Sweet! Servants of Fate trilogy COVER REVEAL

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I’m so excited that Stealing Time, a novella that I adored, is now part of a sweet novella trilogy called Servants of Fate.  I wanted IN on the cover reveals and I GOT IT and now you have it for your romance cover viewing pleasure. You’re welcome. And the best part is that all three books will be out in November so we don’t have to wait to get our next fix of Father Time’s handsome sons. Thank you! I’m very bad at waiting, especially for sweet, funny romances written by Wendy Sparrow.

If you’re bad at waiting, too, here’s the info.

Stealing Time — Release date November 1, 2016

Father Time’s son, Zeit Geist, must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he’d saved her—and why he keeps doing it.

Following an unlucky year, Hannah Lyons needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets is near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.

Excerpt from Stealing Time:

“You’re messing with time?”

He didn’t deny it. He just pulled his hand from hers and went back to eating. Her hand was cold without the heat from his palm, and she slid it off the table self-consciously.

“Will you stop doing that?” she asked.

“No.”

“Why not?”

He set his utensils down again and looked into her eyes—as if he was gazing directly into her soul. “Because I’m the one keeping you alive.”


I love Zeit so much and I can’t wait to meet Tempus and Ruin. More on them below. November is gonna be a very nice month 🙂

The second and third books in the trilogy are:

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Taking Time — Release date November 8, 2016  Tempus fugit. Time flies…unless you’re Tempus Halt, Father Time’s son. Day in and day out are the same, except for New Year’s Eve when he steals the life of a mortal on behalf of the Fates. This year marks his first failure to stay the monotonous course. A mortal’s kiss and her insistence on taking the place of his year’s sacrifice stalled out everything. Now, Tempus has to keep her alive for a year so his sacrifice isn’t wasted, but that’s the only reason—definitely.

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Keeping Time — Release date November 15, 2016 When Ruin’s mortal sacrifice to the Fates on New Year’s Eve is already dying, it should be the easiest life he has to take, but not this year. The dying man knows Ruin is there to kill him, but he asks Father Time’s son to look after his twin sister. Ruin can’t stay away from the sweet and sensual Phoebe. His previous interactions with women changed the definition of his name, Ruin, so he can’t fall for her, especially when the lovely mortal doesn’t know he killed her brother.

Pre-order Stealing Time on Amazon or Apple or add it to your shelf on Goodreads

About Wendy Sparrow:
Wendy’s first forays into fiction earned her time-outs, punishment, and “how many times have I told you the Boy Who Cried Wolf story?” But, she persevered. She’s stubborn like that. Now, all her stories have a happily ever after and the lies are sexier and more elaborate. Sometimes, they even contain wolves. (Ha, mom! So there!) She’s active in OCD and autism communities and writes on her blog to support awareness in both. If she’s not writing or wrangling kids, she’s on Twitter, @WendySparrow, where she’ll chat with anyone about anything.

How horses shaped this author’s life

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“Kisses are nice, coffee is better. Now go. Leave the coffee. And turn off that camera!”

Writing and horses are two passions that traveled with me from childhood to adulthood.  I was the pesky kid who bugged her parents for a horse every Christmas and every birthday. I got a Breyer model horse instead (haha, not funny mom). Then around age 13 I got a Saturday job at a nearby stable in exchange for riding lessons. I found my bliss. I wrote my first “book” about a girl and her horse around that time. Bliss struck again.

Both have been a huge part of my life ever since.

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“Yes this jacket IS too big but watch me rock it like a BOSS.”

I got to wallow in my two passions writing my latest paranormal romance novel, Omega Rising.  It’s about a stable owner and the unusual group that surrounds her. The fictional Sky Blue Farm is based on a stable where for years I lived and breathed and worked horses (minus the sexy shapeshifter wolves and bears and magic and murder. There was drama there but not that kind of drama 😀 ).

Horses need care 24/7 no matter the weather. In winter we bundled up in long underwear and held hot packs in freezing hands and hand-walked horses indoors when the sub-zero temps made it too dangerous to ride. In summer we sweated through our tank tops under the hot August sun in jeans or breeches with leather boots because riding in shorts is something you only try once (sweaty skin + leather saddle = omg-it-hurts-so-bad burns).

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“Is that a carrot? I smell carrots. Do you have one?”

