else.
She wound her way through the crowd and to the exit keeping her head down and her eyes on the floor. She was making a quick getaway until she bumped into someone and sloshed their beer down the front of her t-shirt. “Shit!” she exclaimed and jumped back. “I’m so sorry, let me buy you another beer.” She said as she reached into her back pocket to grab some cash and looked right up into his ice blue eyes. Fuck. She didn’t know how long she stared at him before recognition dawned in those eyes. His eyebrows went up and he started to say something, before he could she shoved the money at him and bolted for the door.

Present Day…
Elizabeth Donovan lay on her back starring at the living room ceiling from her second hand couch in her laundry day underwear. Single life is the way to go, she thought to herself. If she didn’t want to do the laundry until midnight, she didn’t have to. If she wanted to have cold pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner she could. She could lie around in her ugly underwear all day, hell all weekend if she felt like it and nobody would say a word. The world was her oyster to do with whatever her little heart desired. Her stomach growled. Apparently she desired something to eat.
She sat up and looked at her ridiculously large and loveable black lab mix Jake lying on the floor. “You hungry Jake?” Jake lifted his head and groaned. “I know, I don’t want to get up either, but there are bodily functions that must be dealt with.” She stood up and headed to the kitchen as Jake laid his head back down and went back to sleep. She opened the refrigerator and stared at a gallon of milk, some orange juice that appeared to be going through a life change and a loaf of bread. Okay, one downfall to the single life, no one else went grocery shopping. “How about a pizza?” she asked Jake. He groaned. “I agree, it sounds like a plan.” She sat down at her computer and ordered a large works pizza online and headed to her bedroom to put on clothes before the delivery guy showed up.
30 minutes later the doorbell rang and she was starving and ready to be seen by the outside world. She had her brown hair pulled into a pony tail and cut off shorts and a tank top to cover up the laundry day underwear. Dressed enough, she answered the door. “Hi Tony.”
“Hi Beth. How are you tonight?” Tony  asked
“Good. The food fairies didn’t come again while I slept so you could very well be saving my life. Jake’s too.” At the smell of pizza Jake lumbered to the door and was giving Tony a thorough sniffing.
“We do what we can.” He grinned handing over her pizza.
She handed him money to cover both the pizza and a healthy tip, she always over tipped people who brought her food, said her goodbyes and went inside to stuff herself silly.
Three pieces of pizza and a stomachache later she sat on the couch staring at her laptop. Social media, what an amazing creation and incredible time suck. She had somehow managed to waste several hours of her day liking other people’s posts, catching up with old friends and playing as if she were a real live farmer. Hours of her life she’d never get back.
Jake had taken to sitting patiently by the front door alternating from staring at her to staring at the front door. It was as if he had an alarm clock in his head and knew when it was time to go for a walk. “Alright, alright, alright.” She said. She started to get up when her laptop played the notification sound. “Just a minute. I promise.” She sat back down, looked at her screen and realized that she had a new message. That was odd, she hardly ever received private messages. She clicked on the icon and there was in fact a message, but it was from someone she didn’t know. She was getting ready to delete the message when a name popped out at her, Robbie Nelson. Hi Elizabeth, I was asked to pass along a message to you from Robbie Nelson. He wants you to text him. His number is…
“Holy shit.” She sat back on her couch and closed her eyes. Robbie Nelson. His ice blue eyes came to her instantly. His beautiful face hovering above hers as he said all the right things that a young girl wanted to hear. She shook her head, stood up and grabbed the leash. “Come on Jake. Let’s walk that man right out of my head.” Jake wiggled with delight and then sat down, ready to be leashed.