I’ve called vets for injured or sick horses. Scary.

I’ve called ambulances for injured people. Scarier.

One of my horses (a clever, handsome bay TB/Quarter Horse cross) was so quick sideways that he once left me hovering in mid-air for a split-second, during which I literally thought holy crap I’m in a Road Runner cartoon before I hit the ground in a heap. I’d have used it in Omega Rising but readers would’ve snorted in disbelief unless they were riders, too. In that case they’d nod yes, been there, that does indeed suck.

I’ve had young horses, tall horses, lazy horses, and spooky horses, learning something with every one. Grays and bays, mares and geldings, skinny chestnuts and fat ponies. I’ve been stepped on, knocked down, bucked off, bitten, kicked, and yes, sailed over a fence or two without my mount. But I loved them all.

In Omega Rising the opening scene shows the heroine and her mare, Peeka Booyah, jumping fences in a field. I based her on my own lovely mare except for the talent at jumping fences thing.  Fiction is awesome 🙂

I wouldn’t trade my experiences at that farm for anything. Some of those memories made it into the book, some will NEVER see the light of day. Yeesh. But the camaraderie, that sense of family and belonging ran deep,  overcoming the hurt feelings and squabbles and allowing us to survive when things went sideways. Much like it does for the Sky Blue Farm family in Omega Rising.

Our barn family isn’t together anymore; we peeled off one by one after the farm was sold but I’m in touch with some of them. My forever horse and I are at a different barn, one filled with good people, but I look back on those years at “my” barn with so much love in my heart. They changed me, shaped me; as a writer, as a rider, as a human being.

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“I’m sweaty, tired, and smell like a horse. What a good day.”

My heroine in Omega Rising, Cass, is funnier than I am, certainly ballsier, but we share an enduring love of and respect for all horses, small and tall. Oh, and we both have a passion for sexy, shapeshifter wolves *cough* Nathan *cough*

Omega Rising (book one in the Wolf King series) and Skye Falling (book two) are available at all online retailers. Happy reading!

WRITE ON;

AND LOOK AT THIS FACE BEFORE YOU GO

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“Again with the camera? Don’t forget to include my ears this ti–dammit.”

Why? Because I love reading romances

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(95/365)

Here’s a question that every author who writes romantic stories will absofreakinglutely get from family, from friends, from interviewers, even from strangers: Why do you write romances?

Here’s my short answer: because I love reading romances.

Of course I’m aware a few of the self-proclaimed literati recently decided to look down their noses and sniff as they regale their readers of lurid bodice-rippers (really? was the book you read from 1970s or 80s?)  and impossible plots that those oh-so-silly women love (again, really? the plot of The Goldfinch was a bit out there yet was a fantastic story that won a Pulitzer).

Are those lords of literature being purposefully inflammatory to get clicks and therefore exposure? Probably.

But still…bite me. Er, what I mean is I’d like those people to pick up and actually read a romance written in the last 10, even 15 years. Well, my first impulse is a tad more visceral (like STFU or GTFO) but I end in the same place which is urging them to READ A ROMANCE.

I’m damn proud to be a romance writer and reader. Hell, I’m a card-carrying member of the RWA. (Romance Writers of America).

RAWR.

There’s a reason that the genre is so successful. There is something for every taste. My God, what other genre features heroines that are shapeshifters, vampires, and duchesses alongside single moms, doctors, and unemployed administrative assistants?

There are contemporary romances, erotic, historical, inspirational, paranormal, suspense, action-adventure. Heat levels from sweet red peppers (like Christian romances) to ghost pepper fire (BDSM stories, duh). There are the quick-read category novels and the 800 plus pages epics like Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron (which was amazing, btw). Romances are smart, witty, poignant, sad, sexy, funny, touching, dramatic, dreamy, I can go on and on.

The thread that binds them all is the ending; Happy Ever After or at the very least Happy For Now. I think this is why the literati get their panties in a twist.

It’s a bad argument and here’s why. In thrillers the bad guy gets caught. But how? Read it and find out. In mysteries, said puzzle is solved. But how? Read it and find out. In romances, the characters fall in love. But how? Yes, say it with me, read it and find out.

It’s the story that sucks us in; the struggles each character endures, growing as human beings, realizing what they are or can be, succeeding or failing, falling in love. Today’s romances feature strong yet flawed heroines and nuanced heroes who grapple mightily with decisions, both emotional and plot-driven.  Romances routinely deal with weighty, difficult subjects like PTSD, depression, insecurity, trauma, and death.

When it’s done well, and it often is, readers learn something and feel something as human beings. Love stories are that powerful.

In my favorite books when I close the cover, I smile; a bit sad it’s over and also completely satisfied. That’s the homerun. That’s the payoff in romances. A good story moves us. That’s what I try to do with the characters and stories I write – let the reader connect so well with the book, feel what the characters feel, want what the characters want, that she (or he) smiles when she closes the book.

There is no greater pleasure than that.

WRITE ON;

“Long Live The Delicious Paranormal Romance”

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Thanks for giving me an opportunity to rant a bit.

When I was close to finishing the first draft of my paranormal romance, Omega Rising, back in late 2013/early 2014, the world (meaning a lot of agents, editors, and bloggers I respected) declared the paranormal romance dead. “Can’t sell PNRs anymore.”  The articles came fast and furious. “Glut.” “Market oversaturation.” “Twilight was the beginning of the end.” On and on they went. But…but I love reading PNRs. How come suddenly no one else did?

Let me back up a second. I’m an avid reader of romances. Well, I’m an avid reader of everything but romances have been my favorite ever since I picked up one of my mom’s Harlequin Presents as a teenager. I looked forward to sneaking away with those white covers with bright pops of color when she was done reading. Those stories took me to far off places like the deserts of Arabia, the mountains in Switzerland with handsome heroes and beautiful heroines. They solved mysteries, wrestled with accidents and amnesia and their feelings, they took down the bad guy, confessed their lies (it seemed there was always a big lie being told) then eventually confessed their love for each other. The Happy Ever After. Hooked.

Then about eight years ago I picked up my first paranormal romance (by Christina Dodd, who I’d never heard of before) and read it one sitting. Amazing. Fantastic.  Delicious. I bought the whole series and gobbled them up, too, and hunted for more books. The stakes were higher in paranormals, the heroes hotter and heroines sexier, the romances steamier. Yes yes yes. More, please.

Paranormal writers used words real men and women used every day, like cock and wet (no more petals opening, no more manhood or gods forbid manroot – hooray). The heroines were strong, flawed, their orgasms important, like in real life. Even with the fantasy element of vampires or shapeshifters or witches, the stories, the romances, were more authentic. I was so IN.

Okay, back to when PNRs were declared dead. On an  open Twitter chat with one of the publishers where I planned to submit the manuscript once polished, their reps confirmed what I’d been reading. I was blindsided, heartbroken, sick to my stomach. I had just spent a considerable amount of time and tears on my first novel that would never sell.

Might as well flush this thing I created and loved down the toilet. I stumbled through the rest of that day, berating myself one minute then the next wondering if I could change my novel and eliminate the paranormal element.

That made me feel even worse because paranormal added a level of complexity and tension and steaminess that, in my view anyway, not just couldn’t but shouldn’t be cut out like an unwanted defect. An unsalable defect. I wrote what I loved but no one wanted to read PNRs anymore?  Because I sure did.

The next morning I woke up and looked at my TBR stack and some books I just finished reading. A healthy number of those books were paranormals. I checked the pub dates – all new. Huh. Wtf. They weren’t dead after all.  HOORAY and AWWW YEAH!!

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After filing that bit of news under “dammit, don’t believe everything you read’ I went right back to my manuscript to revise, rewrite, edit and revise some more. Less than a year later I had two books under contract and my editor helped make my books even stronger.

My theory is that for a while there was a glut of paranormal romances and some books that slipped through were…less than good (you know what I’m talking about). The market listened to annoyed readers, including myself, who plunked down hard earned cash only to find a story that didn’t live up to the high expectations the genre demands.

Because of this, I believe, the big publishers, small presses, and   authors tightened their standards and better stories resulted. Savvy readers want a good story, a hot romance, and a reason to keep turning the pages.

Good for the genre, good for the reader.

Long live the delicious paranormal romance!

(Anna here: this is an updated version of a guest post I wrote for the awesome blog Foreplay and Fangs on June 9, 2016)

You can check out my delicious paranormal romances Omega Rising and Skye Falling at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, AllRomanceebooks, etc.

WRITE ON;

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