Back In The Saddle Again, So To Speak

Tonight I dug around my house and found all of my writing materials. I must admit, it was a search. I knew I had left all my stuff in a breast cancer shopping bag that I bought at Safeway for a $1.00 donation. I looked in my closet, I looked under my bed. I went outside and looked under the seats of my car. I found the breast cancer bag, but it was empty. I searched the garage, well as much as a quick glance around can be called searching and I asked my son if he had seen any of it. No luck. I was beginning to panic, so I went out to the garage again and did a slightly more thorough "search" and what do you know? I found it. In a completely different but exactly the same breast cancer shopping bag. Phew! I was sweating for a minute there.

So I sat down and pulled out all of my papers and started sorting through them. I found my printed out document for Jack & Carly and with it was a note from my friend Vera who I asked (over a year ago) to read what I had so far and give me her feedback. I did this knowing she would be brutally honest with me, she wouldn't spare my feelings. If it sucked, she would tell me, and that's what I needed. The good news? She said the only thing she hated about it was that it wasn't complete. *snoopy dance* She gave me a list of items that she either had questions or comments about. It's a good list. She caught things that I didn't pick up on and she caught things that I knew in my head and just didn't bother to share with the reader. Important stuff!

So tonight I sat down and went over her notes. I'm not going to tell you what they were because I'm vain and I don't want you to know what mistakes I made, I want you to think I'm BRILLIANT all by myself. Don't tell Vera. Going over her comments and questions had me looking over parts of the story that I hadn't remembered I wrote and questioning where sections were that I was pretty sure I had written. I guess I must have taken them out.....I dunno, but it got me back into the spirit of my story and I'm very psyched.

I have scenes running over and over my head. The characters are screaming to be heard and I can't type fast enough to keep up with them all. I have to remind them that I do need to sleep and work. Dammit.

So in the spirit of Jack & Carly and all that they mean to me I wanted to share with all of you that I am back in the saddle. Or maybe it's the computer chair, but either way I'm back on the write track again. Get it?



"There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they're still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, 'How good or how bad am I?' That's where courage comes in.” ― Erma Bombeck

So I've become a person with a box of dreams. I don't quite know how it happened, but there it is. A box. It's not even a pretty box. It's plain and paper bag brown. It's not very heavy, which is surprising. With all of the things that it holds you think it would weight a ton. Turns out dreams don't weigh very much, it's the product of dreams that carry the weight. A dream is only a thought. Sometimes fleeting, sometimes constant, but it's nothing substantive, not until you put it into action.

I've decided to take one of my dreams out of the box and put it into action. I was sitting down with a friend of mine tonight and I was looking through my previous blogs for a specific entry, which I didn't find, and I saw all of the ideas that I had swimming around in my head, the summaries that I had put onto paper. It's my dream to write. It's my dream to be published. It's my ULTIMATE dream to make enough money writing to be able to do it full-time. So why is it that I can't seem to find the time to do it? Why is it that I push it aside? I can admit that sometimes it's just because I'm lazy. I work 6 days a week and on my one day off I like to sit around and vegetate or watch football, or baseball, or Arrow. I mean really, who can't get behind a couple of hours of Oliver Queen? But that's not what I dream of. Okay, it's hardly what I dream of. Sometimes I dream of Oliver Queen, but I swear it's not often.

So, that's what I'm going to do. Stop dreaming and start acting. I want to finish at least one story this year. Even if it sucks. I have a variety that I could choose from. Jack & Carly, Megan, the actress & the bodyguard, the murder mystery. I just have to finish one of them. It doesn't have to be ready to send out to anyone, just complete. Baby steps.


Dear Greyhound Bus Lines,

Three weeks ago I bought a ticket from Glendale, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ to depart on Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 5:10 p.m.. Your e-mail verifying my ticket said to be there an hour before the bus departed so I arrived at 4:00 p.m. and sat in your disgusting, dirty station for over an hour after I checked in. When the bus arrived, admittedly on time, the bus driver proudly announced that he only had 4 seats available, while my college bound daughter was the last person to get on the bus, but not the last person waiting for the bus, she was told she had been misinformed there were actually only three seats left.

When I asked the bus driver what I should do about this, seeing as how she needed to be back to school in time for her classes the next morning, he pointed to the guy at the ticket counter and said, "take it up with him". Excellent!

The very nice kid behind the ticket counter informed me that there was a bus leaving the Phoenix station at 11:30 p.m. and arriving in Flagstaff at 2:00 a.m.. Seriously? You want me to drive to another station and risk my daughter being dropped off in the middle of the night?!? I don't think so. So, in that case we'd just have to wait until the next bus that came on Monday at 10:45 a.m., or something close to that.

Just so that I'm clear, I bought a ticket for a seat on your bus that arrived to the station without enough seats to accommodate every person who was waiting on it.

While I was on the phone today with your customer service department I was informed that Greyhound Bus Lines works on a first come, first serve basis. Apparently buying a ticket does not guarantee you a seat until your ASS IS SITTING IN IT! So buying your ticket 3 weeks in advance and arriving an hour early at the station doesn't actually do anything unless your willing to push people out of the way to get on board.

So, thank you very much for refunding my completely useless ticket and wasting over an hour of my time waiting for a bus that couldn't accommodate my needs.

I just thought you should know that the business that I had pretty much guaranteed you for the next 4 years is now gone. Exxon is thrilled.


I will never spend money with your lousy company again!


It Came to Me in a Dream

Looking back on the weeks that followed the discovery of my husband's affair I can see how I might have landed myself in this holding cell.

I told everyone.

I told my mom, "I'm gonna run that bitch over with my car."

I told my best friend, "There's already body damage to the front end. Who's to know?"

I even told my therapist, who promptly asked if she needed to call and warn her she was in danger. "I don't know." I had said, "Do you think it might give her pause?"

How was I to know someone else would actually run the dumb tramp over?

The thing is I wouldn't actually run her over. At least I'm pretty sure I wouldn't, but when I said those things I was venting. You know, I'm so mad I could kill her. You don't intend to. They're just words. At least they're supposed to be. Apparently someone meant them, but I swear it wasn't me. Honest!

I've never had an idea for a mystery before. I'm still working out the details, but here is one more idea to go into the book of "One day I'm going to be a writer".


Divergent by Veronica Roth

For those of you who visit often, not that I post all that often, you know that I don't typically review books. It's not my thing. I don't feel like I have a knack for it, but every once in a while I read a book that I just MUST share with all of you for one reason or another.

I found the book Divergent on Goodreads.com. It came up as a recommendation and I thought the artwork was pretty awesome so I put a hold on it at my local library and waited. Eventually my request was granted and I received my audio copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth.

The first few minutes into the story I realized that this book was YA. This is what I get for not reading the summary thoroughly. I don't read YA. Okay, I rarely read YA, but the reader had a great voice and I figured I'd give it an hour.

Divergent is the story of Beatrice Prior. Beatrice lives in a dystopian society in Chicago with her mother, father and her brother in the Abnegation faction. In Beatrice's world every person has a faction. A faction is the part of society that you live in. There are five factions, Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Every child at the age of 16 chooses a faction to which they dedicate their lives. Beatrice has to make a choice. She can either stay with her family and pretend she belongs or choose a new faction and be the person she truly believes she is.

Beatrice makes a decision that surprises everyone and embarks on an initiation process that will show her exactly what kind of person she truly is. But she must protect herself. Beatrice has a secret that could get her killed if the wrong people found out.

Her journey brings new friends, dangerous enemies and a love interest along the way.

I don't want to give too much away, but this is an amazing book. Beatrice is a strong interesting character who I found myself rooting for. The supporting characters are just as good and keep the sub plot moving along. I never know what I'm going to get with YA, but this book was really well written and I think all ages would enjoy it.

I was excited to get my hands on the next book to see what happens in the series but it's not out yet. Insurgent comes out in May 2012.

I hope you will all pick up Divergent by Veronica Roth. Tell her I sent you! ;)